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LEGAL UPDATE – We’ll have no prejudice here

We’ll have no prejudice here

The Scottish Centre for Social Research has published the results of its investigation into Scotland’s attitudes towards discrimination. Although it found that 65% of Scots wanted all forms of prejudice to be eradicated, 29% felt that “sometimes there is a good reason to be prejudiced”. It also found that attitudes towards Muslims had worsened since 2003, while homophobia had declined.

The Scottish Social Attitudes (SSA) survey is conducted by the Scottish Centre for Social Research. It is designed to inform public policy and facilitate the study of public opinion in Scotland. The 2006 survey interviewed a representative sample of 1,594 adults across Scotland between August 2006 and January 2007. The research explores attitudes towards discrimination across six key equality areas: disability, gender, race, religion or belief, age and sexual orientation. The main findings are: 
  • The majority of Scots, 65 per cent, say Scotland should do everything it can to get rid of all kinds of prejudice. But 29 per cent say sometimes there is a good reason to be prejudiced.       
  • The incidence of discriminatory attitudes varies from one group to another. They are most commonly expressed towards Gypsies, Travellers and transsexual people and are less commonly expressed towards women and people with disabilities.
  • Discriminatory attitudes towards Muslims have worsened since 2003. However, discriminatory attitudes towards gay men and lesbians appear to have declined in recent years. 
  • Those who know someone who belongs to a particular group are less likely to express discriminatory attitudes towards people from that group. 

Scotland’s Communities Minister, Stewart Maxwell, commented: “This report sends out two messages. Firstly, that most people say Scotland should do everything it can to get rid of all kinds of prejudice. Secondly, that a significant proportion of people think sometimes there is a good reason to be prejudiced. While most people want to see a fairer more equal society, it is worrying a sizable minority still hold discriminatory views. We must address this if we are to ensure Scotland’s future success as a welcoming, modern, forward-thinking nation.” 

The research and report ‘Attitudes to Discrimination in Scotland: 2006’ Scottish Social Attitudes Survey was funded by the Scottish Government and the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

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