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Public Attitudes to Equalities Issues in Scotland

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					PUBLIC ATTITUDES TO EQUALITIES ISSUES IN SCOTLAND
Reid-Howie Associates Ltd. September 2006

TABLE OF CONTENTS SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND ................................................. 1

EQUALITIES WORK IN SCOTLAND ............................................................................... 1 The importance of public attitudes ................................................................................... 2 Limitations of public attitudes data .................................................................................. 3 The nature of the report .................................................................................................... 4 SCOPE OF THE EXAMINATION OF ATTITUDES.......................................................... 4 Method .............................................................................................................................. 4 SECTION 2 PERCEPTIONS OF EQUALITIES ISSUES IN SCOTLAND................. 6 OVERALL VIEWS OF EQUALITIES ISSUES IN SCOTLAND ....................................... 6 Overall views and perceptions of progress....................................................................... 6 Discriminatory views ........................................................................................................ 7 Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination ................................................ 8 Public awareness / recognition of issues.......................................................................... 9 AGE ...................................................................................................................................... 9 Overall views and perceptions of progress....................................................................... 9 Discriminatory views ...................................................................................................... 10 Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination .............................................. 11 Public awareness / recognition of issues........................................................................ 12 DISABILITY ...................................................................................................................... 12 Overall views and perceptions of progress..................................................................... 12 Discriminatory views ...................................................................................................... 14 Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination .............................................. 15 Public awareness / recognition of issues........................................................................ 15 GENDER ............................................................................................................................ 16 Overall views and perceptions of progress..................................................................... 16 Discriminatory views ...................................................................................................... 17 Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination .............................................. 19 Public awareness / recognition of issues........................................................................ 19 RACE .................................................................................................................................. 20 Overall views and perceptions of progress..................................................................... 20 Discriminatory views ...................................................................................................... 22 Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination .............................................. 23 Public awareness / recognition of issues........................................................................ 24 RELIGION OR BELIEF ..................................................................................................... 24 Overall views and perceptions of progress..................................................................... 25 Discriminatory views ...................................................................................................... 26 Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination .............................................. 26 Public awareness / recognition of issues........................................................................ 27 SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY ................................................... 28 Overall views and perceptions of progress..................................................................... 28 Discriminatory views ...................................................................................................... 28 Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination .............................................. 29 Public awareness / recognition of issues........................................................................ 29 OTHER EQUALITIES ISSUES ......................................................................................... 30 OVERVIEW ....................................................................................................................... 30 SECTION 3 REQUIRED INFLUENCES ON ATTITUDES AND EQUALITIES WORK 31

PATTERNS OF DISCRIMINATORY ATTITUDES ........................................................ 31 Education........................................................................................................................ 31 Age .................................................................................................................................. 31

Gender ............................................................................................................................ 32 Other variations.............................................................................................................. 32 KEY INFLUENCES UPON THE DEVELOPMENT OF ATTITUDES ............................ 32 Parents and friends......................................................................................................... 32 Media .............................................................................................................................. 33 Perceptions of “difference”............................................................................................ 33 Interaction and contact................................................................................................... 33 Religious beliefs.............................................................................................................. 34 Other influences.............................................................................................................. 34 PERCEPTIONS OF TYPES OF WORK AND THE WAY FORWARD ........................... 35 Negative overall views .................................................................................................... 36 VIEWS OF WORK WITH PARTICULAR GROUPS ....................................................... 37 Age .................................................................................................................................. 37 Disability ........................................................................................................................ 38 Gender ............................................................................................................................ 38 Race ................................................................................................................................ 39 Religion or belief ............................................................................................................ 40 Sexual orientation and gender identity........................................................................... 40 Other issues .................................................................................................................... 41 VIEWS OF SPECIFIC TYPES OF INITIATIVE ............................................................... 41 Legislation ...................................................................................................................... 41 Increasing participation ................................................................................................. 42 Recognising and meeting diverse needs ......................................................................... 42 Developing relationships ................................................................................................ 42 Challenging language and other communication........................................................... 43 Mainstreaming................................................................................................................ 44 Providing information and support ................................................................................ 44 Tackling the media.......................................................................................................... 44 Work in schools............................................................................................................... 44 Single equality body........................................................................................................ 45 Attitude change ............................................................................................................... 45 Other suggestions ........................................................................................................... 46 OVERVIEW ....................................................................................................................... 46 SECTION 4 CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS................................................. 48 SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS ..................................................................................... 48 IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS............................................................................... 52

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
The Equal Opportunities Committee of the Scottish Parliament is currently carrying out a review of developments in equalities policy and practice in Scotland since devolution in 1999. The review involves: i. The production of an outline of equalities work which has taken place in Scotland since devolution (carried out by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre) An examination of the views of some stakeholders in Scotland (carried out by Reid-Howie Associates) An examination of literature relating to public attitudes to equalities issues (carried out by Reid-Howie Associates)

ii. iii.

It was considered appropriate to conduct such a review at this stage in the life of the Scottish Parliament, particularly with the impending key developments such as the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), the Equality Act, 2006 and the Employment Equality Age Regulations 2006. It is anticipated that the findings of the review will provide clear information about equalities work in the last 7 years. This will: provide a summary of the wide range of work which has taken place; gather feedback; identify priorities and lessons for the future; and provide a basis for engagement with the new CEHR and for future work. This summary and the full report present the findings of the third strand of the review, examining public attitudes to equalities issues. This research was undertaken through the use of published data drawn primarily from UK studies. More than 130 sources were examined, of which around half focused particularly on Scotland (including, for example, a number of reports presenting analyses of modules of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey). A very small number of studies focused on specific local authority areas in Scotland. There were also several UK-wide studies which contained data of relevance to this work. Additionally, it was considered that studies of public attitudes to equalities issues in England and Wales could provide further useful insight into the issues, and a number of these were also included. A small number of studies explored attitudes to several equalities strands, while many were strand-specific. Full details are provided in the bibliography in the main report. Issues were examined relating to the six equalities strands: age; disability; gender; race; religion or belief; and sexual orientation and gender identity. Cross cutting issues and overall views were also examined. It is acknowledged that this is not a comprehensive review of public views of all relevant equalities issues for each of the groups, nor a definitive account of public views, but rather gives an indication of some themes and research findings which are pertinent to work in Scotland. Additionally, the limitations of focusing on public attitudes are recognised (including that studies of such attitudes may underestimate the level of prejudice and discrimination). It is also stressed that tackling inappropriate attitudes forms only one part of a range of work which is required to address equalities issues. Against this background, however, this report gives an indication of some of the themes and trends in public views of some key issues. The main findings and their implications are outlined below.

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Overall views The report stresses the importance of public attitudes to equalities groups and issues. Negative attitudes or a lack of understanding can create and sustain barriers for equalities groups. Conversely, positive attitudes can help to promote equality, and can enable participation by equalities groups in all aspects of economic and cultural life. Overall, it seems that there are mixed views of equalities issues in Scotland. On a positive note, a major examination of attitudes to discrimination in Scotland found that only a minority of respondents expressed prejudiced views on almost all of the questions in the survey. Another survey found a close link between equality and human rights in Scotland, and research in 4 UK locations (including Scotland) also identified that respondents believed that there had been some improvements to equality in Britain in recent years, through education, changes in legislation and social attitudes. There are examples in all equalities strands of some positive views of some issues. On a less positive note, it is also suggested that discrimination may have become “less visible” and less often expressed, but is still present in Scotland. It is also recognised that, even where only a minority of people have discriminatory views, these are damaging. There are also findings to suggest the existence of overt discrimination and a lack of understanding of equalities issues, as well as the belief, amongst some, that there can be some justification for prejudice. It seems that many people have personal experience of some form of discrimination, and this was highlighted in the overall findings of a number of discussion groups considering equality in Britain. There also seems to be some public recognition of the existence of prejudice and discrimination in the UK (including in Scotland) against some minority groups (although there are variations in the extent to which this is recognised for particular groups). In the examination of issues for particular groups, there were found to be mixed (and sometimes contradictory) views, with examples of positive views alongside evidence of remaining problems. Equalities issues are complex and detailed, with nuances of opinion about specific issues. One of the consequences of this is that it is impossible to provide a definitive view of, for example, the level of “racism” or “ageism”, or other forms of discrimination in Scotland. Instead, it is more useful to use the views identified as the basis of highlighting general and specific areas in which there may be a need for further action (e.g. to focus upon and highlight problematic issues). As the purpose of this report is to identify the way forward for equalities work, it is the “negative” views which are considered most important, as it is these that require to be tackled. For that reason, the focus of much of the material presented is not upon positive views, but upon the identification of problematic views where these exist (whilst acknowledging the existence of some positive views within strands, although not necessarily detailing these). The identification of the remaining problems helps to highlight the best means of developing equalities work in the future. Age There was found to be limited material relating to public attitudes to equalities issues for particular age groups (older people, and children and young people), as age discrimination is a relatively recently recognised equalities issue. There has, however, been a growing focus on this issue. Some studies identify and highlight discrimination against older people, and the data suggests that expressed views of older people are often “positive” in terms of a lack of overt ii

discrimination (although there are also some examples of this). Sometimes, however, attitudes are based on inappropriate or discriminatory perceptions of older people, and these can lead to inequality. It is also suggested that, while the recognition of age discrimination has grown in recent years, there is also data to suggest that there is seen to be more prejudice against older people than was the case in the past. There are mixed and contradictory views of attitudes to children and young people. There are, for example, majority views of them as helpful and friendly alongside high levels of concern about crime and behaviour. It is also suggested that there have been perceptions of an increase in youth crime in recent years. There is also some material to indicate people’s own experiences of discrimination for both older people, and children and young people. For example, there is evidence of discrimination against them in access to services. There is also evidence of discrimination against older people and young people in employment. Older people, children and young people can also experience specific forms of abuse and violence relating to their age. They also experience other forms of discrimination and prejudice as members of other equalities groups, for example as LGBT people; people from ethnic minority communities etc. (It should be noted that this can be true for all equalities groups.) There is evidence of experiences of ageism (against older people, and children and young people) which appears to be fairly wellembedded in society. There is also data to suggest that there is some recognition of the existence of some aspects of prejudice and discrimination on the basis of age, although the findings are varied in relation to the level of this, and there are some issues which are not widely recognised. Disability Studies have found that public attitudes in Scotland are, on the surface, largely positive to disabled people. Findings suggest that people are less likely to express discriminatory attitudes about disabled people than about some other groups. There are also examples of perceived progress in relation to some disability issues, with more open discussion of issues, and improved attitudes (including, for example, to mental health and learning disability). There are also, however, examples of a lack of understanding of the nature of disability, a focus on “sympathy”, and a lack of knowledge of some mental health issues, all of which can lead to barriers and discrimination. Some examples of overt prejudice are also identified, both generally and again relating specifically to mental health. The existence of some discriminatory attitudes to disabled people is borne out by research relating to disabled people’s experiences of discrimination. There are clear examples of this from studies of a range of aspects of social and economic participation by disabled people (e.g. in employment; access to services; experiences of harassment; and hate crime). Despite this evidence, studies have also shown that there is perhaps less evident public recognition of the extent of disabled people’s experiences of prejudice in Scotland than is the case for some other groups. Less than a third of people believe that there is “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of prejudice against disabled people, and 17% believe that there is none. There is, however, some recognition of their experiences, with some members of the community in Scotland who believe that disabled people are treated less fairly than others. A considerable proportion of members of the public believe that disabled people are treated “differently”. Generally, however, there does seem to be an under-recognition of the extent and nature of some of the issues facing disabled people which emerge from this examination. Gender

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In terms of attitudes to gender issues, it has also been found that people are less likely to express discriminatory views about women than is the case for some other groups. There are a number of areas in which it is suggested that there has been a positive change in expressed attitudes, including: views of traditional gender roles; views of working parents; and aspects of violence against women (particularly domestic abuse). There remain, however, clear problems with some attitudes in all of the areas highlighted, and some specific issues (e.g. rape) in which myths and discriminatory views remain apparent. There is also evidence of women’s experiences of the experience of discriminatory attitudes, in employment, in pay and in opportunities. There are continuing issues with a range of aspects of gender stereotyping, and with violence against women. There is, however, limited recognition of the extent of prejudice experienced by women in Scotland. Only a fifth of the public appear to believe that there is “a great deal”, or “quite a lot” of prejudice against women, while almost a third think that there is none. There is some recognition of employment issues, and aspects of violence against women, but there are also clear gaps in awareness of some other issues. Race It has been found that people are more likely to express discriminatory views about ethnic minority groups than is the case for some other groups. There are mixed views of whether attitudes have changed in recent years, but it seems that there is evidence of some progress in the UK and Scotland (e.g. in addressing “crude” discrimination; in the acceptance of people from other backgrounds in Scotland; in a greater acceptance of multiculturalism; and less division on the grounds of race). Although there is evidence of growing concern with issues relating to immigration and asylum, it has also been suggested that polling data on attitudes to migration indicate more moderate views of this in Scotland than south of the border. The Fresh Talent initiative and the “One Scotland” campaign are seen to have made a difference. It is still clear, however, that there are also issues in which there are problems, and there are many examples of discriminatory views in Scotland in relation to ethnic minority groups. These include a lack of understanding of some issues; assumptions based upon stereotypes and misinformation; and overtly discriminatory attitudes. In research to evaluate the “One Scotland” campaign, almost a quarter of people in Scotland (23%) regarded themselves as at least slightly racist and there are many other examples provided. It has also been suggested that refugees and asylum seekers and Gypsy / Travellers face particular discrimination. There is also evidence of ethnic minority groups’ own experiences of discriminatory attitudes, in the form of racist abuse and violence, as well as discrimination in employment and access to services. There appears to be a relatively high level of recognition of the existence of prejudice against ethnic minority groups, with over half of the people in Scotland in 2003 believing that there is “a great deal”, or “quite a lot” of prejudice against ethnic minority groups. Similar findings have been identified from other sources, and there is also some recognition that refugees / asylum seekers and Gypsy / Travellers may experience particular discrimination. Religion or belief There are fewer studies relating to public attitudes to religious or faith groups than in relation to some of the longer-recognised equalities issues. There are two common aspects of this which emerge most frequently, however, and these relate to attitudes to Muslims and attitudes to Protestants and Catholics (and the issue of sectarianism). There are mixed views about changes to the level of prejudice on the basis of religion or belief in recent years and some contradictory views within this strand. Some argue that Islamophobia has increased, although it has also been suggested that devolution has had an impact on how receptive and welcoming iv

Scots are. There are also variations in attitudes to sectarianism in Scotland, and much debate about the current level of this. In both of these cases, however, there is evidence of existence of at least some discriminatory views, whatever their actual level. The views of Muslims in Scotland suggest some experiences of social exclusion. There are also some other examples of people being affected personally by prejudice or discrimination on the basis of their religion or belief. Information focusing on Britain as a whole suggests discrimination in employment for a number of religious or faith groups. There is some evidence to suggest that there is perhaps more limited public recognition of general prejudice facing religious or faith groups overall. There is, however, also some (limited) evidence to suggest some public awareness of the existence of Islamophobia. In Scotland, there is also a relatively high public awareness of sectarianism, to the extent that there is a higher perceived level of sectarianism than may actually be experienced (although this should not detract from the fact that there is evidence of the existence of such views). Sexual orientation and gender identity There is considerable evidence, as with ethnic minority groups, that there is more overt expression of negative views of LGBT people and about issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity than has been found in relation to some other groups. Although it is suggested that there have been some changes to attitudes to LGBT people (with examples of increasing acceptance of same sex relationships and a suggested general decline in negative views), there remain many examples of discriminatory views. These relate, for example, to overall views of LGBT people; perceptions of relationships; parenting issues; and the perceived suitability of LGBT people for specific roles. There is also ample evidence of LGBT people’s own experiences of discrimination in Scotland (e.g. in the workplace, in experiences of crime and harassment and in access to services). The data also suggests that there is a higher level of recognition of the extent of prejudice against LGBT people in Scotland than is the case for some other groups, with around half of members of the public believing that there is “a great deal”, or “quite a lot” of prejudice against gay men and lesbians, and only 9% who believe that there is none. Other issues There appears to be little public awareness of issues relating to multiple discrimination in Scotland. A small number of additional issues have been highlighted in UK research as being seen to constitute “equalities” issues, or factors on which discrimination can occur. Influences on public attitudes In order to identify the way forward, it is important to identify influences upon public attitudes, as well as to explore public perceptions of the range of types of equalities work which are seen to be required. Attitudes to equalities issues have been found to vary by a number of factors including: • • • Education (with discriminatory views generally less likely to be expressed by people with higher levels of educational attainment) Age (with younger people generally less likely to express discriminatory views than older people) Gender (with white majority men generally more likely to be explicit in their prejudice)

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Income / social class (with people experiencing higher levels of disadvantage linked to more negative views of some groups, although there are also some instances of a higher level of prejudice in higher income groups) “Joined up prejudice” (with those who are prejudiced against one group also likely to be prejudiced against others)

Some influences on the development of attitudes are also highlighted, including: • • • • • Parents and friends (although there can be intergenerational differences) Media (identified by the public in a range of studies) Perceptions of identity and difference (with more negative attitudes to those perceived as more “different”) Interaction and contact (with personal contact linked to less negative attitudes) Religious beliefs (which can influence feeling less positive particularly to gay and lesbian people)

A range of other influences have also been highlighted, including: perceived economic injustice and the feeling that some groups get preferential treatment or priority; perceived “cultural injustice” (including groups not behaving in ways that accord with majority culture); government policies towards immigration, and debates focusing on negative issues; negative encounters, which can lead to generalisation; rumour; school influences; positive ends for the prejudiced person (e.g. expressing homophobia leading to feeling like a “good Christian”); local events and circumstances; personal experiences; and a combination of influences. Views of the way forward Overall, studies suggest that there is general support for equalities work (particularly amongst those who recognise the existence of discrimination). It has been found that there are very few people in Scotland with negative views on promoting equality across groups. It is not suggested that there is always a consensus or majority in favour of actions, but that there is evidence of wide recognition of the value of such work. Although this varies between groups, there is support for work with all groups. There is, for example, support for concepts such as fairness, tolerance, absence of prejudice and human rights. Although studies have found variations in understanding of some of the issues and terminology (such as the use of “equality” and the distinction between positive action and positive discrimination), there does seem to be overall support for developments. There is evidence of support for action to address issues relating to older people, in terms of improved conditions generally, and improved access to employment. There is also evidence of support for the protection of children and young people and for improved access to facilities for this group. There is also considerable support for work to promote equality across a range of issues for disabled people, despite the relative lack of recognition of disabled people as experiencing a lot of prejudice. More than half of members of the public in Scotland in 2003 believed that equal opportunities have not gone far enough for this group, and only 3% that attempts to provide equal opportunities have gone too far (with many of the remainder believing that the level was “about right”). Similarly, despite the relatively low level of recognition of women as a group experiencing a lot of prejudice, there is a relatively high level of support for attempts to promote equality for this group. Particular support has been identified for initiatives to address work / life balance,

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childcare, equal pay and employment opportunities. Approaching half of members of the public in Scotland surveyed in 2003 believed that equal opportunities have not gone far enough for women, and only 6% that attempts have gone too far (with many of the remainder believing the level of action to be “about right”). In terms of race equality, more people in Scotland believe that attempts to provide equal opportunities for ethnic minority groups have “gone too far” (18%) than is the case for some other groups, despite this group being identified as amongst the most likely to experience a lot of prejudice. There is also, however, evidence of positive support for action, with a much larger proportion (41%) who consider that attempts to provide equal opportunities have not gone far enough, and many who believe that the level is “about right”. Again this supports the need for action. It has also been found that there is a belief that Scottish people should do more to respect the different cultures of other ethnic groups who live here, and that they should do more to stop racism occurring here. Religious discrimination is identified by some as a priority area for the future (although some studies identify less positive views of this). In Scotland, some support has been identified for undertaking work to address discrimination on the basis of religion, and it has been reported that almost two thirds of majority Scots believe that there should be a law outlawing discrimination against Muslims. There are also examples of support for a number of measures to address sectarianism. As with ethnic minority groups, a relatively high proportion of respondents in Scotland state that they believe that equal opportunities work has gone too far for gay men and lesbians (19%), despite the identification of LGBT people as one of the groups considered most likely to experience a lot of prejudice. There is still, however, support for work, as a slightly higher proportion (26%), believe that equal opportunities have not gone far enough, and a considerable number believe that the level of work is “about right”. There is also some support for particular types of development, such as parity of treatment for same sex couples on partnership issues (although a more complex pattern has been identified in relation to parenthood). It has also been suggested that there is some recognition of the need for work to address poverty. As well as identifying views of work with particular groups, the report identifies evidence from studies to suggest that there may be seen to be a need for, or support for, particular types of initiatives, including: • • • • • • • • • • • Legislation (where this is enforced, backed up and monitored) Representation (particularly gender balance) Recognising and meeting diverse needs Developing relationships Challenging inappropriate language and behaviour Mainstreaming equality Providing advice and support about equalities issues (in appropriate formats) Tackling the media Education Developing a single equality body Addressing and changing attitudes

A range of other suggestions have also been made in the literature (on the basis of public attitudes studies) about specific ways of taking work forward, including:

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• • • • • • • • • • • • •

Government agencies and minority groups working together within a national approach Developing national policies, with a local dimension Carrying out research to benchmark prejudice, monitor work undertaken and highlight change Recognising multiple discrimination issues / multiple identities and making these more visible Promoting positive images of equalities groups Targeting marginalised areas of white majority society or specific groups where inappropriate attitudes are prevalent Developing resourced and sustained long term campaigns Developing and promoting education and training Challenging specific attitudes and concerns Making links between different equalities issues Emphasising equality as a right for all, and desirable and beneficial for all (and not as a minority interest) Involving the general public and specific equality groups in taking work forward Providing strong leadership and political discourse

It is recognised that other types of work are also seen to be required in taking equalities work forward, but are not necessarily linked directly to public attitudes research and are not, therefore, explored in this report. The material presented, however, provides a general indication of public attitudes to some equalities issues in Scotland, and public attitudes to the nature of change required.

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SECTION 1

INTRODUCTION AND BACKGROUND

1.1 The Equal Opportunities Committee of the Scottish Parliament is currently carrying out a review of developments in equalities policy and practice in Scotland since devolution in 1999. The review has a number of strands, which include: (i) The production of an outline of equalities work which has taken place in Scotland since devolution (carried out by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre) (ii) An examination of the views of some stakeholders in Scotland about a number of issues, including: expectations of devolution in terms of equalities work; perceptions of progress which has been made to date (highlighting any areas in which progress is seen to have been slower or more limited); and perceptions of priorities for the future (commissioned by the Scottish Parliament and carried out by Reid-Howie Associates) (iii) An examination of literature relating to public attitudes to equalities issues (commissioned by the Scottish Parliament and carried out by Reid-Howie Associates) 1.2 It was considered appropriate to conduct such a review at this stage in the life of the Scottish Parliament, particularly with the impending key developments such as the Commission for Equality and Human Rights (CEHR), the Equality Act, 2006 and the Employment Equality Age Regulations 2006. 1.3 It is anticipated that the findings of the review will provide clear information about equalities work in the last 7 years, which will: • • • • • • Provide a clear and accessible summary of the wide range of work which has taken place of relevance to equality and the work of the Equal Opportunities Committee Gather feedback on the work which has taken place Identify priorities and areas in which future work might take place / identify potential future developments which stakeholders / public consider to be a priority Use the experience of relevant organisations to learn lessons for the future Provide a clear basis for engagement with the new CEHR in the future through the presentation of a clear statement of the current position and status of equalities work Provide a clear basis on which the future work of the successor Equal Opportunities Committee can build, taking account of past successes and areas for further development

1.4 This report presents the findings of the third strand of the review, examining public attitudes to equalities issues in Scotland. EQUALITIES WORK IN SCOTLAND 1.5 The advent of the Scottish Parliament in 1999 set new structures in place through which to carry out equalities work in Scotland, as well as building upon previous initiatives and enabling new work to be undertaken. Considerable work has been carried out in Scotland in recent years at a national and local level to address equalities issues and to overcome some of the barriers to participation experienced by particular groups. This work has taken a range of forms and has covered a number of issues. 1.6 Within this, the importance of public attitudes to equalities issues and groups has been recognised, and some aspects of these are examined in this report. The report brings together some of the recent findings of a range of studies to explore public views across the range of issues. 1

The importance of public attitudes 1.7 It is clear that public attitudes to equalities issues are central to the ways in which specific groups (often referred to as “equalities groups” or “strands of equalities work”) are viewed and treated. They are also crucial in the way in which work to promote equality and address inequality is perceived. 1.8 Overall, it is recognised that barriers to equality and participation can take a number of forms. These can include, for example: • Structural barriers - the ways in which the overall structure of society, including legal, political, economic and cultural arrangements, can exclude consideration or recognition of the needs of some groups and can deny their access to power and influence Organisational barriers - the ways in which the operation and functions of organisations within society (across any sector) can exclude or limit participation / access to services by some groups Physical barriers - aspects of the physical / built environment which limit participation by particular groups Attitudinal barriers - the ways in which negative or otherwise inappropriate perceptions and behaviours in relation to specific groups can have a detrimental effect upon their experiences

• • •

1.9 All of these types of barriers can affect the experiences of particular groups, and can lead to discrimination and inequality. Negative “attitudes” to groups (whether conscious or unconscious) are, in themselves, a barrier to equality, and have a direct role in promoting or perpetuating inequality. 1.10 Attitudes can underpin the development of all of the other barriers to equality, and can support the continuation of the types of structures and arrangements which have a negative impact on specific groups. They can directly affect the ways in which an individual interacts with others. Steffens (2005), for example, identified that: “A person’s attitude towards other persons or groups is one of the main predictors of that person’s behaviour towards these.” They can also impact upon the level of recognition in a society of the experiences of others and on the types of actions to address inequality which are supported. 1.11 Prejudiced attitudes can take many forms. Valentine and McDonald (2004) identified these as ranging from aggressive prejudice (which can include threats of violence); through to benevolent prejudice (where the views expressed may be positive, but the consequences negative); and unintentional prejudice (where an ignorance of issues is demonstrated). The effect of such attitudes can be various forms of discrimination against an individual or groups1. 1.12 Discrimination can be conscious or unconscious, but always has a negative impact upon those affected. Conversely, positive attitudes can have a major impact upon promoting equality, and a central strand of the focus of equalities work is the need to address existing barriers. This, in turn, will enable participation by equalities groups in all aspects of economic and social life.
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Although there is often debate about specific terminology, for the purposes of this report a range of “negative attitudes” (whether in the form of ‘overt’ prejudice, lack of understanding, stereotypical views etc.) are described interchangeably as “prejudice” or “discriminatory” views, with the latter based upon the impact of these views on equality.

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1.13 For all of these reasons, identifying and addressing public attitudes to equalities issues is vital in promoting change. Such views can provide an indication of current overall views of equalities groups and issues; highlight specific areas in which work may need to be undertaken; give an indication of views of progress and developments; and suggest some approaches which are likely to be supported. 1.14 It is recognised, however, and should be stressed at the outset, that addressing public attitudes forms only one part of a range of work which is seen to be required to promote equality and address discrimination (albeit an important part). This report focuses only on highlighting those issues relating to public attitudes, whilst being underpinned by a recognition that there is also a need for a range of other forms of action to promote and enable the development of equality in Scotland in areas such as: structure; legislation; policy; economy; organisation; practice; environment and other aspects of Scottish political and cultural life. Limitations of public attitudes data 1.15 It is also important to acknowledge that there are limitations to the use of data relating to public attitudes, and there is a need for some caution. 1.16 Firstly, there is some debate about the nature and definition of attitudes, and their relationship to other issues such as views, opinions, beliefs etc. It is outwith the remit of this study to engage in this detailed debate, and it is considered that these distinctions are not required in a report such as this, which aims to highlight overall themes in equalities issues. For the purpose of this report, “attitudes” are taken to include any views, opinions or beliefs which are expressed or demonstrated (e.g. through behaviour) in relation to equalities issues. 1.17 A further issue which is highlighted repeatedly in literature is the extent to which expressed attitudes may or may not be a true reflection of the views held by those responding. It is recognised that some respondents to attitude surveys will sometimes be reluctant to express negative views, or to give views that they consider to be “unacceptable”. Steffens (2005), for example, noted a growing reluctance to admit negative attitudes, and has carried out work to explore the differences between “explicit” and “implicit” attitudes. Raja and Stokes (1998) also noted problems of self-reporting attitudes, and the Commission for Racial Equality (2004) suggested that the overall societal context affects: “people’s willingness to reveal themselves (or not) as intolerant on a particular issue”. 1.18 There is also considerable work emerging from the USA about the use of “implicit association tests2” which are used to highlight prejudice amongst people who say they are not biased. 1.19 For these reasons, it is recognised that attitude surveys may sometimes underestimate the actual level of negative views of particular issues, and it is again important to bear this in mind in considering the findings of this report. 1.20 The final issue which should be highlighted is that public attitudes about the level of prejudice, or the work which is seen to be required, may not actually reflect the true circumstances experienced by equalities groups. For example, a failure to recognise that a particular group experiences prejudice or discrimination does not mean that such prejudice or discrimination does not
A psychological method that demonstrates conscious-unconscious differences between what people say (and perhaps believe that they think) and how they really feel.
2

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exist. It could simply reflect a complacency, or a lack of understanding of the issues (which would clearly imply a different solution). Additionally, a lack of recognition or acceptance of the need for particular types of work, or a lack of clear support for particular forms of work to address equalities issues, does not mean that this work is not required, nor that it should not be undertaken. Again, it could simply reflect a lack of understanding, or could indicate a need to explain more fully the importance of, and the basis for, any action taken. The findings of this report, therefore, should not be considered in isolation, but should be seen in the context of other evidence, information and expertise about current equalities issues and the need for action. The nature of the report 1.21 Against this background, this report draws upon available material to provide some insight into attitudes to equality in the UK in recent years, with a particular focus on attitudes in Scotland, wherever possible. Attitudes are explored in the following key areas, which form the main sections of the report, presenting public views of: • • Equalities groups, equalities issues and the extent of discrimination in Scotland The work which is seen to be required

This information should help to inform the overall review. SCOPE OF THE EXAMINATION OF ATTITUDES 1.22 There are a number of reports and other materials which highlight attitudes to different aspects of equalities work (in Scotland and more widely in the UK). Although they do not cover public attitudes to all aspects of equalities issues in Scotland, they can help to build a picture of general perceptions of a range of equalities issues. 1.23 It should be noted, however, that it is impossible, in a report such as this, to provide a comprehensive account of all of the material which is available, or to make definitive statements about the nature of public attitudes in Scotland. Each of the equalities groups could clearly be the subject of a report in its own right, and the focus of this examination is upon providing an overview of some of the main issues, from which it is possible to identify some key themes, trends and findings which are pertinent to equalities work in Scotland. Method 1.24 The method of examination of public attitudes included reviewing the findings of studies which carried out direct research with the general public to explore their attitudes, as well as research undertaken with specific equalities groups. The latter studies (involving particular sections of the public), provide further indication of wider public attitudes, in terms of how these are experienced by particular groups (e.g. in their own accounts of their experiences of discrimination). 1.25 The identification of relevant material for the exploration of public attitudes was carried out through: • • • • • A search of the British Library “Inside” service for relevant journal articles A search of the National Library of Scotland A search of back copies of Scottish broadsheets to 1999 The identification of any relevant material produced by local authorities through the circulation of an e-mail to local authority equalities contacts (via CoSLA) An internet search

4

Some respondents to the interview study carried out with stakeholders (as a separate strand of this review) also identified relevant material for inclusion. 1.26 The exploration of attitudes concentrated primarily on data from UK studies. More than 130 sources were examined, of which around half focused particularly on Scotland (including, for example, a number of reports presenting analyses of modules of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey). A very small number of studies focused on specific local authority areas in Scotland. There were also several UK-wide studies which contained data of relevance to this work. Additionally, it was considered that studies of public attitudes to equalities issues in England and Wales could provide further useful insight into the issues, and a number of these were also included. A small number of studies explored attitudes to several equalities strands, while many were strand-specific. Full details are provided in the bibliography. 1.27 The main focus was on the six strands which have been identified as being brought together under the Commission for Equality and Human Rights, which are: • • • • • • Age Disability Gender Race Religion or belief Sexual orientation3

Additionally, cross-cutting equalities issues were considered. Analysis of the information 1.28 A reading framework was developed through which to identify key issues and to provide the structure for the identification of the material which is summarised in this report. 1.29 A large number of documents were identified and included in the examination of literature. As noted, while it is not cannot be taken to be comprehensive nor definitive, it is suggested that it provides a good indication of some of the main issues relating to public attitudes to equality in Scotland. 1.30 The remainder of this report presents the main findings.

3

For the purpose of this report, sexual orientation and gender identity.

5

SECTION 2

PERCEPTIONS SCOTLAND

OF

EQUALITIES

ISSUES

IN

2.1 As noted in Section 1, public attitudes to equalities groups and equalities issues have a major impact (positive or negative) upon the experiences of these groups. This section explores public attitudes generally, and in relation to specific groups, in terms of: • • • • Overall views and perceptions of progress Discriminatory views Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination Public awareness / recognition of the issues

2.2 It should be noted, particularly in relation to evidence of the experience of prejudice and discrimination, that it is not intended to give an account of the actual position of each group in Scotland in relation to all aspects of this, nor its impact (as this is outwith the remit of this report). Instead, the information provides a general overview, along with some examples of other evidence of the operation of discriminatory public attitudes. OVERALL VIEWS OF EQUALITIES ISSUES IN SCOTLAND 2.3 Although most studies focus upon particular groups, there is some data which provides information relating to overall views of equalities issues in Scotland and the UK. These findings present a mixed picture. Overall views and perceptions of progress 2.4 On a positive note, there are examples of studies in which the majority of respondents do not express prejudiced views and, overall, where there is seen to have been some progress in addressing equalities issues. 2.5 For example, one of the main sources of information about public attitudes to equality in Scotland in recent years is a report by Bromley and Curtice (2003). They analysed the findings from a module of questions (developed by a range of relevant equalities organisations) which were asked in the 2002 Scottish Social Attitudes Survey. The module examined attitudes to: disabled people; women; ethnic minority groups; and gay men and lesbians4. 2.6 In terms of the identification of positive overall views, Bromley and Curtice found that only a minority of respondents in Scotland expressed discriminatory attitudes on almost all of the questions. A report in The Herald (2003c) noted that an author of the report had suggested that the survey indicated that, by and large, Scotland is a “tolerant” society (whilst acknowledging that there also remains some discrimination). It also seems that many Scots make a close link between equality and human rights, and a recent MORI study of attitudes to human rights found that these were commonly associated with equality or equal opportunities in Scotland (MORI, 2006c). There are examples of positive views of some issues within each of the strands. 2.7 There are also some areas in which attitudes to equalities issues appear to have improved, with evidence of some positive changes in recent years. Some of the specific examples are explored and highlighted later in this section. In terms of overall developments, research was undertaken by
At the time of preparation of this report, a further examination of public attitudes to discrimination in Scotland was being undertaken and will provide information to inform the debate in the future. At the time of this research, however, the work was in progress, and the findings not yet available.
4

6

MORI on behalf of the Equalities Review5 through 8 focus groups in 4 UK locations (including Scotland). The research explored “What Equality Means in Britain Today” (MORI, 2006d) and found that all of the focus groups recognised that there have been considerable improvements in equality (particularly in relation to ethnicity, gender and disability). Eligon (2006) in presenting findings from these focus groups, noted that participants felt that discrimination has been reduced over time. It was also suggested that they viewed change as having been largely achieved through education, changes in legislation and social attitudes. 2.8 On a cautionary note, however, it is also recognised in many studies that people may be reluctant to express discriminatory views, and that this may increasingly be the case. It is also acknowledged that a lack of expression does not necessarily mean that views are not held. For example, Howard and Tibballs (2003), in a qualitative study of how people think about equality in Britain, suggested that many people felt that pressure to “say the right thing” had made prejudice less visible, but that underlying attitudes and beliefs had not changed significantly. Similarly, many respondents in the series of focus groups held as part of the Equalities Review (Eligon, 2006) noted that more subtle forms of inequality now exist, with the suggestion that it will be difficult to legislate against these. 2.9 Additionally, even in instances where the majority of respondents express positive views, there is often a significant minority who express negative views (and this was recognised in relation to Bromley and Curtice’s work in Scotland). These negative views, even from a minority, can have a significant impact upon individuals and can have a damaging effect upon the overall promotion of equality. Additionally, some of the examples provided later of equalities groups’ own accounts of discrimination provide an indication of the types of “mismatch” which can occur between public views of the level of problems (which are often, although not always, underestimated), and individuals’ experiences of these. Discriminatory views 2.10 There are many findings which suggest the continuing existence of problematic views of some equalities issues in the UK and in Scotland. In some cases, these views are overtly negative, while in others they may be based upon a lack of understanding of some equalities issues. Generally, however, there is still considerable material to suggest areas in which prejudice against equalities groups remains an issue, and the actual nature of some of the specific problematic attitudes will be explored in more detail throughout this report. 2.11 Overall, although Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that only a minority of respondents in Scotland expressed prejudiced views, in many ways it is the identification of these views which is important, as these perceptions highlight the need for action, even where the proportion expressing the views is small. There are a number of examples of such views in Scotland. 2.12 Other research in the UK has also identified problems. Stonewall (2003) using data from a national MORI poll in England found that 64% of people could name at least one minority group to which they felt less positive. Local work in England has provided similar overall findings, and an attitude survey in Cumbria (2004) found prejudices to be “held by a significant cross section of the population” with almost three quarters (73%) of respondents who stated that they were prejudiced against at least one minority group. 2.13 Bromley and Curtice (2003) found some people who believed that it was possible to justify prejudiced views, with more than a quarter of respondents in Scotland (26%) who said that there is sometimes good reason to be prejudiced. They also found that these respondents were those generally
This has been established to carry out an investigation into the causes of persistent discrimination and inequality in British society.
5

7

more likely to adopt a discriminatory viewpoint themselves. Similarly, Valentine and McDonald (2004) reporting the findings of a qualitative study in England, noted that, although respondents considered that it is no longer socially acceptable to be prejudiced for no good reason: “feeling less positive towards a social group is not regarded as prejudice if it can be justified”. In a similar vein, Bromley and Curtice (2003) concluded that: “evidently some kinds of prejudice are still socially acceptable for a considerable minority of people in Scotland”. The Commission for Racial Equality (2004) reiterated this in a study of public attitude campaigning, suggesting that: “despite these limits of intolerance apparently prescribed by society, significant minorities are still content to self-report prejudice”. 2.14 There also appears to be particular acceptance of some forms of expression of prejudice. For example, Valentine and McDonald (2004) found that interviewees justified some types of behaviour they had used, such as jokes, name-calling and verbal abuse. People were also found to use stereotypes which were not intended to be less positive, but which could be experienced as discriminatory. These less overt attitudes can still cause significant problems both for individual people and for the overall approach to equality in society. 2.15 These general findings suggest an overall picture in which, although there is seen to have been some progress, there clearly remain problems with some aspects of public attitudes to equality. The findings suggest that equalities issues are complex and detailed, with nuances of opinion about specific issues. There are mixed (and sometimes contradictory) views within strands, where positive views of some issues co-exist with prejudice or discrimination. There are examples of apparent differences between the perceived level of discrimination and groups’ actual experiences of discrimination. There are sometimes anomalies between the level of recognition of discrimination and the perceived need for additional work. For these reasons, it is impossible to provide a definitive view of, for example, the level of “racism” or “ageism”, or other forms of discrimination in Scotland. 2.16 Instead, the material helps to identify whether such views exist. It is more useful to use the views identified as the basis of highlighting general and specific areas in which there may be a need for further action (e.g. to focus upon and highlight problematic issues) than trying to measure the extent of the problem. As the purpose of this report is to identify the way forward for equalities work, it is these “negative” views which are the important issue, as it is these that require to be tackled. For that reason, the focus of much of the material presented is not upon positive views, but upon the identification of prejudice where it exists (whilst acknowledging the existence of some positive views within strands, although these are not always detailed). It is the identification of the remaining problems which helps to highlight the best means of developing equalities work in the future. Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination 2.17 The existence of prejudice is also borne out by research focusing on actual experiences of discrimination. These often relate to the experiences of discrimination amongst particular groups (discussed later). Overall, however, there is some evidence from general discussion groups about their experiences of this. Edwards and Hatch (2004), for example, reported on a Citizens’ Forum in Manchester which discussed and debated “thinking around equality and fairness in Britain”. They found that over 80% of participants reported having personally experienced discrimination of some form (with many having experienced this on more than one ground). Howard and Tibballs (2003) also

8

found that almost every respondent in their study of how people think about equality in Britain had personal experience of inequality (although most people did not necessarily recognise this as such). Public awareness / recognition of issues 2.18 It is clear from the above that there remain general issues with discriminatory attitudes in the UK. There is also some data relating to the extent to which the public recognise the existence and impact of these views. 2.19 Research findings suggest that there is at least some level of awareness amongst the public of the fact that some groups continue to experience prejudice in Scotland6. For example, Bromley and Curtice (2003) explored what Scottish people considered to be the extent of discriminatory attitudes and found that only 5% of respondents believed that none of the groups which were examined suffered any prejudice (although, as will become clear later, perceptions of the extent of prejudice varied in relation to different groups). Additionally, an IPPR study of attitudes to prejudice found only a small proportion of respondents who believed that people in Britain are not prejudiced against minority groups (Equal Opportunities Review, 1997). 2.20 Similar findings were reported from a local level survey in England (Cumbria County Council, 2004) which found that 92% of respondents acknowledged the existence of prejudice against minority groups. In a series of UK focus groups (including discussion in Scotland) for the equalities review, Eligon (2006) also found that some participants recognised the continuing existence of discriminatory views. Edwards and Hatch (2004), noted that over a third of respondents, when asked how tolerant Britain is as a society, felt that it was “not very” or “not at all” tolerant. 2.21 It is clear, therefore, that there is some awareness of the existence, overall, of some forms of prejudice or discrimination. Against this background, the more specific attitudes to particular groups will be examined, as these provide a more detailed indication of some of the current issues in Scotland. AGE 2.22 There is more limited coverage of public attitudes to older people, children and young people (and the issues affecting them) than is the case for some other groups, although there has been a growing focus on this issue. Age Concern, in a report about ageism in Britain, suggested that: “Ageism is under-researched compared with other types of prejudice”. 2.23 These issues were not covered, for example, in the work by Bromley and Curtice in Scotland, and age discrimination is considered to be one of the “newer” strands of equalities work. There are some findings emerging, however, and Age Concern, for example, has been undertaking specific research in recent years to identify and highlight discrimination against older people. Overall views and perceptions of progress 2.24 There is some material which gives an indication of attitudes to older people, and children and young people, with evidence of some positive views. In relation to older people, a study in Ireland suggested that reactions to attitudinal statements indicated the overwhelming finding of positive attitudes towards older people (McGivern, 2004). There are more mixed, and sometimes

It should also be noted that, even where issues are not widely recognised publicly, this should not be taken to imply that work is not required to tackle them.

6

9

contradictory, views of children and young people with, for example, positive views which can coexist with a range of concerns. 2.25 There is limited data to suggest changes in attitudes to age inequality, perhaps as a result of this having only relatively recently been recognised as an equalities issue, but there is some information relating to changing perceptions of discrimination against older people. This data suggests mixed views of progress, with, on one hand, the suggestion that there is now greater recognition of the issues, while on the other, some findings to suggest that the level of prejudice has increased. 2.26 McGivern (2004), for example, stated that ageism is only now beginning to be taken seriously, and this suggests perhaps rising prominence of the issue. It is also important to stress that there is, arguably, a growing focus upon these issues, and the availability of information is likely to increase in the future. However, a major study by Age Concern suggested that almost a third of people believed that there is more prejudice against older people than was the case five years ago, and more than a quarter believed that there would be even more prejudice in another five years time. Around a third also believed that the shift to an older society would make life worse in terms of factors such as standard of living, security, health and education. 2.27 In terms of changing attitudes to children and young people, there appears to be some evidence of a rise in concerns about youth crime in particular. Anderson et al (2005) found a widespread view in Scotland that the amount of crime committed by young people had increased from a decade ago. It was found that 69% of respondents believed this to be higher, with only 2% perceiving it to be lower. 60% of respondents in Scotland believed that the behaviour of young people was worse than in past. Similarly, MORI (2006a) found that 62% of respondents believed that the number of young offenders had increased in the past two years. Discriminatory views 2.28 There is also evidence from some studies of particular issues about which there can be a lack of understanding, inappropriate assumptions and examples of other discriminatory views. For older people, some of the assumptions and stereotypes are often similar to some of those expressed about disabled people (discussed later). There are also examples of stereotypes of children and young people, and inappropriate assumptions, for example about their involvement in crime. Examples of discriminatory views include, in relation to older people: • A study in Britain in 2000 identified some evidence of “compassionate ageism” with older people often seen as “vulnerable” and “deserving” and described by some respondents, for example, as in need of care and assistance, dependent on others and unable to look after themselves (Vincent et al, 2000) While respondents to an Age Concern survey classified older people as moral, intelligent and admirable, they were also seen as “pitiable” and rarely as “enviable” and the report suggested that there is a prevailing patronising view of older people “as likeable in the context of pity and sympathy rather than being respected” (Age Concern, undated) 11% of respondents in the study in Ireland believed that people in their 50s should give up work to make way for younger people (McGivern, 2004) 56% in the same study believed that older people are too set in their ways and ideas (McGivern, 2004) 42% believed that older people are not willing to listen to young people’s views (McGivern, 2004) One in three respondents in a major survey in Britain said that people over 70 are viewed as incompetent and incapable (Age Concern, undated) Examples in relation to children and young people include:

•

• • • •

2.29

10

• • •

• • •

A MORI survey of adults’ attitudes to teenagers and crime in Britain found that 43% of those who had seen teenagers hanging around their local area were “very” or “quite” worried about their own personal safety (MORI, 2006a) The data gathered for a module in the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey in 2004 looking at public attitudes to young people found that almost half of the respondents agreed that young people have “no respect for older people” (Anderson et al, 2005) Adults in Scotland highlight issues relating to young people in the problems facing their communities. However, the proportion of respondents who said that they had been directly affected by youth crime “quite a lot” or “a great deal” was found to be much lower than the proportion who identified it as being common in their area (Anderson et al, 2005) 40% of adults in Scotland said they would be “slightly worried or uncomfortable” walking past a group of teenagers in a shop doorway, and 6% said they would feel “very worried or uncomfortable” (Anderson et al, 2005) In a study of attitudes to teenagers and crime in Britain, when asked “of 100 crimes recorded by the police, how many do you think are committed by young offenders, that is people aged between 10 and 17” the mean was 47% (MORI, 2006a) In another survey in Britain, when asked to agree or disagree with “young people today have too much freedom and not enough discipline” 79% of respondents agreed and 17% disagreed (Page and Wallace, 2004)

Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination 2.30 There is some material to indicate people’s own experiences of attitudes to older people, and children and young people, and some examples are given. In relation to older people, the main source of information is the major study cited above carried out by Age Concern about ageism in Britain (undated). This suggested that more people reported suffering age discrimination than any other form, and that, from age 55 on, people were nearly twice as likely to have experienced age prejudice than any other form. 2.31 There is also some material focusing upon examples of age discrimination in the workplace, and Fisher (2003) stated, for example, that: “there is little doubt that the UK is an ageist society, particularly when it comes to the workplace”. A poll by Age Concern at the end of 2001 (cited by Fisher, 2003) showed a high level of experience of age discrimination at work, and research from MORI in 2002 showed that prejudice against older people in the workplace did not seem to be diminishing. The Third Age Employment Network also provides examples of age-related discrimination in employment. 2.32 McGivern (2004), in Ireland, provided evidence of ageism and age discrimination which are seen to be embedded in culture and attitudes. Palmore (2001) identified that many older people have experienced ageism in some form (e.g. jokes, name-calling or being treated with less dignity and respect). The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2004) also found strong evidence of ageism and examples of poor access to employment. Older people have also reported experiences of discrimination in service provision. Palmore (2001) cites research to suggest that many older people have experienced an ageist event. Age Concern Scotland, in their response to the “Age Taking Stock” exercise identified evidence from service users to suggest that older people face discrimination in a range of ways. 2.33 There is also evidence of children and young people experiencing discrimination, with issues such as a focus on young people as perpetrators of crime, and a lack of attention to them as victims. It has also been suggested that children and young people’s needs are not always recognised nor met in

11

the provision of services. Children and young people also identify some of the ways in which they are treated by adults, on the basis of stereotypical attitudes to them. In a report by Save the Children (2000) for example, children and young people identified their experience of barriers to participation, including assumptions made by adults about childhood. The report noted that: “children and young people also identified their age and the fact that adults don’t take children’s views seriously as a barrier to participation”. 2.34 Research by the Department for Work and Pensions (2001) with a broad cross-section of 1630 year olds found that a proportion of young people considered that they had experienced some degree of age-related discrimination in the labour market. 2.35 Children and young people (and older people) can also experience specific forms of abuse and violence relating to their age (e.g. Help the Aged, 2006; Donnellan, 2001). They also experience other forms of discrimination and prejudice as a result of being part of other equalities groups, such as, for example LGBT people, people from ethnic minority communities etc. (e.g. Arshad et al, 2004). (It should be noted that this can be true for all equalities groups.) Public awareness / recognition of issues 2.36 Bromley and Curtice, in the major Scottish study of attitudes to discrimination, did not explore perceptions of prejudice faced by older people, or children and young people. There is, however, evidence of mixed views of how widely these issues are recognised. In the Age Concern survey, nearly half of the respondents considered age discrimination to be “fairly” or “very” serious, and the Director General of Age Concern England stated that: “There is recognition of ageism amongst the public”. 2.37 The Equalities Review focus groups also identified older people and children and young people as amongst those treated unfairly, although only 13% of respondents in the Stonewall research in England (2003), for example, identified older people as amongst those most likely to experience discrimination. 2.38 McGivern (2004), in Ireland, noted that many people find it difficult to identify ageism, but identified that there is a greater recognition of this when some more specific aspects of discrimination are explored. McGivern found, for example, that over a third of respondents believed that older people were treated worse than the general population because of their age. More than two thirds considered that people in their 50s and 60s were treated less favourably than younger applicants by employers when seeking work. Nearly half of respondents in the survey for Age Concern believed that employers did not like having older people on the workforce, as it “spoils their image”. 2.39 Additionally, although there is recognition of some issues relating to abuse and violence against specific age groups, there are also some aspects of this which are less well-recognised. Edwards and Hatch (2004) identified low public awareness of age-related discrimination generally, and there is limited evidence of the recognition of discrimination against children and young people. DISABILITY 2.40 There is considerable material relating to public attitudes to disabled people and disability issues, both from Scotland and the UK more widely. Overall views and perceptions of progress

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2.41 A range of studies suggest that most attitudes to disabled people are seldom overtly discriminatory. Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that, in Scotland, people were less likely to express discriminatory attitudes about disabled people than about some other groups. 2.42 The Scottish Council Foundation (2005), in a study commissioned by the Disability Rights Commission to bring together information about the position of disabled people in Scotland, also noted that, on the surface, the attitudes expressed by Scottish people about disabled people are almost uniformly positive. 2.43 Similarly, Stonewall (2003), in their work in England, found that only 2% of respondents said that they feel less positive to physically disabled people and they noted that people indicated feeling most comfortable overall with disabled people compared to other groups (Stonewall, 2003). Similar findings have been reported in European work (e.g. Eurobarometer survey, 2001). Additionally, in Valentine and McDonald’s qualitative study in England, no interviewees openly acknowledged being prejudiced against disabled people. In this case, Valentine and McDonald argued that this was not necessarily because it was less socially acceptable, but may have been because disabled people were not seen to be an economic or cultural threat to the white majority population. 2.44 It has also been suggested that there have been positive changes to attitudes to disabled people in recent years. For example, the research conducted in Scotland in July 2005 as part of the examination of the current position of disabled people in Scotland (Scottish Council Foundation, 2005) found that disabled people in the focus groups believed that the public were now prepared to “help” more (especially people with physical impairments). 2.45 Some participants in the groups suggested that disability had been hidden in the past, but respondents generally felt that attitudes had improved over the last ten years. They identified that some of the issues faced by disabled people are now discussed more openly. Additionally, disabled people in the groups suggested that the language used to describe disabled people is now more “politically correct”. It was suggested that changing attitudes were linked to changes such as the DDA, media coverage, the disability movement and growing engagement by policy makers with disabled people. 2.46 Grewal et al (2002) reporting research carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions to explore general attitudes to disability, also suggested that the vast majority of people felt that the position of disabled people had improved in the past 20 years or so (whilst acknowledging that barriers remain). 2.47 It has also been suggested that there is evidence of changing attitudes to mental health in Scotland. Well Scotland, commenting on the findings of the national Scottish survey of public attitudes to mental health, noted, for example, that: “There were significant, positive changes in attitude towards people with mental health problems between 2002 and 2004, particularly relating to perceived dangerousness and issues associated with the protection of the general public”. Participants in the focus groups undertaken as part of the Scottish Council Foundation research (2005), however, suggested that there remain problems with negative attitudes to people with mental health problems. 2.48 It has also been suggested that there have been some changes to attitudes to people with learning disabilities. A survey by MENCAP (2005) suggested that people with a learning disability were starting to take a more active role in the community, and that this was generally welcomed by the public (Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities, undated).

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2.49 There is also evidence of increasing awareness of the DDA in Scotland. The Disability Rights Commission, for example, has undertaken four annual Scottish Disability Awareness Surveys focusing on the impact of the Disability Discrimination Act, as well as the profile of the Commission and public awareness of disability issues. These studies note a rise in awareness of the DDA between 2001 and 2004 from 36% to 52% (DRC, 2005). Discriminatory views 2.50 Despite these perceived changes, however, there are also examples of some respondents (albeit a minority in many cases) with more discriminatory views of disabled people. These include views based upon stereotypical assumptions, a lack of understanding or more overt hostility. Examples include: • • In a study of attitudes towards, and experiences of disability in Britain, it was found that people have different beliefs about what disability is, and the most dominant images are of people in wheelchairs and blind people (Grewal et al, 2002) Evidence from a Northern Ireland survey suggests that public attitudes to disabled people are characterised “by a rather narrow conception of the nature of disability, a concern to maintain a degree of social distance … and reactions dominated by feelings of pity and sympathy” (Acheson, 2005) In focus groups carried out in England, some interviewees expressed anxiety about how to respond to disabled people, and described being uncomfortable or self-conscious (Valentine and McDonald, 2004) In Scotland, in 2003, 4% of respondents expressed a preference for an MSP who is not disabled and 12% said a wheelchair user would be very or fairly unsuitable as a primary school teacher (Bromley and Curtice, 2003) Some studies also suggest particular issues with mental health, for example: Surveys of the public consistently show confusion about what mental distress is (MIND Factsheet) In a 1997 MORI survey, 32% of those questioned classed learning disability as a mental illness (MIND Factsheet) Participants in a qualitative study in England expressed ignorance of mental health issues and a wariness about how to respond in the street to people they considered to have mental health issues (Valentine and McDonald, 2004) Respondents to a survey by the Royal College of Psychiatrists saw people with mental health problems as difficult to communicate and empathise with (MIND Factsheet) In a study of attitudes to disability in Britain, when given hypothetical situations, most people were inclined to help disabled people out. However, situations involving a person with a mental health problem produced more mixed reactions (Grewal et al, 2002) In a 1995 survey, only 6% picked childminder, police officer, doctor or nurse as jobs that they would be happy for someone with a history of mental illness to do. The most popular selections were road sweeper, actor, comedian and farm worker (MIND Factsheet)

• •

2.51 • • • • • •

2.52 Throughout many of the studies, the need to continue to address discriminatory attitudes to disability emerged repeatedly. This was recognised in the Scottish Council Foundation’s focus groups in Scotland in 2005, which highlighted a number of areas in which improvements were seen to continue to be required. As has been noted previously, Bromley and Curtice (2003) also stressed that even if only a few respondents expressed discriminatory views, this cannot be taken to indicate that discrimination does not happen. Similarly, addressing inequality and discrimination is about tackling these views wherever they exist, rather than being dependent on some measure of their level.

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Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination 2.53 From disabled people’s own experiences of public attitudes and discrimination, a clear picture emerges to confirm that, despite a relative lack of overt prejudice, there remain significant problems with some aspects of public attitudes to disabled people in Scotland and elsewhere. Some examples are given below. 2.54 There is evidence of discrimination in employment, and the Scottish Executive (2003), for example, reported that 32% of disabled people were in work compared to 79% of non-disabled people. A MORI poll for the Disability Rights Commission in 2005 found that one in three respondents in Scotland feared they might lose their job if they became disabled (DRC, 2005). 2.55 A study in Northern Ireland showed that almost half of disabled people had difficulties accessing services (Equality Commission for Northern Ireland, 2002), and a Eurobarometer study (2002) found that Europeans considered access for disabled people to a range of services and provision to be very difficult. 2.56 The Scottish Council Foundation (2005), in drawing together information about the position of disabled people in Scotland, found that disabled people still face a lot of barriers, with evidence of the importance of stereotypes in shaping reported attitudes. Attitudinal barriers have also been found to have a particular impact on some aspects of young disabled people’s lives (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2002). The DRC Awareness Survey (2003) identified that 1 in 5 disabled Scots had experienced harassment because of their disability. 2.57 Approximately half of the disabled people (47%) who responded to a survey in Scotland identified that they had experienced hate crime because of their disability (DRC, 2004a). The survey suggested that there appeared to be more predominance of attacks against people with mental health problems, learning disabilities and visual impairments. In 2004, the Evening News (reporting a survey by the mental health campaign “See Me”) stated that 16% of Scots with mental health problems had experienced physical abuse or intimidation at work and 21% had been verbally abused at work. The National Schizophrenia Fellowship (2001) reported that 41% of people with mental health problems had experienced harassment, compared with 15% of the general population. 2.58 DEMOS (2004) noted that a report on “disablism” showed that disabled people suffered discrimination and oppression in all aspects of their lives. Public awareness / recognition of issues 2.59 Despite this evidence, in terms of public recognition of the issues, studies have also shown that disabled people are considered to experience less prejudice in Scotland than is the case for some other groups (Bromley and Curtice, 2003). 2.60 There is, however, some recognition of the existence of prejudice among some members of the public in Scotland. Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that around a third of respondents (31%) thought there remains “a great deal”, or “quite a lot” of prejudice against disabled people in Scotland, and 45% that there was “a little” (although 17% thought that there was “none”). The Disability Rights Commission found, in 2004, that 61% of respondents believed that society in Scotland treats disabled people differently, and 43% did not believe that disabled people were treated fairly (DRC, 2004c). 2.61 In the Stonewall study in England (2003) it was also found that 24% of respondents identified physically disabled people as amongst those most likely to experience prejudice or discrimination. The focus groups for the Equalities Review also recognised discrimination against disabled people (Eligon, 2006). Grewal et al (2002), in looking at disability in Britain found that the majority of people felt that prejudice against disabled people is common.

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2.62 Edwards and Hatch (2004) highlighted evidence that suggests that there may be different views of the experiences of particular groups of disabled people. They found, for example, lower public awareness of unfair treatment towards people with mental health problems and learning disabilities (although, as noted previously, studies have indicated particular issues with attitudes to people with mental health problems). GENDER 2.63 There is also considerable research relating to views of gender issues, both in Scotland and in the UK. Overall views and perceptions of progress 2.64 As with disabled people, studies have indicated that people in Scotland are less likely to express discriminatory views against women than some other groups. For example, this was found by Bromley and Curtice in their 2003 report (although, again, as was the case for disabled people, this does not mean that women do not experience discriminatory attitudes). 2.65 Studies of attitudes to gender often focus upon particular issues, and the commonest appear to be: attitudes to family and gender roles; attitudes to work and pay; and attitudes to violence against women. Amongst these views, some studies have identified developments in recent years. 2.66 The data suggests that there appears to have been a shift in views of the level of agreement with “traditional” gender roles. For example, Jowell et al (2000) reported an overall picture “more of convergence than divergence” between men and women and stated that: “long standing prejudices and practice have both been changing very rapidly in recent times”. 2.67 It has been found that there have been some changes to family roles, and Alexander and Davies (2001) cite research which indicates that men’s expectations of involvement in childcare and family life are greater than the previous generation. Research with mothers of babies in Britain supported the positive picture of fathers’ involvement in the first year of their child’s life that emerged from a survey of fathers (Yaxley et al, 2005). However, many women still believe that they have overall responsibility for running the household. The EOC, in research in advance of a campaign about sex stereotyping in 2001, found that men now take a more active role in the home than was the case with their fathers (although they also found that there are some tasks they remain unwilling to do). Although some of their views were also evident in their children, it was suggested that there are now more egalitarian views. 2.68 A paper considering “Gender Equality in the 21st Century in Scotland” cited research with three generations which found that all of them valued, in principle, equal pay and employment being open to men and women (Alexander and Davies, 2001). The majority of young people in an EOC survey were found to think that the jobs of doctors, head teachers, MPs and research scientists are equally suitable for women and men (EOC, undated). Almost all respondents to an ICM survey in marginal constituencies in Britain for the EOC in 2005 believed that women should have their own individual pension rights and should not have to rely on their husband or partner (EOC, 2006). 2.69 The finding from Bromley and Curtice that 11% of respondents (13% of men and 10% of women) in Scotland agreed that “a man’s job is to earn money; a woman’s job is to look after the home and family” is a change from 1984, when the British Social Attitudes Survey found that 41% of women and 45% of men agreed with this. Bromley and Curtice (2003) suggested that:

16

“while there is still some evidence of the gender stereotyping of women’s position in the labour market, discriminatory attitudes in respect of women together with disabled people appear to be far less prevalent. This is not to suggest that people are less likely to hold discriminatory views relating to women and disabled people, but simply that these views are harder to uncover within the general population”. 2.70 The EOC also suggested that attitudes to supporting working parents have changed, finding that respondents under 45 were more strongly in favour of improved policies to help parents in the workplace than was the case for older people. Respondents under 45 were also found to have more egalitarian attitudes to the involvement of fathers in sharing parental responsibilities. Page and Wallace (2004) also noted improvements to attitudes to the provision of support, and reported a 2001 survey which stated that the proportion of parents of children 0-14 saying that their employer was “family friendly” increased from 54% - 64% between 1999 and 2001. In Howard and Tibballs’ focus groups discussing equality in Britain, however, it was found that for some respondents (particularly older respondents), there was seen to have been “too much” change, with concern about the impact on children of working mothers. 2.71 Alexander and Davies (2001), discussing gender equality in the 21st century in Scotland, highlighted research by NOP Family on behalf of the EOC which found that three generations involved felt that equality measures had been effective in equalising opportunities for men and women. The respondents also suggested that there were more opportunities for women, and held the view that attitudes to women had changed for the better. ESRC research (undated) with 5000 British households, however, suggested that Britain had been relatively slow to change its gender role attitudes in comparison to Germany and the US. 2.72 There is also seen to have been some change in perceptions of some aspects of violence against women. Amnesty International (2006) noted that there had been a reduction in recent years in the proportion of people who felt that violence against women was justified. Research published in 2006 by NHS Scotland reported the findings of a survey of the views of nearly 1400 young people and found that attitudes towards violence in relationships have improved in recent years. The study suggested that most young people consider domestic abuse to be “very serious” (Sunday Herald, 2006). It has also been suggested (The Herald, 2005) on the basis of evaluation findings that the domestic abuse campaign, which has focused upon public awareness of this issue since 1998, has heightened awareness and changed attitudes in Scotland. The Scottish Executive (2003) in a progress report relating to equalities work suggested that: “Through award-winning advertising the Executive has dramatically changed the climate in which domestic abuse is being tackled”. 2.73 The most recent post campaign evaluation (Wave 9) suggests that there are relatively strong views in relation to domestic abuse as being unacceptable, although there remain some problematic perceptions (TNS System Three, 2006b). The same work indicates that there is strong recognition in Scotland that psychological or mental abuse is just as bad as actual physical abuse. Discriminatory views 2.74 As with disability, however, despite perceptions of progress, studies continue to highlight views which indicate a lack of understanding, stereotyping and other discriminatory attitudes in relation to work, family roles and violence against women. 2.75 In relation to work and gender, examples include:

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• • • • • • • • • • •

In Scotland, 4% of people in a survey expressed a preference for a male MSP and 28% said that women are more suitable than men as primary school teachers (Bromley and Curtice, 2003) In Scotland, female apprentices suggested that co-workers often doubted their abilities in traditional industries (Thomson et al, 2005a) Negative attitudes of spouses and partners were found to be a barrier to women working in all-male environments (Thomson et al, 2005a) Negative attitudes in the childcare sector affect the recruitment of men (Thomson et al, 2005b) An NOP Family poll carried out with 11-16 year olds across Britain found a contradiction between young people’s views of suitable jobs for women and men, and the choices they make themselves (EOC, undated) Employers’ views of the role of women in having children has been seen to lead to discrimination in recruitment in Scotland (Thomson et al, 2005a) A substantial number of men and women in Europe in the mid-90s agreed that when jobs are scarce, men should have priority over women (European Commission, 1996) Nearly 40% of employers in a survey, as part of an EOC investigation, said that a prevailing workplace culture with negative attitudes to working mothers in general was the main reason employers discriminated against pregnant women (EOC, 2004b) Research on employers’ attitudes to pregnant women suggests that some employers see pregnant women as less hard working, less committed, more emotional and irrational (James, 2004) Almost half of the working women who are pregnant in Britain each year are likely to experience some form of disadvantage (EOC, 2005) Some employers expressing discriminatory views to pregnant women were found in Scotland (Young and Morrell, 2005) In relation to family roles, examples include: Parents continue to treat sons and daughters differently, with boys having greater freedom and girls more likely to be asked to do housework. (Alexander and Davies, 2001) An NOP Family poll carried out with 11-16 year olds across Britain for the EOC in 2001 suggested that gender stereotyping has a huge impact on young people’ lives (EOC, undated) A significant minority of young men in a 1999 study in England (about a third) had fairly traditional views of domestic responsibilities and those with traditional views of the home also had traditional views of the workplace (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 1999) More than one in ten in Scotland (11%) agreed that “a man’s job is to earn money; a woman’s job is to look after the home and family”, rising to 30% of those aged over 65 (Bromley and Curtice, 2003) In relation to violence against women, examples include: Research by Amnesty International in 2005 found that a third of British people considered a woman to be partially or completely to blame for being raped if she had behaved in a flirtatious manner (The Scotsman, November 2005) More than a quarter believed a woman to be at least partly responsible for being raped if she wore sexy or revealing clothing, or was drunk (The Scotsman, November 2005) One in 5 thought a woman was partly to blame if it was known she had had many sexual partners (The Scotsman, November 2005) More than a third believed a woman to be responsible for rape to some degree if she had failed to say “no” (The Scotsman, November 2005)

2.76 • • • •

2.77 • • • •

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• •

In a report of a survey of the views of young people aged 14-18 across Scotland, it was found that 5% of young men admitted trying to force their girlfriends to have sex (Sunday Herald, 2006) In Scotland, 7% of people agreed that sexual coercion was acceptable (Scottish Executive, 2006)

Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination 2.78 There is also a large amount of indirect evidence of the continuation of discriminatory attitudes to women (some examples of which are given). In the workplace, for example, the Scottish Executive (2003) noted that evidence demonstrates that women are amongst the lowest paid workers and concentrated in lowest paid occupations. The continuing existence of the gender pay gap is welldocumented. 2.79 The EOC noted in 2000 that women experience disadvantage in employment, pay, opportunities for progression and equal participation in public life. James (2004) identified that many pregnant women continue to experience discriminatory treatment at work and the EOC (2006) suggested that sex equality is a “thin veneer” that cracks for many women when they have caring responsibilities. There are continuing issues with experiences of a range of aspects of gender stereotyping and with violence against women. Amnesty International (2006) noted that one in five women in Scotland experience domestic abuse at some point in their life. The Sunday Herald (2006) reported that Scottish research showed that 12% of teenagers had been physically hurt or frightened during a fight or argument with a boyfriend or girlfriend. There are varying figures about how common rape and sexual abuse are (and problems with under-reporting), but Rape Crisis Scotland and other organisations continue to deal with a large number of women annually. 2.80 Howard and Tibballs (2003) identified that most women respondents in their discussions about equality felt that they had experienced discrimination, either directly or through family and friends. Their main concerns were found to be a lack of support to combine work and family roles, along with sexism in their working, personal and social lives. The EOC Scotland in 2005 identified assumptions that gender equality has been achieved, but points out that, on the basis of a range of evidence, this is not the case. Public awareness / recognition of issues 2.81 Again, despite the evidence of discriminatory attitudes, attitude surveys suggest that people consider that there is less prejudice against women in Scotland than is the case for some others. Studies also suggest gaps in awareness of some particular issues. 2.82 For example, Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that only a fifth of respondents (20%) thought that there is “a great deal”, or “quite a lot” of prejudice against women in Scotland, while 46% thought there is “a little” and almost a third (31%) that there is “none”. Howard and Tibballs (2003) in their study of how people think about equality in Britain also found little support for the idea that women are unequal in society today. (Many of the respondents in the latter study were found to have a “resigned” attitude to prejudice they experienced, with a strong sense of having to take personal responsibility and “get on with life”.) 2.83 In terms of more specific issues, there is some evidence of public awareness of violence against women. For example, a poll by Amnesty International Scotland carried out in 2005 found that most respondents (95%) believed that violence against women was still a problem in Scotland. Additionally, although there are seen to have been some improvements in attitudes to domestic abuse, research has identified low awareness of some other issues. A study by Amnesty International, reported in the Scotsman in November 2005, revealed large scale public ignorance about rape and found that the majority of British people (96%) did not know the extent of the problem in the UK. 19

There are also other aspects of violence against women about which there may be lower levels of awareness. 2.84 There is, however, evidence of recognition of some employment issues. Work undertaken in Scotland in 2006 as part of the Equalities Review focus groups found a high level of concern about gender inequalities in the workplace, and earlier studies have found similar concerns. For example, an EOC study (EOC, 1999), found that 63% of senior decision makers felt that job opportunities were worse for women than men, and 76% recognised that promotion opportunities were worse. A 1996 study by the European Commission identified that most Europeans thought that women were at a disadvantage compared to men in the workplace, in decision making, salary, the occupations open to them and the chances of promotion. EOC research in 1999, however, found a low level of awareness of the gender pay gap (in advance of a campaign to tackle this). 2.85 Overall, therefore, as with disability, the general pattern appears to be one of some, but limited recognition of gender-based prejudice and discrimination, and some gaps in recognition of specific aspects of this. RACE 2.86 There have been a number of studies of public attitudes to ethnic minority groups, with a growing body of knowledge in Scotland relating to these issues. Overall views and perceptions of progress 2.87 It has been found that it is more likely that people will express discriminatory views about ethnic minority communities than some other groups (such as disabled people and women). This was one of the findings of the work in Scotland by Bromley and Curtice (2003), and is supported in findings from studies in other parts of the UK. 2.88 It is clear from the findings that there are mixed views of race equality issues (as with other strands) but there are many examples of the expression of discriminatory views about ethnic minority groups. It has also been noted that some of the findings overlap with the data relating to attitudes to some religious / faith groups (discussed later), and the basis of discrimination (i.e. race, or religion or belief, or both) is not always clear cut. The issues are, however, different, and are treated separately in this report. 2.89 As is the case for other equalities issues, there are also mixed views of the extent of change, both in the UK and in Scotland. Singh (2000), for example, noted that there had been some real progress in race equality in the UK in the last 40 years, with the “crude discrimination” of the 1940s and 50s no longer existing. For example: “I believe that we have made progress. We have a long way to go, but compared to the language and attitudes that I have come across in dealings in some European countries, it makes me think that as a country we have made progress and the environment we have now creates a real opportunity to deliver some real change”. 2.90 Singh also noted, however, that discrimination persists, and mixed (and sometimes contradictory) views of progress are also identified in the wider population. For example, the 2005 Citizenship Survey (relating to England and Wales) found that 48 per cent of people believed there to be more racial prejudice than there was five years ago. At the same time, however, it was found that 80% of people believed that they lived in an area where people from different backgrounds got on. A further study in a local area in England, found that 41% of people felt that Britain as a whole had become more racially prejudiced in the last 5 years, and the same proportion thought that this would increase in the next 5 years (Cumbria County Council, 2004).

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2.91 Mixed findings of progress are also identified in relation to Scotland, and the evaluation work undertaken to assess the impact of the anti-racism campaign “One Scotland” provides useful data about changing attitudes. For example, a Scottish Executive report in 2003 suggested that the campaign had had a “high impact”. Research in 2004 (TNS System Three, 2004) then found that more Scots people regarded racism as a serious issue and suggested, overall that there had been progress in some areas (although that report highlighted a number of issues on which there had been little change in attitudes since 2001 / 2002, and the findings were not always reported positively in the press). 2.92 The 2005 research to evaluate the campaign (TNS System Three, 2005) suggested a considerable change in attitudes and perceptions in relation to racism in Scotland. It found, for example: • • • • A rise in the proportion of people who agreed that people in Scotland ought to do more to stop racism occurring here A fall in the proportion of people believing that people are justified in verbally attacking asylum seekers who get housing and benefits in Scotland A fall in the proportion who believe that people from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds living in Scotland expect too much help from the government A fall in the number believing that there is a real danger of race riots occurring soon in parts of Scotland

The 2006 research suggested that there has been a real movement over time in the “unacceptability of indirect verbal racist comments” (TNS System Three, 2006a). 2.93 Overall, the 2005 research suggested some positive trends in the acceptance of people from other backgrounds in Scotland. There was an increase to almost two thirds of respondents (61%) who believed that people who come to live in Scotland from other ethnic and cultural backgrounds enrich Scottish culture. This trend continued in the research published in 2006 (TNS System Three, 2006a). Additionally, in 2005, over three quarters believed that Scottish people are generally warm and friendly towards people from other backgrounds who live here (TNS System Three, 2005). It noted that the 2005 findings suggested a shift in broader attitudes, with a greater acceptance of multiculturalism and less division on the grounds of race. There has been little change across the studies in the number of respondents overall in Scotland who perceived themselves as racist (TNS System Three, 2006a). 2.94 Again, however, recent findings have been mixed, and some raise concerns. The 2005 study found a significant decline in the perceived “seriousness” of racism as a problem in Scotland (a view which the report noted is at odds with the statistical reality) and this declined further in 2006. The 2005 research also identified a decline in perceptions of the “extremes” of behaviour as racist. There was also a rise in the level of agreement with the view that people from other cultural or ethnic backgrounds can be racist in their attitudes towards Scottish people, and a rise in the proportion believing that people from ethnic backgrounds living in Scotland should do more to fit in with the Scottish way of life (with a further rise in 2006). 2.95 As well as general issues relating to race equality and racism, it has been suggested that there have been specific changes in views relating to immigration and asylum in the UK. MORI (2006b), for example, identified that research has shown that concern about race relations and immigration has grown from the late 1990s. They identified that this is now seen to be the third most important issue facing Britain, where it “barely registered” in 1997. Saggar and Drean (2001), in examining British public attitudes identified that the rise in the number of asylum seekers corresponded directly with significant rises in indicators of intolerance.

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2.96 Although this is clearly seen to be an important issue in Scotland too, it has also been suggested that the picture may be slightly different here. For example, a YouGov/Mail on Sunday poll (2005) found that while over 50% of people living in England and Wales cited immigration and asylum in their top three political issues, this figure dropped to 36% of Scottish respondents (Lewis, 2006). 2.97 The same report (Lewis, 2006), based upon findings from focus groups in Scotland, suggested that work by the Scottish Executive had made a difference, particularly in relation to immigration. Lewis suggested that the Fresh Talent initiative and the “One Scotland” campaign had helped people in Scotland to understand the positive impacts of migration (with people in Scotland more supportive of migration than in England). Lewis also noted that polling data on attitudes to migration indicate more moderate views in Scotland (whilst also noting, however, that the evidence is contradictory, and that there has been no specific focus upon asylum). Discriminatory views 2.98 As with other equalities issues, it becomes clear from the data that there remain issues relating to discriminatory attitudes in Scotland, which can be identified in UK and Scottish research. There are examples of a lack of understanding of issues, stereotyping and overtly discriminatory attitudes. These include: • • A paper summarising British public opinion on ethnic minority groups and immigrants found a considerable degree of hostility to ethnic minority groups and ethnic minority immigrants or asylum seekers (Saggar and Drean, 2001) The British population has a “highly erroneous impression” of the number of ethnic minority groups and migrants in the UK. In one poll, the average estimate was that the size of the UK ethnic minority population was 26%, whereas the correct figure was closer to 7% (Saggar and Drean, 2001) The British population tends to confuse ethnic minority groups, immigrants and asylum seekers (Saggar and Drean, 2001) An examination of British attitudes reported that 25% of respondents described themselves as either “very prejudiced” or “a little prejudiced” against people of other races (Rothon and Heath, 2003) In research to evaluate the “One Scotland” campaign, a similar proportion of people in Scotland (23%) regarded themselves as at least slightly racist (TNS System Three, 2006a) A 2005 report noted that 10 percent of Scots believe there is “nothing wrong in attacking people from another ethnic background” (CRE Scotland, 2005) In an analysis of Scottish Social Attitudes Survey data, 64% of majority Scots cited birthplace as determining whether or not you were a true Scot, and 18% said that you had to be “white” (Hussain and Miller, cited in McAspurren, 2005) 11% of respondents to a survey in Scotland said that they would prefer a white MSP (Bromley and Curtice, 2003) The same study found that more than half (52%) of respondents in Scotland believed that most people in Scotland would mind if one of their close relatives were to marry someone from a different racial or ethnic background, and 17% said that they would mind themselves (Bromley and Curtice, 2003) In a survey in England, 1 in 10 respondents stated that they would feel uncomfortable if a GP was a different ethnic group to their own (Stonewall, 2003) In a study in Glasgow, a significant minority of respondents expressed concern about people of a different race and refugees / asylum seekers becoming their neighbours (NFO Social Research, 2003) In the same study, skin colour, race and country of origin were all commonly mentioned as reasons for discrimination

• • • • • • •

• • •

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In 2005, 45% of respondents in Scotland believed that they would be worried if more people from other ethnic or cultural backgrounds came to live in Scotland (TNS System Three, 2005) The Scotsman (2004) reported a survey of attitudes to immigration which found that 60% of Scots were concerned that too many incomers from the ten new member states of the EU would arrive in Scotland and would put a strain on a range of services

2.99 Alongside general attitudes, again there have been found to be particular views of some individual ethnic minority groups. A number of studies highlight discriminatory views of refugees / asylum seekers (e.g. Cumbria County Council, 2004; Stonewall, 2003) and Gypsy / Travellers (e.g. Stonewall, 2003; Valentine and McDonald, 2004; Cumbria County Council, 2004) in this context. Examples of findings include: • • • • • • • • • • Stonewall, in England, found refugees / asylum seekers to be cited frequently (34%) as a minority group people feel less positive about (Stonewall, 2003) While focus group research in Scotland found greater tolerance of asylum seekers in Scotland than England, and found that many people supported the principle of asylum, it was noted that this largely positive picture hid “a more worrying set of views” (Lewis, 2006) Most people interviewed in Glasgow were very hostile to asylum seekers (Lewis 2006) Young people in three focus group areas in Scotland were quite intolerant of asylum seekers and were comfortable expressing some prejudice (Lewis, 2006) In research to evaluate the “One Scotland” campaign, 21% of people in Scotland agreed that people are justified in verbally attacking asylum seekers who get housing and benefits in Scotland (Scottish Executive, 2005) Amongst young people in another study, refugees and asylum seekers were prominent amongst groups identified as being disliked (Joseph Rowntree Foundation, 2005) Many people in Scotland feel that asylum seekers are a threat to jobs, and concern has been identified about the impact of asylum seekers on public services (Lewis, 2006) There is some perception that, while other forms of racism are socially unacceptable, there are no “social sanctions” for expressing prejudice against asylum seekers A study found Gypsy / Travellers to be the group cited most commonly (35%) as a minority group people feel less positive about (Stonewall, 2003) In a study in Northern Ireland, most respondents were not willing to accept Travellers as residents in their local area (57%), as colleagues at work (66%), as close friends (70%) or as relatives by marriage (77%) (Connolly & Keenan, 2000)

2.100 Valentine and McDonald (2004) found in their study that Asian people were also amongst those who attracted the most open animosity. They also suggested that distinctions are made between views of different minority groups in terms of how “visible” they are. Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination 2.101 In terms of personal experiences of racism, there is again evidence of the existence of such attitudes in Scotland. Lewis (2006) identified that: “Racism is certainly prevalent, if not common, in Scotland”. There is evidence of a rise in reported racist incidents from year to year, suggesting that many ethnic minority people experience racist abuse and violence. The 2006 research to evaluate the “One Scotland” campaign found that the level of people exposed to racist behaviour had increased to its highest level since the tracking began. A total of 16% stated that they had personally been a victim of racist behaviour. A total of 38% of respondents stated that they had witnessed racial abuse (TNS System Three, 2006a). The 2005 Citizenship Survey found that, in England and Wales, 37% of people from ethnic minority groups felt that they would be treated worse than other races by at least one

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public service. The same study found that, among people from ethnic minority groups who said that they had been treated unfairly at work, half (50%) felt that it was because of race. 2.102 Arshad et al (2004) found that direct and indirect racism were a daily feature for most ethnic minority young people interviewed in Scotland, and all of the young people involved in their study provided examples of this. A quarter of Scots in 2002 were found to acknowledge that they had perpetrated racist abuse (System Three, 2002). 2.103 The EOC in Scotland (2006), in its summary of findings from the Scottish element of the formal investigation into visible ethnic minority women in the labour market, suggested that research identified racial inequality in the employment experiences of ethnic minority people in Scotland. Nearly all of the women involved in their study gave examples of racism and discrimination, and personal experiences of discrimination were raised frequently in the focus groups. 2.104 There are also examples of discrimination experienced by specific groups, and CERES (undated) noted that the majority of refugee children experience some racist name calling at school or in the community. A study in Northern Ireland noted that Gypsy / Travellers identified prejudice as a factor limiting their participation in education, employment and in accessing services. The CRE in Scotland, in developing a strategy relating to Gypsies and Travellers, identified that research had indicated their experiences of a range of types of discrimination (including racism and discrimination in access to services). These examples, as with other equalities strands, bear out some of the attitudes which have been identified earlier. Public awareness / recognition of issues 2.105 There is a relatively high level of recognition of prejudice against ethnic minority groups. In Scotland, for example, Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that respondents considered ethnic minority groups to be amongst those more likely to experience prejudice. They found that over half (56%) of respondents thought there was “a great deal”, or “quite a lot” of prejudice against ethnic minority groups in Scotland, while 32% thought that there was “a little” and only 9% that there was none. 2.106 Similarly in a local study in Argyll and Bute, although there was perceived to be limited prejudice overall against minority groups, race / ethnicity was seen to be one of the most likely bases for this, where it did occur. The focus groups for the Equalities Review also recognised discrimination against ethnic minority groups (Eligon, 2006). The majority of respondents (79%) to a survey of sectarianism in Glasgow believed that there was either “a great deal”, or “some” prejudice against Black and Asian people (NFO Social Research 2003). 2.107 Within ethnic minority groups, it has also been suggested that there is also some recognition of discrimination against particular groups (linking to the earlier findings about expressed prejudice). For example, the majority of respondents (85%) to the survey of sectarianism in Glasgow believed that there was either a great deal of, or some prejudice against refugees / asylum seekers (NFO Social Research 2003). Similarly, when respondents in the Stonewall study were asked to identify people seen to be most likely to experience prejudice / discrimination, 50% identified refugees / asylum seekers. More than a third (38%) identified Gypsy / Travellers (Stonewall, 2003). RELIGION OR BELIEF 2.108 As was found with older people, and children and young people, there is perhaps a more limited range of material about public perceptions of religion / faith groups than is the case for some of the longer established equalities issues, although a small number of commentators have provided a substantial amount of material. Discrimination on the basis of religion or belief has been identified as a complex area, in which there is considerable debate (which clearly cannot be reflected fully in a report such as this). Some of the issues which have emerged, however, are outlined below. 24

Overall views and perceptions of progress 2.109 There are two aspects of discrimination on the basis of religion or belief upon which much of the current information centres. One relates to perceptions of Muslims in the UK and in Scotland. The second relates to the experiences of Catholics and Protestants in Scotland. 2.110 There has been considerable debate about whether there have been changes to attitudes to religious and faith groups in recent years. Although the respondents involved were in England and Wales, the recent 2005 Citizenship Survey, for example, found that about half of the respondents felt that levels of religious prejudice had increased in Britain over the last five years (Kitchen et al, 2006). 2.111 In relation specifically to Scotland, there have been some more positive comments about different religious groups and about change. For example, on the basis of the findings of a 2006 study using social attitude data to assess “street level prejudice” (which focused heavily on attitudes to Muslims in Scotland), one author suggested that devolution has made the majority Scots more relaxed, more receptive and more welcoming, as well as more proud of Scotland (BBC News, July 2006). As with some other strands, however, there is evidence of positive and less positive views of some religious / faith groups in Scotland, sometimes co-existing in the same study. 2.112 Learning and Teaching Scotland raise a particular trend, pointing to a general increase in Islamophobia in Britain, noting that: “Government consultations and research have all suggested the rise in hostility towards Muslims”. The Forum Against Islamophobia and Racism also notes that there has been a rise in Islamophobia, and suggests that the activities of far right organisations now focus more on religion, and have become more weighted against Muslim communities. 2.113 The results of a very recent YouGov poll (reported in August 2006) also found that the number of people expressing their concerns about a perceived threat from Islam had risen from less than a third five years ago to more than half. Other evidence from the same survey identified further examples of rising Islamophobia. Additionally among the respondents to the 2005 Citizenship Survey (cited earlier) who considered prejudice to have increased, there was a marked rise in the proportion who cited Muslims as a group experiencing more prejudice, with 37% in 2005, compared with 17% in 2003 (Kitchen et al, 2006). 2.114 There are mixed views about whether sectarianism (in relation to Catholics and Protestants) remains a problem in Scotland. There is a large amount of material about this (although not all of this is based primarily upon public attitudes data). In a review of key recent studies, McAspurren (2005) summarised that few authors would argue that sectarian or religious discrimination is now extinct in Scotland, but noted that there are varied views about its extent, and the extent to which this has changed. 2.115 Bruce et al (2004) are amongst those who suggest that few people experience discrimination because of their religion in Scotland now. They note that only 1% of Catholics reported any experience of discrimination against them personally due to their religion, as well as suggesting that workplace discrimination has not been experienced in recent years. Other studies, however, show that many respondents believe that this remains an issue, and a study in Glasgow found that approximately two thirds of those interviewed disagreed that “discrimination along sectarian lines no longer exists” (NFO Social Research, 2003). Public attitudes to their own experiences of discrimination in Scotland are discussed later.

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Discriminatory views 2.116 Whatever the nature of changes, there is some evidence of discriminatory attitudes in Scotland amongst some members of the population in relation to Muslims and other religious / faith groups. For example: • • • In a survey in Glasgow, a significant minority of respondents expressed concern about Muslims becoming their neighbours (NFO Social Research, 2003) More than half of majority Scots (52%) in an analysis of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey module on Islamophobia and Anglophobia were apprehensive of a Muslim influx into Scotland (Hussain and Miller, cited in McAspurren, 2005) In the same analysis of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey module on Islamophobia and Anglophobia, it was found that 4% of majority Scots said that they would be unhappy to work side by side with a Muslim, although Muslim respondents perceived this figure to be higher (Hussain and Miller, cited in McAspurren, 2005) 32% of majority Scots would be unhappy if a relative married a Muslim (Hussain and Miller, cited in McAspurren, 2005) 55% of majority Scots felt that Muslims had “not done a great deal to condemn terrorism” in the aftermath of 9/11 (Hussain and Miller, cited in McAspurren, 2005) In a 2006 study by Glasgow University using social attitude data, it was stated that 49% of Scots held negative rather than positive views of Muslims A very recent UK poll found that a growing number of people fear that the country faces “a Muslim problem”. More than half of the respondents to a YouGov survey in August 2006 said that Islam posed a threat to Western liberal democracy (The Telegraph, 2006) Although the majority of respondents in a study in Glasgow said that they would find the use of slang terms referring to Protestants and Catholics unacceptable, 10% - 20% (depending on the term) found them acceptable. There was no clear consensus on what was offensive (NFO Social Research, 2003) Overall, it was found that 14% of respondents in Glasgow said that worse treatment of a Catholic just because of their religion was sometimes right, or that “it depends”. 15% expressed this view in relation to Protestants and Jewish people (NFO Social Research, 2003) 16% of respondents stated that they would mind to some extent if a close relative married someone of a different faith (NFO Social Research, 2003) and a figure of 10% was found in another study (Bruce with Glendinning, 2003)

• • • • •

• •

Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination 2.117 In relation to personal experiences of Islamophobia, in the analysis of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey module on Islamophobia and Anglophobia, Hussain and Miller (cited in McAspurren, 2005) suggested that Muslims in Scotland recognised some social exclusion. Their views of the extent of this, however, differed from those of majority Scots, with their perceptions of the attitudes of majority Scots suggesting more prejudice than majority Scots themselves identified. More than a third (39%) of Muslims felt there was conflict between Muslims and majority Scots (although the research also noted that 93% of Muslims felt that there was conflict between Muslims and non-Muslims around the world). 2.118 A graduate employment website (Diversity Milkround) notes that, although the 2001 British Social Attitudes Survey revealed that only 2% believed that employers discriminate on the basis of religion or belief, the majority of Muslim, Sikh and Hindu organisations reported unfair treatment of members of their communities in almost every aspect of their employment. 2.119 Learning and Teaching Scotland, in a section on sectarianism on their website, cite a range of ways in which Muslims experience discrimination, and identify low rates of employment, dangers of poverty and exclusion, and a range of other issues. They also report that, while most of the Scottish 26

Muslims in focus groups (held as part of a scoping study to prepare the website information) did not believe that sectarianism (as understood in the Catholic and Protestant context) was an issue for them, Islamophobia was a “lived experience” for many. This was found to be experienced on an almost daily basis in the form of physical and mental abuse and feelings of marginalisation. 2.120 In terms of discrimination against Protestants or Catholics, Bruce et al (2004) noted that half of Catholics living in Scotland believed that their religion made a difference to how they are treated, and a third of other respondents shared this view (although, only 1% reported experiencing discrimination against them personally because of their religion). The analysis of the module in the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey relating to religion in modern Scotland also found that 1 in 2 Catholics perceived a level of discrimination in employment, although, again, fewer reported experiencing this (Bruce with Glendinning, 2003). In the Glasgow study, a small minority of respondents reported various forms of exclusion due to their religion (NFO Social Research, 2003). 2.121 In a poll by NFO System Three Social Research for BBC Radio Five Live in 2003, it was found that 13% of people living in Scotland claimed to have experienced some form of sectarian abuse, and that Catholics were 4 times more likely to have been attacked than Protestants (McAspurren, 2005). The Glasgow study (NFO Social Research, 2003) while showing that only a small proportion believed that they had experienced discrimination on the grounds of their religion, also stated that 12% of respondents agreed that “sectarianism affects me personally”. Most of the majority Scots in an analysis of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey module on Islamophobia and Anglophobia believed sectarian conflict to be more serious than Muslim / Scottish conflict (Hussain and Miller, cited in McAspurren, 2005). Public awareness / recognition of issues 2.122 There is some evidence to suggest that, while there is some public recognition of general prejudice facing religious or faith groups, this is often limited. The 2005 Citizenship Survey in England and Wales found that a quarter (24%) of people felt that there is “a lot” of religious prejudice in Britain. Stonewall (2003), however, found that only 10% identified religious minorities as amongst those most likely to experience discrimination. Similarly, in the local English study in Cumbria, only 8% identified religious minorities as a group likely to experience prejudice. 2.123 Against this background, however, there is perhaps more recognition amongst the public of particular forms of prejudice on the basis of some aspects of religion or belief, notably, again, Islamophobia and sectarianism. In relation to Islamophobia, for example, Eligon (2006), in reporting on focus groups across the UK, noted that religious minorities (particularly Muslims) were identified as a group experiencing discrimination. 2.124 In relation to sectarianism, as noted earlier, there has been considerable debate about the extent of this. The main evidence relating to the recognition of sectarianism comes from the Glasgow study (NFO Social Research, 2003) which concluded that people believed that there was a “culture of prejudice” in Glasgow. Over two-thirds of respondents disagreed that “discrimination along sectarian lines no longer exists”. A quarter (25%) believed that discrimination occurred in employment decisions. One fifth (20%) believed that the police held sectarian views. Most respondents thought that Catholics (59%) and Protestants (55%) faced prejudice. Fewer thought that there was prejudice against Jewish people in Glasgow (36%). Several forms of sectarianism were seen as “very” or “quite” common, although around half of the survey respondents agreed that sectarianism “is almost entirely confined to football”. 2.125 The data suggest that this does appear to be an area in which there is some mismatch between perceptions and self-reporting, with a higher perceived instance of sectarianism than is actually experienced. This should not, however, detract from the finding that there is evidence of some such discriminatory attitudes in Scotland.

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SEXUAL ORIENTATION AND GENDER IDENTITY 2.126 There is growing information about perceptions of issues relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, and a number of studies provide an indication of attitudes to LGBT people. Overall views and perceptions of progress 2.127 As with ethnic minority groups, there appears to be clearer overt expression of discriminatory views about Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people than is the case for others. This has been found in research in Scotland, for example, where Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that people were more likely to express discriminatory views about LGBT people than about, for example, disabled people or women. 2.128 In terms of the nature of attitudes relating to sexual orientation and gender identity, Bromley and Curtice (2003) found mixed views of LGBT people in Scotland. There is evidence to suggest some positive change in attitudes to issues affecting LGBT people. Wasoff and Martin (2005) for example, in analysing the family module of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey, suggested an increasing acceptance of homosexual sexual relations (albeit still by a minority). They found that these were considered to be “rarely wrong”, or “not wrong at all”, by 42% of respondents (a rise from the figure of 37% in 2000). The Sunday Herald (2000) also reported a shift in attitudes in Scotland, reporting a change in responses to the question “is gay sex always wrong”. Although about a quarter of respondents on both sides of the border answered “yes”, it was noted that there had been a change from the situation in 1992, when a similar survey had found Scottish people to be more disapproving of gay sex. 2.129 Bromley and Curtice (2003) also suggested that attitudes to LGBT people have become more liberal in last 20 years. Agnew (2006) reported a reader survey in the Nursing Standard suggesting that there was now a positive change in the extent of homophobia. More generally, it has been suggested (Steffens and Wagner, 2002) that: “Analyses of the polls of the last twenty years show that attitudes towards gay men and lesbians are getting less and less negative in many Western countries”. 2.130 It has also been suggested that attitudes to transgender people are changing in Scotland, although this view appears to be based more upon legislative change (in the form of the Gender Recognition Act, 2004) than on data on public attitudes. Discriminatory views 2.131 Despite these perceived changes, however, there remains considerable data relating to negative views of LGBT people. Some of this relates to stereotypical views and assumptions, and some to overt discrimination, and examples include: • • • • In a qualitative study of attitudes in England, findings suggested only “grudging and conditional acceptance” of lesbians and gay men (Valentine and McDonald, 2004) The analysis of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey module “Religion in Modern Scotland” identified that 1 in 5 Scots hold conservative views on homosexuality and issues such as Clause 28 / Section 2A (McAspurren, 2005) In the study of MORI data in England, 39% of respondents stated that they would feel uncomfortable going to a pub where most customers are gay or lesbian (Stonewall, 2003) In a 2003 study in England, 17% cited gay or lesbian people as a group they feel less positive about (Stonewall, 2003)

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• • • • • • • •

The National Aids Trust identified that 23% of respondents reported having stigmatising attitudes to those with HIV (CRE, 2004) The study of attitudes to discrimination in Scotland found that 8% of people would prefer an MSP who is not a gay man or a lesbian (Bromley and Curtice, 2003) Twenty six per cent said that a gay man or lesbian would be “very” or “fairly” unsuitable as a primary school teacher (Bromley and Curtice, 2003) In England, a 2003 report identified that more than a quarter of respondents (26%) said they would be uncomfortable with a gay or lesbian GP (Stonewall, 2003) In a study in Glasgow, a significant minority of respondents expressed concern about homosexuals becoming their neighbours (NFO Social Research, 2003) Around a third of respondents in Scotland (30%) disagreed that gay and lesbian couples should have the right to marry (Bromley and Curtice, 2003) A third (33%) also disagreed that a lesbian couple could make as good parents as a man and woman, and 39% felt this way about a gay male couple (Bromley and Curtice, 2003) Almost a third of respondents in Scotland (29%) said male homosexual relationships are always wrong (Bromley and Curtice, 2003)

Evidence of experiences of prejudice and discrimination 2.132 There is also ample evidence of LGBT people’s own experiences of prejudice and discrimination in Scotland and some examples are given here. An article in the Equal Opportunities Review in 2006 reported on work in Scotland to tackle homophobic bullying at work, suggesting a hostile working environment for many LGBT people. In a survey of LGBT people carried out by Beyond Barriers in 2002, 68% of respondents had been verbally abused or threatened by someone who assumed that they were LGBT, and 23% had experienced a physical assault. Research in Edinburgh also showed that 57% of gay men had experienced some sort of harassment in one year (and when this was adjusted for gender and age, it was found that this was 4 times the national average). An article in the Scotsman in July 2006 suggested that figures from police forces showed that homophobic crime was rising in many parts of Scotland. 2.133 A report of the Inclusion Project (2003) noted that 25% of respondents in a Scottish survey of LGBT people had experienced inappropriate advice or treatment due to their sexual orientation or gender identity, and 24% had experienced homophobic staff. A needs assessment in Glasgow of young LGB people found that 80% of young people in the sample had experienced discrimination, and a survey on sectarianism in Glasgow (NFO Social Research, 2003) identified examples of homophobia. Public awareness / recognition of issues 2.134 As with ethnic minority groups, there appears to be a relatively high level of awareness of the existence of prejudice against LGBT people compared to some other groups. Data suggests that there is considerable recognition amongst the public that LGBT people face prejudice and discrimination, and LGBT people are often identified as being amongst those more likely to experience this. 2.135 In Scotland, Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that almost half (49%) of respondents thought there was “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of prejudice against gay men and lesbians. A third (33%) thought that there was “a little” and only 9% thought that there was none. A study at a local level, in Argyll and Bute, also identified “sexuality” as one of the most likely bases for prejudice (Argyll and Bute Community Planning Partnership, 2005). Similar findings were identified in the Stonewall study (2003) where 37% cited gay or lesbian people as those most likely to experience prejudice or discrimination. Similarly, at a local level in England, the study in Cumbria found that 40% of respondents identified gay men and lesbians as suffering prejudice.

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2.136 The Study in Cumbria (2004) also suggested some recognition of discrimination in service provision, with the finding that: “across almost all services respondents were least confident that gays and lesbians would receive fair treatment”. 2.137 There is very little information in relation to perceptions of transgender issues, and the EOC in Scotland (2005) highlighted that these issues are not currently on the agenda, for example, for employers and service providers. OTHER EQUALITIES ISSUES 2.138 Finally, in relation to the recognition of other equalities issues, there is little information about public views of multiple discrimination, but it suggested that awareness of this is not high. Valentine and McDonald (2004) in their qualitative work in England, found that there was no awareness of possible crossover between minority groups (e.g. that someone may be gay and black, or that an asylum seeker may be disabled). 2.139 Some data suggests a small number of other issues which studies have found that members of the public consider to be equalities issues. Edwards and Hatch (2004), in the “Citizens’ Forum” held in Manchester to debate thinking on equality and fairness in Britain, noted that many respondents highlighted income inequality as an important issue, and identified the gap between rich and poor as being “fundamental” to the equality agenda. 2.140 Eligon (2006), in a presentation of the focus group findings (from across the UK) as part of the Equalities Review identified people in particular geographic locations as being seen to experience some forms of discrimination. 2.141 • • • • • Other groups seen to be experiencing discrimination have been suggested to include: People with lower social status / social class People in rural areas People with drug problems Homeless people People who are obese / overweight

OVERVIEW 2.142 It is clear from this section that public attitudes to the key equalities strands indicate that there are still a range of issues which require to be addressed among some members of the community in Scotland. Section 3 explores some of the influences upon attitudes, before identifying public perceptions of some forms of work which may form a part of the way forward.

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SECTION 3

INFLUENCES ON ATTITUDES AND EQUALITIES WORK REQUIRED

3.1 This section explores perceptions of the way forward in relation to two issues. The first relates specifically to the identification of public views of some of the key influences on the attitudes which have been highlighted. 3.2 The second focuses upon public attitudes to the types of work which are required, both generally and in relation to specific groups and types of work7. PATTERNS OF DISCRIMINATORY ATTITUDES 3.3 There is a considerable body of material which suggests variations on a number of factors in the likelihood of holding discriminatory attitudes, which can help to identify some of the ways in which attitudes might be addressed in the future. It is recognised that this is a very complex area, with many suggested patterns and influences. Whilst it is not intended to provide a definitive list, some of the issues which have been identified commonly are highlighted. Education 3.4 Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that discriminatory views are less likely to be expressed by people with higher levels of educational attainment. This is borne out by findings of other research (e.g. Stonewall, 2003; and local research in Cumbria, 2004). Evans (2002) suggested that education seems to have a “liberalising impact” upon attitudes (although there is also some debate about whether people with higher levels of education are really less prejudiced, or whether it is that they are less likely to express their actual attitudes where they consider these to be socially unacceptable). Age 3.5 There is also evidence of variation in attitudes by age. Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that younger people were less likely to express discriminatory views than older people. Again, these findings are borne out by other studies, with Valentine and McDonald (2004); Stonewall (2003); and the study in Cumbria (2004) finding older people in general more likely to express prejudiced views than younger people. These findings have also been identified in relation to views of some specific issues and groups. For example, a European Commission study (1996) found younger generations to be more in favour of women working, and noted that the wish for women to go out to work falls with increasing age among men and women. Stonewall (2003) found that three times as many people aged 55 or over said they felt less positive to gay or lesbian people than did those aged 15-44. Saggar and Drean (2001), reporting an ICM poll on Islamophobia, stated that this: “whilst far from conclusive, did appear to illustrate that older people (especially over 65s) are more likely to have negative views of those of a ‘different’ (i.e. not a traditional European or British) religion”. Saggar and Drean (2001) also noted that hostility to ethnic minority groups was more prevalent in those over 65.

Again, it is important to stress that it is not implied that these public views, in isolation, should determine the work which is undertaken, nor that a lack of public recognition of the need for a particular type of work suggests that it is not required or should not be undertaken. The material presented should be considered in conjunction with the views expressed by expert organisations and other professionals in the equalities field.

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Gender 3.6 Some studies have also suggested that there are gender differences in discriminatory attitudes. For example, Valentine and McDonald (2004) noted that white majority men are more likely to be explicit in their prejudice. The local research in Cumbria found that men were generally more negative about minorities than women (with the exception being in relation to refugees / asylum seekers). It has also been found that heterosexual men have more prejudices against LGBT people than do heterosexual women. In relation to perceptions of gender issues themselves, there are also often differences between the views of men and women, with women less likely to accept “traditional” stereotypes. Other variations 3.7 A number of other variations have been identified, and Bromley and Curtice (2003) suggested that people living comfortably or managing on their income are less likely to adopt discriminatory views. They also found that those in the most disadvantaged economic positions appear more prejudiced towards ethnic minority groups (particularly about their role in the labour market). Overall, however, they concluded that differences in economic position are not particularly important in determining discriminatory attitudes). 3.8 In relation to perceptions of gender issues and roles, however, some studies have found that social class has an influence on attitudes. Stonewall (2003) also identified issues relating to social class impacting on whether respondents were likely to feel less positive about LGBT people. Saggar and Drean (2001) found hostility to ethnic minority groups to be more prevalent in social classes D and E. Anderson et al (2005) found that the most powerful predictor of general attitudes towards young people was the level of deprivation in the local area and identified a “powerful association” between greater deprivation and more negative views of young people. Age Concern found, however, that the higher the social class of respondents, the more negative were perceptions of the effect of having more older people in society. 3.9 It has also been found that the existence of prejudice against one minority group may link to other prejudices. Data from the Stonewall report (2003) suggests, for example, the existence of “joined up prejudice” where those who are prejudiced against one group are also likely to be prejudiced against others. The findings show that people who are prejudiced against an ethnic minority are twice as likely to be prejudiced against lesbians and gay men and four times as likely to be prejudiced against disabled people. There was also found to be a strong correlation between racist attitudes and other prejudices. KEY INFLUENCES UPON THE DEVELOPMENT OF ATTITUDES 3.10 In addition to identifying variations in attitudes by the above factors, several authors have also examined some of the influences upon the actual development of attitudes to equalities groups, and a number of factors have emerged. These may also help to identify the way forward in addressing the issues which have been highlighted. Parents and friends 3.11 Stonewall (2003) found that respondents considered parents to be the most commonly identified influence on how people feel about minority groups, with 32% citing them as an important influence. Valentine and McDonald (2004) also highlighted the identification of “intergenerational prejudice”, although they also noted that prejudice is not passively passed down through families, and there can be intergenerational differences. Grewal et al (2002) also found family to be among the principal ways in which beliefs relating to disability were formed.

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3.12 Stonewall (2003) identified that friends can also influence attitudes, as well as other family members (highlighted by 12%). The CRE (2004) also noted the importance of interpersonal communication and personal sources. Media 3.13 A number of general and specific studies have identified the media as an important influence on public attitudes. Stonewall (2003) suggested that TV was found to be the second most commonly identified influence on how people feel about minority groups, followed by newspapers. The local study in Cumbria found TV and newspapers to be the two most significant influencing factors. 3.14 Valentine and McDonald (2004) found that the media both identifies the terms of the debate in relation to equalities and provides stories to support a viewpoint, and the CRE (2004) also recognised the influence of the media. This was reiterated by Edwards and Hatch (2004) who found that faith in the media amongst respondents in their Citizens’ Forum was low, with many believing that it often promoted prejudice and reinforced stereotypes. The study in Cumbria (2004) suggested that the media has a greater role in influencing those who are prejudiced than those who are not. Lewis (2006) in Scotland noted that negative views “are imbued with the language of the tabloids”. 3.15 An example of the impact of the media on a specific issue is identified in a MIND Factsheet which notes that: “a report published in 1997 showed that 40% of members of the public surveyed associated mental illness with violence and said that this belief was based on the media”. It also states that negative images impact on people’s own attitudes and can create a “them” and “us” mentality. Age Concern identified that prejudice against older people is made worse by media images. Grewal et al (2002) also found the media to be among the principal ways in which beliefs relating to disability were formed. The Commission for Racial Equality (2004) noted the role of the media in helping to generate “moral panic” in relation to high profile issues such as crime or asylum, suggesting that there can be a “snowballing effect” of stereotyping. Lewis (2006) found that 93% of Scots respondents stated that they formed their understanding of asylum issues from media sources, with 88% citing these as the most important sources. Perceptions of “difference” 3.16 It has been suggested that perceptions of identity and “difference” can have an impact upon the development of discriminatory attitudes. On the basis of their findings in Scotland, Bromley and Curtice (2003) concluded that people’s identities, and the images of people whom they see as “different” from themselves, are amongst the most important influences. They found, for example, that people who prefer to live in an area where there are “different kinds of people” are less likely to express discriminatory attitudes than those who prefer to live in an area with “similar kinds of people”. Similarly, Valentine and McDonald (2004) in their qualitative work in England, identified more tolerance of, or indifference to groups who are “less different”, and Saggar and Drean (2001) stated that public attitudes may be affected by ethnic minority groups’ degree of “acculturation”. Interaction and contact 3.17 A closely linked issue was highlighted by Valentine and McDonald (2004). The qualitative research which they carried out looked specifically at factors that can trigger and sustain prejudice against minority groups, and identified a lack of personal contact as one of the reasons for the

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development of this. Stonewall (2003) also noted that knowing people from a minority group made it less likely that respondents said that they felt negative about them. 3.18 Similarly, in the findings of the Citizenship Survey (Kitchen et al, 2006), it was found that people who lived in multi-ethnic areas and those who had friends from different ethnic groups tended to have the most positive views about the level of racial prejudice in Britain. This was seen to suggest that those with more direct experience of other ethnic groups have more positive views. Lewis (2006) identified significant differences between people who lived next to asylum seekers and those who did not have contact with them, with those living next to them being found to be overwhelmingly more positive. 3.19 In relation to mental health, MIND suggest that people may be less prejudiced if they know someone with a mental health problem. In relation to older people, Age Concern identified that older or younger people in close contact with the other age group were most likely to think that they had a lot in common (Age Concern, undated). Anderson et al (2005) found that those who knew most, or all, of the young people in their area were much more likely than those who knew none to have positive views of young people. 3.20 An exception to this was found, however, in research with young people by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (2005). This found that the attitudes of young people attending schools in multicultural areas showed less, rather than more, tolerance. Religious beliefs 3.21 It has also been suggested that religious beliefs can be an important influence on attitudes, particularly on those who feel less positive to gay and lesbian people. For example, in the study of attitudes in Cumbria, people who said they were practising members of a religion were found to be twice as likely as those with no religious affiliation to say that they felt “less positive” to gay men and lesbians. McAspurren (2005), reporting on the analysis of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey module “Religion in Modern Scotland” noted that, amongst “religious” respondents, the majority disagreed with homosexual relationships. Other influences 3.22 A number of other influences on the development of prejudice have also been suggested from research with the public, including: • • • • • • • • • • Perceived economic injustice and the feeling that some get preferential treatment or priority Perceived “cultural injustice” (including groups not behaving in ways that accord with majority culture) Government policies towards immigration, and debates focusing on negative issues Negative encounters, which can lead to generalisation Rumour School influences “Positive ends” being perceived for the prejudiced person (e.g. expressing homophobia leading to feeling like a “good Christian”) Local events and circumstances Personal experiences A combination of influences

3.23 Edwards and Hatch (2004) noted that views of some groups as “undeserving outsiders who get preferential treatment” can be “deep-rooted”, making equalities work challenging.

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3.24 All of these findings help to identify the way forward, and the remainder of the section focuses on attitudes to the need for, and potential nature of, equalities work. PERCEPTIONS OF TYPES OF WORK AND THE WAY FORWARD 3.25 This report has identified the existence of some discriminatory attitudes in Scotland, and Bromley and Curtice (2003) noted that: “one consequence of a society whose members hold discriminatory attitudes is that it may be less willing to support public policies designed to reduce discrimination”. 3.26 There is, however, evidence to suggest that there are positive views which indicate support for some aspects of equalities work. Some findings identify a strong recognition of the general need for such work. For example, Edwards and Hatch (2004), in their Citizens’ Forum, found that many participants recognised that they themselves held prejudices and recognised the need to challenge these. They also found overwhelming support for efforts to create a fairer society without prejudice, where people can develop to their full potential, stating that: “for those working to protect equalities this gives strength to their case. Fair treatment for all is a popular and appealing vision, shared by the majority”. 3.27 The European Commission (1996) in a study of attitudes and opinions of men and women in Europe identified that equality was widely seen as a factor in strengthening democracy. More than two fifths agreed totally that “equality of opportunity strengthens democracy, makes personal development easier and improves human relationships”. Similarly, more than two thirds totally disagreed with the view that “equal opportunities bring more harm than good in daily life”. 3.28 Howard and Tibballs (2003) from their discussions, suggested that people were concerned that social inequality and discrimination were still widespread in Britain, with participants believing that society should be fairer and more tolerant. Age Concern (undated) identified that 84% of people agreed with the statement that “there should be equality for all groups in Britain”. 3.29 In relation to Scotland in particular, the evidence reported by Bromley and Curtice also indicates broad overall agreement in relation to the principle of equality, with only 1% saying that attempts to give equal opportunities have “gone too far” in respect of all four groups which were examined. More than 1 in 8 (13%) identified that attempts to give equal opportunities have “not gone far enough” for all four groups, with the remainder believing that the level was “about right”. More than two thirds (68%) of people were found to believe that: “Scotland should do as much as it can to get rid of all kinds of prejudice”. 3.30 Bromley and Curtice (2003) concluded that: “the balance of opinion seems to be in favour of further action, at least for some of the groups in question”. 3.31 In a local survey in Argyll and Bute, it was found that most people felt that the level of equal opportunity work had been about right, with some believing that work could go further. The Sunday Herald (2000) reporting a 1999 survey of Scottish people suggested that Scotland was more favourable than England towards government action to tackle inequalities. 3.32 The perceived link between equality and human rights was identified earlier, and such views of human rights also suggest some support for this type of work. For example, a MORI poll carried

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out in 2005 found that, although around half felt that protection of human rights in Scotland was adequate (49%), almost a quarter (23%) did not consider it adequate (MORI, 2006c). 3.33 Bromley and Curtice (2003) also found some evidence to suggest that respondents who believe that there is existing prejudice are those most likely to consider that equal opportunities have not gone far enough. (They also note, however, that it cannot be assumed that simply because someone considers prejudice to exist, they automatically support action to secure equality.) Negative overall views 3.34 It is noted in some reports, however, that there are some who hold negative views of equality measures or who believe that these have “gone too far”. For example, although focusing largely on economic inequality, Forrester (2001) identified some changing attitudes to equality, suggesting that: “many people assume that equality is past its sell by date”. 3.35 Howard and Tibballs (2003) also identified some perceptions of current equality approaches as too rigid, out of touch, and at risk of protecting those who are not the most vulnerable. They also note that some people have come to resent what they see as “political correctness”. 3.36 Alexander and Davies (2001) also identify the view held by some that equality developments have gone too far (while suggesting that this is not supported by objective evidence). Similarly, Valentine and McDonald (2004) found that, among some respondents: “there is a strong perception that the white majority is being unfairly treated and that minority groups are receiving preferential treatment”. 3.37 A MORI poll carried out in 2005 found that 11% feel that there is excessive protection of human rights in Scotland (MORI, 2006c). 3.38 Edwards and Hatch (2004) reporting on the Citizens’ Forum found some “voices of dissent” from support for equality, and noted that: “a minority feared that fairness was shorthand for giving preferential treatment to some groups and neglecting others. They worried that the balance was shifting too far in favour of ‘excluded’ or ‘minority’ groups”. 3.39 There is also some evidence of a lack of understanding of some types of equalities work, with remaining confusion between promoting equality (e.g. positive action) and “favouring” certain groups (positive discrimination). Eligon (2006) noted that some concerns were expressed in the Equalities Review focus groups about “positive discrimination”, and Howard and Tibballs (2003) also found that such measures are particularly disliked, and seen to be discriminatory. 3.40 Alexander and Davies (2001) suggest that negative views can be based on a backlash from: “coming close to challenging the underpinning ideology that maintains sexual and racial inequality”. 3.41 Howard and Tibballs (2003), in their report of focus groups and in-depth interviews examining how people think and talk about equality in Britain, also suggested that many questioned the possibility of an equal society, and some questioned the desirability of this. 3.42 In terms of views of actions taken to promote equality, Forrester (2001) also noted that there can be:

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“among advocates of equality … a fairly widespread disillusion with the strategies that had been adopted to move towards equality”. 3.43 Howard and Tibballs (2003) suggested that there may also be terminology issues, and that people are not always comfortable with the term “equality”, suggesting that it is considered somewhat “abstract”. They also found that terms used by organisations promoting gender equality can be widely misunderstood, and identified that the concept of “feminism” was seen by almost all respondents in negative terms. They also noted, however, that people (and particularly young people), are now “discrimination literate”. 3.44 Overall, however, it does seem that there is fairly wide support for equalities work, and particular support amongst those who recognise the existence of discrimination. VIEWS OF WORK WITH PARTICULAR GROUPS 3.45 There is also some evidence which relates particularly to support for work to address specific types of discrimination for particular groups. Age 3.46 There is some limited material about public views of work to address age-related prejudice and discrimination (which is likely to be due to the relative lack of recognition which this has had as an issue in the past). There is, however, evidence of support for this, and this was one of the issues identified by the Equalities Review focus groups as a priority area for the future. Edwards and Hatch (2004) identified the need to strengthen public awareness of discrimination on grounds of age. Similarly, Age Concern suggest that their findings (undated) confirm previous research which suggests strong support for “tough action on ageism”. Age Concern research also found that, although almost one in ten people felt that attempts to give equal employment opportunities to people over 70 had gone too far, 41% believed that they had not gone far enough. 3.47 In a study in Ireland, more than two thirds of respondents stated that they believed that public authorities did not do enough for older people. The Joseph Rowntree Foundation (1999) found that the need to tackle ageist attitudes to older people was acknowledged widely but was seldom addressed explicitly. Vincent et al (2000), in examining attitudes and perceptions of the general public to older people in Britain, found that interviewees in the qualitative strand of the work agreed unanimously that something should be done to improve conditions for older people, noting that: “unlike other marginalised groups, support for the elderly is unquestionable”. 3.48 Vincent et al (2000) also found that 62% of respondents believed that older people’s issues would never be high on the public agenda, but most believed there would be increased spending on older people if pressure was put on the government. 3.49 The work carried out in Ireland (McGivern, 2004) explored some potential actions more explicitly and found that, for example, over 40% of respondents favoured active encouragement for older people to remain in employment after retirement age, with many wanting part-time work. They suggest that their findings indicate a relatively favourable context for increasing the employment of older people, provided the approach includes the option of part-time work. Age Concern also identified that 93% of people polled in 2004 called for people to have a legal right to carry on working beyond age 65 and nearly 75% thought that fixed retirement ages were old fashioned and unnecessary. 3.50 For children and young people, there appears to be limited material relating to public views of

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addressing discrimination against this group. In terms of specific issues, an NSPCC report (2004) highlighted data from a MORI public opinion survey which suggested public support for protection for children from being hit in the family home (71%). The Director and Chief Executive of the NSPCC stated that this indicated general public support for modernisation of the law to give children equal protection. Page and Wallace (2004) found that research looking at views of the public relating to families, children and young people identified agreement about a lack of facilities for young people, suggesting some support for the promotion of responsive services and facilities as one strand of work with this group. Disability 3.51 In Bromley and Curtice’s work in Scotland, despite the relative lack of recognition of disabled people as a group experiencing a lot of prejudice, it was found that few people considered that attempts to provide equal opportunities have “gone too far” for disabled people (suggesting that this is an area of equalities work which is supported). Only 3% said that equal opportunities had “gone too far” for disabled people, while 58% said equal opportunities have not gone far enough, and many of the remainder feel that the level of work is “about right”. 3.52 Valentine and McDonald (2004) also identified that respondents recognised the need for an equality agenda for disabled people (although some respondents identified that the need to adapt buildings caused them personal inconvenience). Acheson (in Northern Ireland) also noted consistent support for equality for disabled people (while noting that these concerns had not led to overcoming continuing exclusion). As an example of support for disability equality in Scotland, Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that 77% of respondents said that shops and banks should be forced to make themselves easier to use, even if it leads to higher prices. 3.53 Edwards and Hatch (2004) identified a specific need to strengthen public awareness of discrimination against people with mental health problems and learning disabilities and to mainstream these issues. In Scotland, the Evening News (2005) reporting on the Scottish Executive’s second national survey of public attitudes to mental health, identified that nine in ten Scots believe that people with mental health problems should have the same rights as anyone else. 3.54 In terms of support for other specific types of work, Allan (2003) noted, in relation to schools, that “mainstream” pupils have been found to be highly supportive of the inclusion of disabled children and young people. Edwards and Hatch (2004) also found majority support for access to work for disabled people. The Disability Rights Commission (2004a) found that 85% of disabled respondents felt there should be a new law to protect disabled people against hate crimes (complemented by wider change to attitudes). A Eurobarometer survey in 2001 identified that 97% of respondents believed that something should be done to involve disabled people in society (Eurobarometer, 2002). The highest concern was for physical barriers to be removed, and nearly three quarters favoured integrated schools. Gender 3.55 As with disabled people, Bromley and Curtice found that few people in Scotland considered equal opportunities to have “gone too far” for women (with only 6% who expressed this view). Almost half, however (41%) said equal opportunities had “not gone far enough” for women, and a number felt that the level is “about right” suggesting again that there is support for work to address such issues. 3.56 Similarly, Edwards and Hatch (2004) suggested that their discussions showed that this is one of the strands in which many people are now committed to eliminating unfair treatment. A study of attitudes in Europe for the European Commission (1996) also concluded that:

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“European public opinion is therefore strongly in favour of equal opportunities for women and men”. Howard and Tibballs (2003), however, reported that, on a social level, most people did not see sex inequality as a particular priority. 3.57 In terms of specific forms of work, particular support has been identified for developments to promote gender equality in the workplace, including in terms of work / life balance and in recognising the importance of childcare. The Equal Opportunities Commission (drawing on findings of a series of questions in a national omnibus study relating to work and parents), identified overall support for addressing work / life balance. Page and Wallace (2004) summarising research looking at the key issues (in the view of the public) relating to families, children and young people found that work / life balance was identified as among the key issues overall. They reported a 2000 survey of how parents balance work, children and home, and found that, when asked “What is the most important step that the government could take to offer parents better choices in balancing work and family life”, the highest was more flexible work arrangements (51%), followed by more support for arranging childcare (33%), more support paying for childcare (31%) and a range of other issues relating to financial issues and parenting. 3.58 Public opinion on the needs of working parents has been found to be consistent throughout Britain. The EOC (2006) suggested that their findings indicated: “that new measures to enable parents to reduce their working hours will receive widespread public support [with] a general understanding of the need for better support for fathers and mothers in the workplace”. It was also found that 74% of people agreed that hearing a political party arguing for policies aimed at supporting parents and carers would make them more likely to listen to that party. 3.59 In relation to issues such as equal pay and employment opportunities, there is also evidence that these are valued. All generations in the study reported by Alexander and Davies (2001) wanted to see equal pay and equal opportunities for men and women. EOC research in 1999 found that, when informed about the gender pay gap, half of all women and men believed it to be unfair, and few people found it acceptable. Six out of ten students argued that it was the Government’s responsibility to eliminate this. Edwards and Hatch (2004) in the Citizens’ Forum also found majority support for equal pay. Thomson et al (2005b) found agreement of the need to tackle occupational segregation. Nearly two thirds of respondents in Bromley and Curtice’s study (62%) said that local councils should spend money on groups that help women find work. 3.60 There is also some evidence of support to tackle violence against women. For example, in a Eurobarometer study, Europeans identified a number of organisations as having a role in addressing this, and highlighted a range of types of work which may be useful. 86% of respondents suggested that the State should help women who experience domestic violence (Eurobarometer, 1999). Race 3.61 In Scotland, more people believe that attempts to provide equal opportunities have “gone too far” for ethnic minority groups than is the case for some other groups (such as disabled people or women). Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that 18% of Scots believed this to be the case. In addition, research to evaluate the “One Scotland” campaign found that 56% of respondents believed that people from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds living in Scotland expect too much help from the Government (TNS System Three, 2005).

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3.62 Saggar and Drean (2001) in a paper summarising British public opinion on ethnic minority groups and immigrants reported that the majority of the white population believed that “too much is done” to help ethnic minority groups and migrant minority groups. As noted above, Edwards and Hatch (2004) also found that the argument that the balance is shifting too far in favour of minority groups was expressed most commonly in relation to race and religion. The Cumbria County Council study (2004) also identified that the majority felt that there were too many immigrants in Britain, that too much was done to help them and that Britain was a “soft touch”. 3.63 Race equality was, however, identified in the Equalities Review focus groups as a priority area for the future, and Edwards and Hatch (2004), suggested that (as with women) this was one of the strands in which many people were committed to eliminating unfair treatment. 3.64 Additionally, despite the earlier figure of the proportion who consider equal opportunities to have gone too far for ethnic minority groups, there is also recognition of a need for further work by many people in Scotland. Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that 41% of respondents said that equal opportunities had “not gone far enough” for ethnic minority groups (a much higher proportion than believed that this work had gone too far). Similarly, 73% of people in the 2006 evaluation of the “One Scotland” campaign believed that Scottish people should do more to respect the different cultures of other ethnic groups who live here. 80% of people in 2006 believed that people in Scotland ought to do more to stop racism occurring here (TNS System Three, 2006a). More than half of respondents in Bromley and Curtice’s study (59%) said that local councils should publish information about their services in languages other than English. Religion or belief 3.65 As noted earlier, the level of awareness of discrimination on the basis of religion or belief is sometimes relatively low. This was, however, one of the issues identified in the Equalities Review focus groups as a priority area for the future, suggesting that some perceived a need for further action. Edwards and Hatch (2004), however, reporting on the Citizens’ Forum, noted that the argument (albeit by a minority) that the balance was shifting too far in favour of minority groups was expressed most commonly in relation to race and religion. 3.66 In Scotland, most of the majority Scots in the analysis of the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey module on Islamophobia and Anglophobia (2003), said they welcomed a multi-cultural society, and that they would support anti-discrimination laws on race, religion or gender. The BBC news in July 2006 reported that more than 60% of majority Scots thought there should be a law outlawing discrimination against Muslims. 3.67 The NFO Social Research work in Glasgow (2003) explored a wide range of proposals to combat sectarianism and found considerable support for a collaborative approach to this. The study also found a consensus that Rangers and Celtic should be closely involved in combating sectarianism. Many participants supported a number of other suggestions, relating to: a zero tolerance approach; changes to the licensing of street vendors; alcohol awareness; education; and the display of team colours. A poll by NFO System Three Social Research for the Sunday Herald in 1993 found that 47% of respondents in Scotland would support a ban on all sectarian marches, while 35% stated that they would oppose such a ban. 3.68 The NFO Social Research study suggested that the findings pointed to policy initiatives being concentrated in combating the “culture of prejudice” as much as measures to reduce crime and discrimination relating to this. Sexual orientation and gender identity

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3.69 As with ethnic minority groups, Bromley and Curtice (2003) found a higher proportion of respondents in Scotland who said that attempts to give equal opportunities have “gone too far” for gay men and lesbians than for some other groups. It was found that 19% held this view, despite the identification of LGBT people as one of the groups considered most likely to experience a lot of prejudice. Bromley and Curtice stated that: “even though ethnic minorities and gay men and lesbians are more likely to be thought to experience prejudice, people are more likely to think that attempts to secure equal opportunities for them have gone too far”. 3.70 There is, however, a higher proportion of people in Scotland who express support for action, and over a quarter of respondents (26%) said that attempts to give equal opportunities have “not gone far enough” for gay men and lesbians, with a number of others who consider the level to be “about right”. More people, therefore, express attitudes that would be consistent with developing additional work than those whose opinions would imply that they would be against this. Steffens (2005) identifies work which suggests that the proportion of the population which agrees with the granting of equal rights to LGBT people is growing. 3.71 In terms of views of specific developments, Bromley and Curtice (2003) found that 30% of people stated that local councils should give money to provide support to gay men and lesbians. 3.72 A module on family issues in the Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2004 (Wasoff and Martin, 2005) also provided some indication of views of some aspects of family policy / legislation. There was found to be strong support for greater parity of treatment for same sex couples on partnership issues. In relation to parenthood, however, a more complex pattern was identified. Most respondents thought that a same sex couple in a stable partnership should not be allowed to adopt in the same way as a married couple. There was, however, a gender difference, with opinion found to be against male same sex couples being able to adopt on this basis, but divided equally in relation to lesbian couples. Other issues 3.73 Edwards and Hatch (2004) identified that participants in the Citizens’ Forum saw eradicating poverty as vital, with a need to highlight wealth inequality across the areas of equality. They also noted the importance of linking equality organisations with those working to tackle poverty and income inequality, and for equality and rights to feature clearly in policies to tackle poverty (and vice versa). VIEWS OF SPECIFIC TYPES OF INITIATIVE 3.74 There is some public attitudes data which focuses on particular forms of action or initiatives and assesses support for these8. Some relate to the findings about influences on attitudes highlighted earlier. It is interesting to note that Grewal et al (2002) reported that the Government was seen as the prime agent for ensuring change (although a wide range of other organisations also clearly have responsibility for this). Legislation 3.75 Although there is some evidence of variations in awareness of current equalities legislation (e.g. with a lack of awareness of some issues amongst the public and employers), there is evidence of public support for the general concept of equalities legislation.
Again, it is important to stress that this does not provide an evaluation of each type of action, nor comprise an exhaustive list of actions, but highlights attitudes to some of the potential actions.
8

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3.76 For example, the CRE (2004), in a study of public attitudes to campaigning found that there was a common view that changes in society’s attitudes towards equalities issues had been driven, or at least assisted by legislative change. An IPPR study found that the majority of respondents believed that the introduction of the Race Relations Act had been a good idea (Equal Opportunities Review, 1997). In the Citizens’ Forum (Edwards and Hatch, 2004), participants wanted to see common standards and legislation that covered all types of discrimination, along with the greater enforcement of existing legislation. They believed that the government should provide leadership and highlight rights and responsibilities to the wider population. A 1997 report by the Equal Opportunities Commission for Northern Ireland (relating to sex equality) noted overwhelming support for legislation from all quarters. 3.77 Again, however, some participants in the Citizens’ Forum were found to be more sceptical about this, with some arguing, for example, that laws only work where these are enforced, backed up and monitored. Increasing participation 3.78 In terms of increasing the participation of particular groups in the decision making process, material from Bromley and Curtice (2003) suggests that the majority of people in Scotland did not view this as a particular priority. For example, when asked about whether any of the four groups studied should have more say in decisions about how Scotland is run, the most common answer was that things were “fine as they are” (56%). It was found that 11% felt that all four groups should have a greater say, with (as has been the pattern) variation in views of different groups. 3.79 Research carried out for the EOC (2006), however, found a strong consensus from focus groups in favour of balanced representation. It also found that a significant number of young women (13%) said they were more likely to believe a woman than a man, and none of them said they would be more likely to believe a man. The study suggested that having more women political representatives could enhance engagement with younger women voters. Recognising and meeting diverse needs 3.80 There appears to be evidence of some support for an approach which recognises different needs, in order to give people “an equal chance”. In recent focus groups by MORI, for example, about what equality means in Britain today (MORI, 2006d), it was found that there was some understanding of equality being about having the same opportunities, rather than simply being treated the same. Developing relationships 3.81 In the light of the identification of the importance of contact in influencing positive attitudes and promoting respect, Valentine and McDonald (2004), on the basis of their findings, highlight the importance of developing good quality relationships. They suggest that friendship, rather than superficial contact is important, and that empathy is crucial. They caution that simply having: “contact in public spaces, without engagement, is not enough to foster respect and can even exacerbate prejudice”. 3.82 They note that workplaces are important ways of having positive contact between majority and minority groups, and suggest that employers should develop a culture that fosters contact. MIND have also highlighted the importance of the workplace in tackling attitudes to people with mental health problems.

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3.83 Edwards and Hatch (2004) reporting on the Citizens’ Forum also suggested the need for understanding and respect, and for people with different identities to talk with, and value each other. They also noted that, in their own research: “in the evaluation forms, the opportunity to talk to people you might not normally meet was consistently cited as one of the most positive aspects of the forum”. 3.84 The Scottish Council Foundation also identified the need to increase opportunities for disabled people and non-disabled people to come together and share experiences. Similarly, in a study of prejudice, discrimination and stereotyping affecting older people in Ireland, it was found that 85% of respondents believed that older people and young people should mix together more often socially (McGivern, 2004). 3.85 The importance of both those experiencing discrimination, and not, working together, has also been stressed, with the identification of equality as in everyone’s interests. Howard and Tibballs (2003), for example, identified the need for a new vision of equality that identifies clearly the social, organisational and individual benefits of this. Challenging language and other communication 3.86 In terms of challenging some of the use of language and inappropriate communication, Valentine and McDonald (2004) state that, as well as more overt prejudice: “it is important that banal, benevolent and unintentional prejudices are tackled with as much commitment as aggressive and cathartic prejudices”. 3.87 Some studies of public views suggest, however, that people who recognise inappropriate behaviour and consider it to be unacceptable, find it very difficult to challenge. Valentine and McDonald (2004) found that people who do not share prejudiced views often ignore the inappropriate behaviour of others, because they lack the confidence to challenge this, or fear the consequences of doing so. Similar findings were found by the Citizens’ Forum. Edwards and Hatch (2004) noted that participants recognised that it could be difficult to challenge language and behaviour. Many of the respondents agreed in principle that people should do this, but admitted that they had often ignored comments or jokes, and some were also concerned about their own safety if they intervened to challenge inappropriate behaviour. 3.88 Howard and Tibballs (2003) identified that people are concerned about being tagged a “trouble-maker” if they speak out about their experiences of prejudice. They found, for example, that many women would not challenge prejudice or discrimination at work through fear of personal repercussions. 3.89 Valentine and McDonald (2004) highlighted an additional difficulty that: “there is resentment towards political correctness or the need to ‘talk right’, particularly in institutional contexts”. 3.90 Edwards and Hatch (2004), however, also highlighted individual responsibility in challenging prejudice, and noted that, in the Citizens’ Forum: “it was widely agreed that Britain could not become a fair and tolerant society until the people within that society challenged their own prejudices. There was consensus that things needed to change from the bottom up and not just top down”. They also suggested that:

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“there is a role for equality organisations in motivating individuals to take a stand against unfair treatment and discrimination when they encounter it, as well as in building their capacity and confidence to do so”. Mainstreaming 3.91 The EOC (1999) highlighted the need to increase awareness of mainstreaming, as well as to ensure that senior decision makers know how to incorporate this and reflect it in their working. There is evidence of some lack of understanding of mainstreaming amongst particular groups such as politicians and public officials (Mackay and Bilton, 2000). Similarly, in an EOC study of attitudes of senior decision makers, awareness of mainstreaming was found to be not as high as might have been expected (EOC, 1999). Providing information and support 3.92 Some of the data suggests the need for the provision of information and support about equalities issues. Edwards and Hatch (2004) found that people lacked information about where to go if they required help. Additionally, over two thirds felt that they were not very well-informed, or not at all well-informed, about the support that was in place. 3.93 Participants called for better provision of information, with the suggestion that national and local government had a responsibility to inform people about help available. Respondents favoured an increase in advice and advocacy services, reporting concerns that it can be difficult to take action against unfair treatment (although they also noted that there was some concern that there was too much legislation and that litigation was getting “out of hand”). 3.94 It has also been identified that there is a need to ensure that people are informed of their rights (EOC, 2005) and to do this in an appropriate format. Bromley and Curtice (2003) also found that 59% of respondents in Scotland said that local councils should publish information about services in languages other than English. Tackling the media 3.95 A MORI / Oxfam poll in November 2004 found that 51% of Scottish adults did not think that media reporting of asylum issues was accurate and fair (Lewis, 2006). Given the perceived influence of the media, it is perhaps not surprising that participants in the Citizens’ Forum: “identified the media as the most important, and one of the hardest places, to tackle discrimination in practice”. 3.96 Saggar and Drean (2001) also identified the need for a consistent and coherent approach to rebutting myths in the press. The Citizens’ Forum participants identified the need to challenge negative accounts in the media, as well as to promote more positive images of a diverse society. These types of suggestion, along with more specific ways of addressing these issues, have been reiterated in many studies. Work in schools 3.97 Edwards and Hatch (2004) noted that participants in the Citizens’ Forum identified the importance of work in schools, with these seen to be “powerful forces for change”. It was argued that children and young people should learn about equalities issues at an early stage. This is supported in

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material from HMIe (2005) highlighting the role of schools in promoting positive attitudes and diversity. Single equality body 3.98 Although there is limited evidence of public views of the development of a single equality body, some issues relevant to this development were explored, for example, in the Citizens’ Forum. The research suggested that an organisation which promotes fair treatment for all would have public support (as well as potentially experiencing high demand). Edwards and Hatch (2004) stated that the single equality body may be the best opportunity for raising the profile of fair treatment as a goal for all. 3.99 MORI research in Scotland in 2005 (MORI, 2006c) found that six out of ten people agreed that a government funded body to inform the public about human rights and investigate Scottish public bodies on devolved matters would be beneficial. Maxwell et al (2004) noted that equality groups in Scotland consider that the CEHR should be sensitive to the prevailing political, social and cultural agenda. Attitude change 3.100 Finally, and not surprisingly in the light of the findings in this report, many studies of public attitudes point to the need to challenge these attitudes (often as part of a wide range of other suggestions relating to policy and practice), and to address stereotyping (directly or indirectly). A number of reports recommend developing a range of work aimed specifically at changing attitudes. Singh (2000), talking about race equality, summarised that: “and finally we need to influence public attitudes … We need a solid shift in public attitude in the same way that ten or twelve years ago drink driving was accepted when it is now condemned. It is perhaps a crude comparison but we need to feel that way about racism - that it is wholly unacceptable”. 3.101 The Commission for Racial Equality (2004) in research about public attitudes campaigning, noted that: “generally speaking, once formed, attitudes are relatively stable and notoriously difficult to alter”. They also note that there is sometimes a need to challenge attitudes indirectly, by focusing on what is socially acceptable, as well as undertaking some targeted work. 3.102 There does seem to be some recognition amongst many members of the public of the need to change inappropriate attitudes. The Equalities Review focus groups (Eligon, 2006), suggested that changing people’s attitudes was seen as vital for the future. 3.103 In terms of the more specific nature of work required to change attitudes, Bromley and Curtice (2003) conclude that: “with psychological factors having the most immediate influence on attitudes to discrimination, those who wish to influence discriminatory attitudes need either to persuade people that other people are like themselves or else encourage them to enjoy a diverse society”.

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3.104 Valentine and McDonald, on the basis of their evidence, also suggest that campaigns should teach the value of difference within majority and minority groups. The CRE stress the importance of political leadership when addressing issues where strong public opinions are held (CRE, 2004). 3.105 As Alexander and Davies (2001) stated: “we need to be aware of the potential for a backlash but not allow that to limit our demands … and the biggest challenge of all - we need to develop coherent strategies that will undermine the ideological basis of inequality”. Other suggestions 3.106 A range of other developments have been suggested (drawing on data relating to public attitudes), and these include: • • • • • • • • • • • • • Government agencies and minority groups working together with a national approach Developing national policies, with a local dimension Carrying out research to benchmark prejudice, monitor work undertaken and highlight change Recognising multiple discrimination issues / multiple identities and making these more visible Promoting positive images of equalities groups Targeting marginalised areas of white majority society or specific groups where inappropriate attitudes are prevalent (although it is also suggested that there is little point in focusing on the hard core minority) Developing resourced and sustained long term campaigns Developing and promoting education and training Challenging specific attitudes and concerns Making links between different equalities issues Emphasising equality as a right for all, and desirable and beneficial for all, and not as a minority interest Involving the general public and specific equalities groups in taking work forward Providing strong leadership and political discourse

3.107 It should be noted that other types of work are also seen to be required in taking forward equalities work, but are not necessarily linked to public attitudes research and therefore not explored in this report. These include many other suggested changes to legislation, policy and practice. OVERVIEW 3.108 All of the work which has been examined in this report provides some indication of public attitudes to equalities issues, and public attitudes to the nature of change required. 3.109 The potential developments discussed in this section, as part of a wider approach to tackling equalities issues, appear consistent with the aspiration expressed in the Scottish Executive progress report (2003), which stated that: “we want a Scotland which values its different communities, fosters respect for diversity, challenges prejudice and discrimination and heralds justice and equality”. 3.110 The material presented in these findings indicates some of the considerations in relation to public attitudes, in developing this. The final section of the report summarises the key findings and conclusions.

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SECTION 4

CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

4.1 All of the material which has been presented in this report provides an indication of some aspects of public attitudes to equalities issues in Scotland. This, as noted previously, is part of the overall review which will help to inform the way forward in the future. This final section provides a brief summary of the main issues which have been identified throughout this report, and highlights some of their implications. SUMMARY OF CONCLUSIONS 4.2 The research has identified that public attitudes to equalities groups and issues are central to the ways in which groups in Scotland are treated, and to their experiences. Positive, well-informed attitudes can help to promote equality, as well as enabling all groups to participate in all aspects of economic and cultural life. Negative or ill-informed attitudes (which can take a range of forms, including, for example, overt prejudice, lack of understanding or attitudes which do not necessarily appear discriminatory, but have a negative impact) can create and sustain barriers. 4.3 • • In terms of the overall picture, the main conclusions are that: There is an overall pattern of mixed views of equalities issues in Scotland, with the data suggesting some positive views, understanding of issues and progress, alongside more negative attitudes Generally, in Scotland, although only a minority of people express prejudiced views on most issues, and there is seen to be a close link between equality and human rights, there remain some problems across equalities strands, and the focus of much of the report is on identifying these and highlighting ways in which they can be addressed There is considerable variation in public perceptions of different groups, in terms of whether discriminatory views will be expressed, whether prejudice is recognised and whether there is seen to be a need for further action There are many contradictions within the views expressed, and the views of equalities issues are neither consistent nor clear-cut There are examples of the co-existence of both positive and negative views within the individual equality strands, although, for the purpose of this report, the main focus is upon the identification of prejudice where this exists (as the basis of highlighting the need for further action) There are examples of apparent differences between the perceived level of discrimination and groups’ actual experiences of prejudice and discrimination (e.g. with some findings suggesting a lower level of recognition of age; disability; and gender-related prejudice than is sometimes suggested by actual experiences; or in the case of sectarianism with apparently higher levels of perceived discrimination than is actually experienced) There are sometimes anomalies between the level of recognition of prejudice and discrimination and the perceived need for additional work (e.g. where there is more limited recognition of discrimination, there can also be perceptions that more work is required; and where there is clearer recognition of prejudice, there is not always a correspondingly high level of identification of the need for additional work) The data identifies some specific issues on which there may be a particular lack of understanding and some groups against which there is a higher level of expressed prejudice

• • •

•

•

•

4.4 In terms of positive progress and developments in attitudes to equalities groups and issues, the main conclusions are that:

48

• • • •

•

There is evidence to suggest that many members of the public believe that there have been some improvements to equality in Britain in recent years There are examples of areas of progress in Scotland in terms of positive attitude changes to equalities issues There are some examples of perceived progress in most of the strands, although there are some strands (e.g. religion / belief) in which views appear to be particularly mixed Examples of progress include suggestions that: there is growing recognition of some of the “newer” equalities issues; there is now more open discussion of disability issues; there have been changes to views of traditional gender roles, working parents, and aspects of violence against women; there has been progress in addressing “crude” racial discrimination and greater acceptance of people from other backgrounds in Scotland, as well as a greater acceptance of multiculturalism; there is less division on the grounds of race and more moderate views of migration in Scotland than south of the border; there is increased “tolerance”; there is increasing acceptance of same sex relationships and a suggested general decline in negative views of LGBT people Within strands, there are also specific examples of improved attitudes to some particular issues, such as, for example, mental health, learning disability and domestic abuse In terms of discriminatory views in Scotland, the main conclusions are that:

4.5 • • • • • •

•

• • •

There is no doubt that there remain negative and discriminatory views in Scotland in relation to the range of equalities issues Discrimination may have become “less visible” and less often expressed, but it is still present There are findings to suggest the existence of overt discrimination and a lack of understanding of equalities issues, as well as the belief, amongst some, that there can be some justification for prejudice Although discriminatory views are often expressed by only a minority of the population, these views are damaging to the promotion of equality and will have a direct effect on the experiences of equalities groups People are less likely to express discriminatory attitudes about older people, disabled people and women than is the case for some other groups, although it is clear that this does not mean that these groups do not experience discrimination Attitudes to children and young people have been shown to be very mixed and contradictory (which is also the case in other strands), where majority views of them as helpful and friendly co-exist with high levels of concern about crime and behaviour Views of older people and disabled people are often overtly “positive” (in terms of being “supportive”), but there are problems for both groups in terms of patronising attitudes based on inappropriate or discriminatory perceptions of these groups, and these can also lead to inequality There appears to be more overt expression of negative views of issues relating to race, and sexual orientation and gender identity than has been found in relation to some other groups There are many examples of discriminatory views of ethnic minority groups in Scotland, including a lack of understanding of some issues, stereotypes and misinformation, and overtly discriminatory attitudes Attitudes to religious / faith groups indicate some positive and some less positive views of particular groups, as well as variations in perceptions of the level of Islamophobia and sectarianism in Scotland

49

• • •

There are examples of prejudice in views of LGBT people generally and of issues such as: same sex relationships; parenting issues; and the perceived suitability of LGBT people for specific roles Within equalities strands, there are some specific groups about which there may be more overt expressions of prejudice (e.g. people with mental health problems; refugees / asylum seekers; Gypsy / Travellers; Muslims; and Protestants / Catholics) There are some specific issues in which there may be a particular lack of understanding, including: the nature of disability or age discrimination; some mental health issues; some aspects of violence against women (e.g. rape) In terms of experiences of prejudice and discrimination, the main conclusions are that:

4.6 • • •

•

•

• • • • •

Many people have personal experience of some form of discrimination There is clear evidence from each of the equalities strands that people in equalities groups experience discriminatory attitudes which manifest themselves in a range of ways People experience, for example, name-calling and jokes; inappropriate stereotypes and behaviour; barriers in access to services and employment; and abuse (physical and verbal), and there are examples of these types of experiences across all of the groups There is evidence of experiences of ageism which appear to be fairly well-embedded, with material to indicate experiences of discrimination for older people, and children and young people in access to services. There is also evidence of discrimination against older people and young people in employment Children and young people (and older people) can also experience specific forms of abuse and violence relating to their age. They can also experience other forms of discrimination and prejudice as members of other equalities groups, for example as LGBT people; people from ethnic minority communities etc. (This can be true for all equalities groups.) Studies of a range of aspects of social and economic participation by disabled people (e.g. in employment; access to services; experiences of harassment; and hate crime) provide examples of discrimination There is evidence of women’s experiences of discriminatory attitudes in employment, in pay and in opportunities, and continuing issues with a range of aspects of gender stereotyping, and with violence against women There is evidence of ethnic minority groups’ experiences of discriminatory attitudes in the form of racist abuse and violence, discrimination in employment and access to services The views of Muslims in Scotland suggest some experiences of perceived social exclusion or prejudice and there are some other examples of people being affected personally by prejudice or discrimination on the basis of their religion or belief There is ample evidence of LGBT people’s experiences of discrimination in Scotland (e.g. in the workplace, in experiences of abuse and violence and in access to services) In terms of public awareness / recognition of issues, the main conclusions are that:

4.7 • • •

There seems to be some public recognition of the existence of prejudice and discrimination in the UK (including in Scotland) against some minority groups There are variations in the extent to which prejudice is recognised for particular groups Although there is evidence of discrimination and prejudiced views against all of the groups, disabled people and women are identified by fewer respondents in Scotland than is the case for ethnic minority people and LGBT people as groups against which there is “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of prejudice

50

•

•

• • • •

Over half of members of the public in Scotland in 2003 identified that there is “a great deal”, or “quite a lot” of prejudice against ethnic minority groups and around half recognise that there is “a great deal”, or “quite a lot” of prejudice against gay men and lesbians Where there is more limited overall recognition of some groups as experiencing “a great deal” or “quite a lot” of prejudice, there may be a recognition that they experience some prejudice, “unfair” or “different” treatment (perhaps suggesting that this may not always be understood as constituting “prejudice” or “discrimination”) Within strands, there is sometimes greater recognition of the existence of discrimination for some groups, or greater recognition of particular issues than is the case for more general prejudice and discrimination against the group The data relating to some of the more recently recognised equalities strands (e.g. age, religion / belief, and sexual orientation and gender identity) is more limited than is the case for other strands, although substantial work has been done in recent years There appears to be little public awareness of issues relating to multiple discrimination in Scotland A small number of additional issues have been highlighted in UK research as being seen to constitute “equalities” issues, or factors on which discrimination can occur In terms of influences on attitudes to equality, the main conclusions are that:

4.8 •

• •

There are a number of influences upon attitudes to equality. Discriminatory views are generally less likely to be expressed by people with higher levels of educational attainment and younger people; and more likely to be expressed by white majority men and people experiencing higher levels of disadvantage (although there are some variations to this) People who are prejudiced against one group are also likely to be prejudiced against others Attitudes to equality are influenced by parents and friends; the media; perceptions of “difference”; interaction and contact; and religious beliefs, as well as a range of other factors In terms of views of the way forward, the main conclusions are that:

4.9 • • • • • •

•

Overall, there is support in Scotland for equalities work (particularly amongst those who recognise the existence of discrimination) There is support for concepts such as fairness, tolerance, absence of prejudice and human rights, although studies have found variations in understanding of some of the issues and terminology Overall, there are very few people in Scotland with negative views on promoting equality across groups (and although the level varies between groups, there is support for work with all groups) There is support for work with older people, children and young people, and religious / faith groups A relatively high proportion of people think that equalities work has not gone far enough for disabled people and women and few think that it has gone too far A higher proportion of people in Scotland believe that equal opportunities have gone too far for ethnic minority groups and LGBT people than is the case for other groups (despite their identification as being more likely to experience prejudice), but there is still a larger proportion who consider that this work has not gone far enough Particular support has been identified for initiatives to address specific issues, such as: protection of children and young people and access to services; work / life balance; childcare; equal pay; employment opportunities; work to combat racism;

51

•

•

multiculturalism and anti-discrimination laws relating to religion; measures to address sectarianism; and anti-poverty work There is also some evidence of support for particular types of initiatives, including: legislation; representation; recognising and meeting diverse needs; developing relationships; challenging inappropriate language and behaviour; mainstreaming equality; providing advice and support about equalities issues (in appropriate formats); tackling the media; education; developing a single equality body; and work to address and change attitudes A range of other suggestions have also been made about specific ways of taking work forward, including: taking a national approach with local dimensions; government agencies and minority groups working together; carrying out research; recognising multiple discrimination; promoting positive images; targeting those groups where inappropriate attitudes are prevalent; developing resourced and sustained long term campaigns; developing and promoting education and training; challenging attitudes; making links between different equalities issues; emphasising equality as a right for all; involving the general public and equalities groups; and providing strong leadership and political discourse

IMPLICATIONS OF THE FINDINGS 4.10 It is clear that public attitudes to equalities issues in Scotland are complex, and sometimes contradictory, both generally and in relation to specific issues. It has been stressed that there are many factors (such as unwillingness to express discriminatory views; complacency; lack of understanding of the issues) which mean that these views may also underestimate the real prevalence of prejudice. 4.11 This, in turn, makes it impossible to use these public attitudes to provide a definitive view of, for example, the level of “racism” or “ageism”, or other forms of discrimination in Scotland, and may “mask” the actual experiences of the groups involved. For these reasons, it would be inappropriate to base work which is carried out in the future simply upon public perceptions of the extent of discrimination, or their views of the work which should be developed. 4.12 Instead, from the point of view of the development of equalities work, the value in identifying these views is to help to highlight those areas in which there are seen to remain discriminatory attitudes (whatever their level). On this basis, the main implications of the findings are outlined. 4.13 • • • • • In terms of the overall implications of these findings, it is suggested that: It is essential to recognise and address the continuing existence of discriminatory views in relation to all of the equalities groups in Scotland, even where these views are expressed overtly by only a relatively small proportion of the population There should be an overall national approach, alongside work at a local level, to challenge and address prejudice, with a clear message that discriminatory attitudes are unacceptable The findings of this report should be considered alongside other work as the basis of further discussion to identify areas of equalities work (both general and specific) in which there is a need for action In developing action, there is a need to provide clear and definitive information about: the nature of equalities issues; the nature of discrimination; the types of work which are required; and the benefits of addressing equalities issues for Scotland It is important to ensure that the public understand the links between their attitudes, behaviour, and the impact upon groups (including the impact of behaviour such as jokes, name-calling, inappropriate assumptions and stereotyping, as well as other, perhaps more recognised forms of abuse)

52

• •

There is a need to develop understanding of the difference between addressing barriers to equality and giving groups an “unfair” advantage It is important to use concepts and terminology which are meaningful to the public

4.14 In terms of more specific areas of action, it is suggested that there is a need to consider appropriate ways to: • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • 4.15 • • • • • • • • Address discriminatory public attitudes directly and address those structures which can result from, and help to sustain such attitudes Ensure that there are appropriate structures to develop and maintain positive attitudes to equality in Scotland Raise awareness of the existence of prejudice and discrimination in Scotland, including for groups for which this is less well-recognised Raise awareness and promote understanding of the issues facing each of the individual groups, and cross-cutting issues Make a clear case for the need for equalities work and the reasons for this, and challenge dismissive notions of “political correctness” by highlighting the damage of discriminatory attitudes Challenge and tackle inappropriate and negative attitudes to equality, in the press and in society Dispel myths and stereotypes about equalities groups and issues, and promote positive images Build upon positive views in Scotland and develop a widespread commitment to a country free from prejudice Provide clear information highlighting the relative position of groups, the issues which affect them and the experiences which have been detailed in this report, developing knowledge and understanding based upon factual information Clarify the terminology and approach of equalities work, and promote wider understanding of the principles and benefits of equality Target specific groups which may be particularly likely to hold discriminatory views Target specific issues about which there may be a lack of understanding or particular prejudice Enable appropriate and meaningful contact between those experiencing prejudice and discrimination and others Recognise and address issues relating to multiple discrimination issues / multiple identities Ensure that there is adequate support and protection for those who experience inequality and discrimination Tackle the media presentation of equalities issues In terms of particular types of work, it is suggested that there is a need for: Education in a range of settings, including schools and the community Training Widespread awareness raising campaigns Research to benchmark prejudice, clarify issues, monitor work undertaken and highlight change Information provision about specific issues Legislation and policy developments to support cultural change Identification and dissemination of examples of positive developments and good practice Provision of guidance for service providers and the media

53

• • • • •

Information provision in a range of formats and specialist support for equalities groups Development of representation by equalities groups Structural and practice developments to enable the work required Specific development of work in some of the areas suggested A range of other complementary initiatives identified by a range of stakeholders with an interest and expertise in equalities issues In terms of ways of working, it is suggested that there is a need for: Clear messages, strong direction and political / social discourse in relation to equalities issues A co-ordinated approach to equalities issues Strong challenges to discriminatory attitudes and an emphasis on the unacceptability of such views and the fact that they are never justified Joint working between policy makers and equalities groups to identify the way forward in tackling these issues Links between different equalities issues Visible, resourced and sustained long term work to address public attitudes and wider equalities issues at a national and local level A clear focus on positive images and approaches to equalities work Appropriate resource provision to support work Development of links between different equalities issues Mainstreaming of equality An emphasis on equality as a right for all, and not a minority interest Involvement of the general public and equality groups in taking work forward

4.16 • • • • • • • • • • • •

4.17 As has been stressed throughout the report, this is not a definitive list of work which is required to tackle public attitudes to equality in Scotland, but provides an indication of some of the areas in which the research suggests that work may be required. This can form the basis of further discussion and direction for the future.

54

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