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Attitudes to discrimination and positive action

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This is the fourth time that SSA has included questions on attitudes to discrimination it also provides valuable insights into how public attitudes have changed over time.

General attitudes to prejudice 

  • Nearly 7 in 10 (69%) felt that ‘Scotland should do everything it can to get rid of all kinds of prejudice’. This figure has remained relatively stable between 2002 and 2015.
  • The proportion of people who felt that sometimes there was a good reason to be prejudiced fell from 28% in 2010 to 22% in 2015.

Attitudes to diversity

  • Between 2010 and 2015, there was a 10 percentage point decline, from 43% to 33%, in the proportion of people who said that they would rather live in an area ‘where most people are similar to you’. 
  • In 2015, 4 in 10 (40%) agreed that ‘people from outside Britain who come to live in Scotland make the country a better place’, a significant increase from 2010 when around 3 in 10 (33%) held the same view.
  • In 2015, just under a fifth (18%) of people believed that ‘sexual relations between two adults of the same sex’ were wrong. The proportion who say that same sex relationships are wrong has been declining steady over time since 2000 when nearly half (48%) believed that same sex relationships were wrong.

Personal relationships

Participants were asked if they would be happy or unhappy if a relative married or was in a long-term relationship with someone from one of nine groups of people who share certain protected characteristics.

  • People were most likely to say they would be unhappy about a close relative marrying someone who cross-dresses in public (39%) followed by someone who has undergone gender reassignment (32%) and a Gypsy/Traveller (31%). 
  • However, there was a decline between 2010 and 2015 in the proportion who said they would be unhappy about a close relative marrying someone from these three groups. 

Equity and participation in the labour market

Participants were asked how suitable or unsuitable they thought someone from one of seven groups of people who share certain protected characteristics would be as a primary school teacher.

  • Gypsy/Travellers were viewed as the group least suited to being a primary school teacher, with around a third (34%) saying they would be unsuitable.
  • 31% felt that someone aged 70 and someone who experiences depression from time to time (29%) would be unsuitable as a primary school teacher.
  • Between 2010 and 2015 the proportion who thought a Gypsy/Traveller would be unsuitable as a primary school teacher declined from 46% to 34%.
  • There has been a steady decline since 2006 in the proportion saying that someone aged 70 and someone who experiences depression from time to time would be unsuitable as a primary school teacher.