Back Tuesday | 12 June, 2012
Georgia: A Liberal or Socially Conservative Country?
How justified is it for Georgian women to bear a child or have sex outside of wedlock? Is the Georgian population tolerant towards homosexuals? What are views on issues such as these in the light of the western-oriented political course of the country? How do men and women compare in terms of liberal attitudes? To address these questions, this blog post presents the results from two waves of a nationwide public opinion survey entitled “Knowledge and Attitudes toward the EU in Georgia” conducted by CRRC in 2009 and 2011. The data indicates that attitudes towards women having sex or bearing a child without being married have slightly changed in a more liberal way over the past two years, yet social conservatism remains deeply rooted in Georgia. Georgians remain generally unaccepting of homosexuality. Also, Georgian women seem to have more conservative attitudes towards particular issues than men.
Social values are quite static and two years is a very short period to speak about value changes. Yet the data still suggests some interesting trends indicating that certain values related to women having sex or bearing a child without marriage are slightly changing in a more liberal way, while other attitudes such as tolerance of homosexuality remain unchanged. CRRC data shows that 50%-64% of Georgians think that it is never justified for an unmarried woman to bear a child or have sex. Also, vast majority of Georgians think homosexuality is never justified.
As the chart shows, the number of Georgians who think that it is always or sometimes justified for a woman to give birth without being married has increased from 30% to 42%, while the number of people who think it is always or sometimes justified for a woman to have sex before marriage has increased from 15% to 28%. When the same question was asked about men in 2011, over half (57%) of the population said that it is always or sometimes justified for man to have sex before marriage. These results suggest that to some, men having sex before marriage is more justifiable in Georgia than woman doing the same. These slight changes within the past 2 years cannot be generalized to the entire range of social questions asked in the survey. For example, 90% of Georgians think that homosexuality can never be justified and this result has remains unchanged since 2009. This is one indicator that social conservatism is still deeply rooted in Georgia.
Examining the data by gender shows that Georgian men and women equally condemn homosexuality and their attitudes related to woman bearing a child without marriage are also similar. However, there are some differences in values related to people having sex before marriage by gender.
The data indicates that having sex before marriage is more justifiable for men than for women. 33% of Georgian men think that is always justified for a man to have sex before marriage, while this share decreases to 18% for women to do the same. However, it is also worth noting that 25% of Georgian men say that a man having sex before marriage can never be justified.
When asked about women having sex before marriage 57% of Georgian men think this is never justified and 70% of Georgian women say the same. Thus, Georgian women are even more conservative on this question. Moreover, over half (51%) of Georgian women agree that is always or sometimes (percentages added) justified for a man to have sex before marriage, while only 25% think that this can be justifiable for a woman as well.
The results suggest that even though there is a slight shift towards liberal values concerning women bearing a child or having sex without marriage, social conservatism still prevails. Tolerance of homosexuality remains extremely low over the past two years. Exploring the data by gender shows that while men and women share similar values and attitudes towards certain issues such as homosexuality and woman bearing a child without marriage, Georgian women have more conservative attitudes towards having sex before marriage than men.
The questions discussed in this blog post can be considered sensitive in Georgian society. Yet, these results are a good starting point for a healthy discussion on these issues. Feel free to share your thoughts with us and find out more on this topic via CRRC’s Online Data Analysis tool.
08.08.2015 | Saturday
CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) surveys regularly collect information about how the interviewers assess each of the conducted interviews – so called paradata that provides additional insight into the conditions surrounding the interviews (e.g., whether someone besides the respondent and the interviewer was present during the face-to-face interview), as well as interviewers’ subjective assessments of, for example, level of sincerity of the respondents.
02.08.2015 | Sunday
Citizenship is a difficult concept to define as its definition changes over time, depending on social, legal, and political contexts. Importantly, it not only encompasses structural (legal and institutional) aspects, but also the everyday practices through which people relate to the state and other citizens. This blog post examines some of the perceptions as to what makes a good citizen across the South Caucasus and the extent to which people’s actions match up with their stated opinions on good citizenship.
28.06.2015 | Sunday By Maya Komakhidze
[Note: Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the third blog post in the series. Click here to see the first and second blog posts in the series.]
[Note: Social Science in the Caucasus is publishing the work of six young researchers who entered CRRC-Georgia’s Junior Fellowship Program (JFP) in February 2015. This is the third blog post in the series. Click here to see the first and second blog posts in the series.]
A study carried out by the UNDP in 2013 shows that traditional views of gender roles persist in Georgia – women primarily view themselves as housewives, spouses and mothers. Unsurprisingly, in the focus group discussions conducted within the framework of the National Research on Domestic Violence project, respondents associated divorce with “disaster,” “the end of the world” and the shame of a woman returning to her parents’ home after divorce.
03.04.2015 | Friday
This blog post explored the attitudes of Azerbaijanis towards gender roles, and whether these have changed over time. It showed that there is a cross-generational continuum in the defined gendered character of the activities children and teenagers have been taught to perform.
09.03.2015 | Monday
Public opinion polls consistently show that the majority of Georgians want to be a part of the European Union. Young people in Georgia are especially pro-Western, often claiming to share the same values as their peers in the West.
02.03.2015 | Monday
Deserving to be beaten and tolerating violence: Attitudes towards violence against women in Azerbaijan
This blog post looks into how the attitudes of the representatives of various socio-demographic groups differ towards these two statements, which are jointly referred to as “violence against women”.
01.02.2015 | Sunday
This blog post looks at who reports more liberal views in regard to premarital sex in Georgia – men or women – and whether there are any differences in attitudes based on respondent age, level of education, or settlement type.
15.05.2016 | Sunday Fearing for the children - the blog looks at how homophobic attitudes vary along gender lines taking into account whether men and women live in a household with children:
06.06.2016 | Monday Increasing knowledge of and trust in polls are clear challenges for pollsters in Georgia. Even though public opinion polls are regularly criticized, there is still a public demand for them. A majority of Georgians believe that they don't have a proper understanding of how public opinion polls are conducted, but they agree that polls help everyone to better understand the society they live in.
25.01.2014 | Saturday
In November 2013, CRRC conducted a survey on public attitudes in Georgia for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), with funding from the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The survey shows that Georgians are generally positive about the direction in which their country is going, the state of democracy in Georgia, and the current ruling coalition.
24.03.2014 | Monday
In Stephen Jones’ 2013 book, Georgia: A Political History since Independence, he argues that economic issues are more important to the average Georgian than issues related to nationalism. According to Benedict Anderson’s classic exegesis of nationalism, Imagined Communities, a nation is defined as, “an imagined political community - and imagined as both inherently limited and sovereign” (Anderson 2006).
07.03.2014 | Friday
Happiness is an issue that has been the subject of philosophical and social science reflection at least since the ancient Greek philosopher Democratis (460 BC -370 BC) said, “Happiness resides not in possessions, and not in gold, happiness dwells in the soul."
28.05.2014 | Wednesday
09.06.2014 | Monday
In the Principles and Recommendations for a Vital Statistics System, Revision 2 (by the United Nations), divorce is defined as “a final legal dissolution of a marriage, that is, that separation of husband and wife which confers on the parties the right to remarriage under civil, religious and/or other provisions, according to the laws of each country.” This blog post examines divorce in Azerbaijan over the years, by age group, gender and by duration of marriage. The post also explores perceptions of happiness among divorced Azerbaijanis and those who are not divorced.
07.07.2014 | Monday
On February 3rd, 2014, Facebook celebrated its 10th anniversary. According to the World Map of Social Networks December, 2013 statistics, Facebook is the world’s most popular social network with more than one billion users. It is followed by QZone with 552 million users, Vkontakte (190 million users), Odnoklassniki (45 million users), and Cloob (1 million users). However, it is important to note that social network usage is not distributed evenly geographically.
14.07.2014 | Monday
When is a war not a war? While it may seem commonsensical that a country cannot simultaneously be at war and at peace, the prevalence of several ‘frozen conflicts’ in the post-Soviet space defies simple categorization. If we take the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazia or South Ossetia as an example, a quick internet search shows that there was a five-day war in 2008 that ended on the 12th of August with a preliminary ceasefire agreement.
28.07.2014 | Monday
Some social scientists, such as Satoshi Kanazawa, argue that a woman’s education level can impact her willingness to have children. However, Linda Hirshman, a scholar of women’s issues, questions Kanazawa’s findings by arguing that reproduction is a culturally-inflected decision. Additionally, Gary Becker hypothesizes that women with higher education might not feel economic pressure such that marriage is economically advantageous.
25.08.2014 | Monday
As discussed in a recent blog post, household incomes in Georgia have risen steadily since 2008. The percentage of Georgians who have family or close relatives living abroad has also significantly increased from 37% in 2009 to 53% in 2013. 14% of Georgian households currently receive money from family members, relatives, or friends living in another country as an income source. This blog examines changes in interest in emigrating from Georgia over the last five years, while controlling for certain variables.
15.09.2014 | Monday
Authors Rahmato and Kidanu (1999) use the phrase “We live only for today” to describe a feeling whereby a person gives up on life and does not know or does not want to think about what will happen the next day. This phrase describes a state wherein people live day-to-day without hope for the future. This sense of helplessness or hopelessness with regard to the future is known as fatalism.
07.10.2014 | Tuesday
A recent CRRC regional blog post analyzed the presence of fatalism in Georgia. The post cited CRRC Caucasus Barometer (CB) data which shows that in 2013, 28% of Georgians agreed that “everything in life is determined by fate.” While the CB findings demonstrate that a sizeable portion of the adult population is fatalistic about the future, Georgians are increasingly likely to see that future in a positive light, whether it be determined by fate or not.
20.10.2014 | Monday On September 3rd 2013 Armenian President Serzh Sargsyan surprised many observers, including some in his own government, when he announced that Armenia would sign an agreement with Russia to join the Eurasian Customs Union (ECU) and spurn a long-negotiated Association Agreement (AA) with the European Union. The move has been dubbed a “U-Turn” as well as a “sudden shift in policy,” although it was predated by landmark Armenian-Russian agreements in 1997 and 2006.
13.11.2014 | Thursday
This is the second blog post in a series analyzing homophobia in Tbilisi. The first blog post in this series can be found here.
Who tends to be more homophobic in Tbilisi – men or women? This blog post explores differences in homophobic attitudes between males and females using data from CRRC-Georgia’s survey of Tbilisi residents on the events of May 17, 2013, and shows that men tend to be more homophobic than women. Moreover, the findings show that men are more homophobic when they believe that homosexuality is inborn, rather than acquired.
24.11.2014 | Monday
This is the fifth and final blog post in a series analyzing the findings of CRRC-Georgia’s 2013 May 17 survey in Tbilisi and presents evidence-based policy recommendations which address the issue of widespread homophobic attitudes. The previous blog posts in this series can be found here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4.
29.12.2014 | Monday
Calling 2014 turbulent for the world seems almost euphemistic. The world witnessed renewed Russian revanchism with the war in Ukraine and annexation of Crimea, the emergence of a highly successful militant Islamic organization, Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and the persistently tense situation in Israel erupted into another war between Israelis and Palestinians.
25.11.2015 | Wednesday
The Knowledge of and Attitudes towards the European Union in Georgia 2015 survey report was presented today by Eurasia Partnership Foundation (EPF) in Tbilisi.
30.11.2015 | Monday
In Georgia, unemployment is high, and it is higher among women than men. Policy changes are definitely needed not only to increase the employment opportunities, but also to ensure more equal employment opportunities for men and women.
15.02.2012 | Wednesday
Widespread apathy and a general disbelief that good can come from joint effort is a major factor hindering social capital in Georgia. One indicator of apathy can be fatalism, meaning the belief that all events are predetermined and therefore inevitable. This blog explores the level of political fatalism in Georgia and how it is connected to Georgians’ perceptions of the country’s current political course and democracy.
16.03.2012 | Friday
What do Georgians consider good citizenship to mean? The issue of good citizenship is important, especially because of Georgia’s expressed democratic aspirations. This blog looks at how Georgians perceive their responsibilities as citizens and how their attitudes towards good citizenship have changed in the past two years. The results indicate that mass attitudes and beliefs are gradually changing and that now, compared to 2009, Georgians take a more active view of citizens’ responsibilities.
24.02.2011 | Thursday
The internal workings of the European Union (EU) are notoriously yawnsome matters. However, in a survey from 2008, CRRC aimed to give an overview of Georgians’ understanding of and attitudes to the EU - including some hot topics concerning orientations towards such activities as sex before marriage, infidelity, dishonesty, and tax-paying.
21.03.2011 | Monday
By Sonya Kleshik
One of the previous CRRC blogs discussed some results from CRRC’s recent survey called “IDPs in Georgia” which gauged the opinions and attitudes of IDPs displaced from Abkhazia during the 1992-1993 conflict towards return, conflict resolution and justice. CRRC’s annual survey, the Caucasus Barometer (2010) also included a series of questions on Georgia-Abkhazia relations asked to the non-IDP population of Georgia.
06.04.2011 | Wednesday
A recent article in Georgia Today entitled “India through the eyes of Georgian children” described an exhibition, which was hosted by Bharatma, a Georgian-Indian cultural organization established 20 years ago, in which young Georgian public school students displayed artwork portraying their visions of Indian culture.
05.05.2011 | Thursday
CRRC conducted a survey on political and economic attitudes in Georgia for the National Democratic Institute (NDI), funded by the Swedish International development Cooperation Agency (SIDA). The fieldwork of the survey took place in March, 2011 and surveyed 2,893 respondents in Georgia. The survey covered the issues of public importance, perceptions and attitudes toward democracy and ongoing reforms, as well as various domestic and foreign affairs.
22.08.2011 | Monday
On the third anniversary of the 2008 August war the Russian Foreign Minister said that Russia will not renew ties with Georgia as long as the Georgian President Mikhail Saakhashvili is in power. Relations between the Georgian and Russian governments have been at a standstill since the conflict in 2008. Nevertheless, the attitudes of Georgians towards Russians remain positive.
29.08.2011 | Monday
CRRC has just completed a second wave of the survey entitled “Knowledge and Attitudes toward the European Union (EU) in Georgia” (2011). Just over half of the Georgian population thinks that Georgia will actually join the EU at some point in the future and they have high expectations from EU membership. Many Georgians also support membership in the European Union (EU) despite uncertainty over whether or not European citizens share the same views about Georgian accession. This new survey also lets us compare data with the first survey conducted in 2009.
07.09.2011 | Wednesday
We would like to present the third report from the Caucasus Barometer Report Writing Competition held by CRRC in spring 2011 and written by Mariam Naskidashvili. The first and the second reports were published earlier this summer. The report concerns the roles and behavior of women in Georgian society. Here is a short summary of the report:
12.09.2011 | Monday
A recent New York Times article argues that the failure of Western governments to recognize the latest presidential elections in Abkhazia on August 26, 2011 may hamper conflict resolution. According to the authors, Cooley and Mitchell, Western governments have a “counterproductive disdain” of developments in Abkhazia and isolating Sukhumi will reduce prospects for conflict resolution.
29.09.2011 | Thursday
In a recent datablog, the Guardian published a map visualizing how the former Soviet countries are doing 20 years after the fall of the Soviet Union. The map compares the 15 former Soviet countries in terms of economic development, demographics and democratic transition. It also divides the countries into five regions: Russia, the Baltic countries, the EU borderlands, Central Asia and the South Caucasus.
13.10.2011 | Thursday
During the 20th anniversary of Armenian independence from the Soviet Union on September 21, 2011, the Armenian news service Hetq reported that the organizers of celebratory events were delivering commemorative T-shirts made in Turkey – which has had closed borders with Armenia since 1993. Despite the fact that trade between Armenia and Turkey flourishes via Georgia, the border between the two countries remains closed. What does the population of Armenia actually think about opening the border with Turkey?
16.10.2011 | Sunday
CRRC’s report “How Does the South Caucasus Compare?” aims to put attitudes towards gender in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, the three countries of the South Caucasus region, into a global context.
26.12.2011 | Monday
Survey data shows that there is a strong preference for male children over female children throughout the South Caucasus. As mentioned in the March 4, 2010 edition of The Economist, after 1991 there has been an increase in the ratio of boys to girls in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia. The sex ratio rose from 103-106 boys to 100 girls in 1991 to 115-120 boys to 100 girls by 2000. The 2010 Caucasus Barometer (CB) indicates that gender preferences in the South Caucasus remain skewed in favor of males with 54% of Armenians, 27% of Azerbaijanis and 46% of Georgians prefer to have male children if given a choice.
19.03.2010 | Friday
Earlier this month The Economist published two articles (article one, article two) on imbalances in gender. In all societies there is, at birth, a sex ratio slightly biased in favor of boys: 103-106 boys to 100 girls. The number evens out later on as male babies have a higher mortality rate than female babies. In some parts of the world, however, there currently is an abnormally high number of boys being born.
19.04.2010 | Monday
Last month we wrote a blog post on gender imbalance in the South Caucasus showing that there is an abnormal high number of boys being born in the region. Several comments were posted on the blog site that brought attention to abortion rates in Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
22.07.2010 | Thursday
Following an article on Georgians’ attitudes toward Russia, CRRC Fellows Therese Svensson and Julia Hon have written a new piece for CAD, entitled “Attitudes toward the West in the South Caucasus”. Their article looks at citizens’ views on three areas of relations — political, economic and cultural — between the South Caucasus and the West, in particular NATO, the US and the EU. The data were derived from the South Caucasus–wide 2007 and 2008 Data Initiatives (DI), as well as from the 2009 EU survey that was conducted in Georgia.
11.10.2010 | Monday
With ever-increasing globalized societies, ethnically homogeneous states are fewer and fewer. Increased mobility has resulted in freer movement for migration and travel, and advances in technology have made constant communication easy across the globe. No doubt, these developments have made friendships between different nationalities more common, and even taken for granted in many places. Yet traditional values persist, and by examining attitudes towards this phenomenon, we can gain an understanding of a country’s social dynamics as well as predicting potential conflicts.
15.10.2010 | Friday
While attitudes toward interethnic friendship can give an idea of how people feel about others in their personal lives, the Caucasus Barometer survey probes further into core beliefs by asking about attitudes toward interethnic marriage. In analyzing their replies, we gain an insight into how different ethnicities come into play in the context of marriage and the formation of a family.
10.12.2010 | Friday
By Yuliya Aliyeva Gureyeva, Baku
The paper published in the 21st edition of the Caucasus Analytical Digest presents an account of how two competing policy approaches coexist in the policy attitudes towards women in Azerbaijan.
18.06.2008 | Wednesday
Data snapshot: how do religious practices compare across the Caucasus? In our Data Initiative, we included questions on religion, and we tried to unpack the concept further: rather than only asking about the importance of religion, we linked it to practice. Thus, we asked how often people attend religious services, how often they pray, and how often they fast -- since these are comparable components across Muslim and two separate orthodox religions.
24.06.2008 | Tuesday
Last week we gave a snapshot of religious practices across the South Caucasus in general. The CRRC DI gives us an opportunity to explore this topic further and see whether religious practices are only country specific, or whether there are other factors influencing them. Let’s see if gender is a defining factor in religious practices in the South Caucasus.
22.07.2008 | Tuesday
The CRRC Data Initiative (DI) gives people an opportunity to do interesting cross-country comparisons of the South Caucasus (SC) people’s attitude toward their neighbors. This subject is quite sensitive and complex when thinking of the fact that the SC stands out for its sequence of ethnic conflicts.
04.08.2008 | Monday
Women’s participation at all levels of elections in Georgia is diminishing. As the Caucasus Women’s Network (CWN)reports, women inGeorgia were less represented in terms of candidates in the last parliamentary elections than in any previous parliamentary elections inGeorgia’s democratic history. On the other hand, women’s low political participation in elected bodies belies women’s activeness in civil society institutions, where females appear to be very active.
17.09.2008 | Wednesday
How do urban Russians view the conflicts in South Ossetia and Abkhazia? From September, 5th-8th, 2008 the Analytical Center of Yuri Levada conducted a survey in ten big cities of the Russian Federation, interviewing 1000 Russian respondents. We have translated the results into English here, as they are only available in the original Russian on the Levada website.
01.10.2008 | Wednesday
Gender issues in Armenia are currently under-evaluated and are interpreted predominantly as women's issues. Most of the recommendations drawn from different research suggest special policies to support and reinforce women's integration into traditionally male-dominated areas.
09.10.2008 | Thursday
Unemployment clearly is one of the pressing issues in the South Caucasus. But there is a lack of reliable data on people being without and looking for a job. This blog, based on CRRC’s Data Initiative 2007, provides a snapshot on these numbers.
13.11.2008 | Thursday
Indices are engaging and instructive, but some really baffle us. The World Economic Forum (WEF), the organisation that organises the annual high-profile Davos meetings, has come up with a gender index, and the Caucasus is featured. The index is intended to measure how the world is closing the gender gap in education, health, and political and economic participation. In principle, this is a great idea, since there are significant challenges and discrepancies (as our data itself shows).
07.11.2006 | Tuesday I would like to know more about this: are more people getting married, or are just more couples getting registered?
12.12.2006 | Tuesday
There has been growing concern about HIV/AIDS in the South Caucasus. But what kind of knowledge and attitudes about the disease exist in the region? By using data from the CRRC 2004 Data Initiative (DI) and conducting focus groups Gulshan Tagiyeva analyzed the knowledge and attitudes about HIV/AIDS in Azerbaijan.
22.12.2006 | Friday
Diana Ter-Stepanyan evaluated the effectiveness of the civic education training program implemented in Armenian high schools (upper grades of secondary schools). She conducted a quantitative (questionnaire based) survey among 494tenth grade schoolchildren from all of Armenia’s regions to assess the effectiveness and efficiency of “Human Rights,” “Civil Society” and “State and Law” courses offered since 2001 in the scope of the civic education program in the schools.
21.11.2016 | Monday The results of the 2016 Parliamentary elections in Georgia reveal some interesting patterns about the representation of women and ethnic minorities in Georgian politics.
28.11.2016 | Monday From the events of May 17th, 2013 when Orthodox priests and their supporters attacked demonstrators at an International Day Against Homophobia rally, to more recently when “sausage-wielding nationalists” attacked a vegan café in Tbilisi, various forms of intolerance have put Georgia into headlines internationally in recent years.
28.11.2016 | Monday Overall, the population of Georgia reports supporting inter-ethnic business relations. Yet, CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer (CB) longitudinal data show this support is declining.
11.01.2017 | Wednesday
Sex-selective abortion in Georgia is a topic that has caught international attention. From an Economist article published in September 2013 to a 2015 UN report, Georgia tends to be portrayed as having one of the worst sex-selective abortion problems in the world. Closer inspection of the data, however, suggests the issue may be blown out of proportion.
08.03.2017 | Wednesday International Women’s Day is celebrated on March 8th. In Georgia many women receive flowers on this day. Instead, some are asking for protection of their rights. This data highlights the situation of and attitudes towards women in Georgia, based on official statistics and public opinion research.
13.06.2017 | Tuesday According to the World Bank, GDP in Georgia increased from USD 10.1 billion to USD 13.9 billion between 2009 and 2015. Despite this growth, according to CRRC’s Caucasus Barometer survey (CB), the share of those who reported not having enough money to buy food on at least a weekly basis did not decrease between 2011 and 2015.
19.06.2017 | Monday A recent CRRC/NDI survey asked whether the dissolution of the Soviet Union was a good or bad thing for Georgia. People’s responses were split almost evenly: 48% reported that the dissolution was a good thing, whereas 42% said it was a bad thing for the country. Such a close split raised questions in the media about why people took one view or another.
15.08.2017 | Tuesday Bidzina Ivanishvili resigned from the post of prime minister of Georgia on November 20th 2013, and in his own words, “left politics“. Speculation about his continued informal participation in the political decision-making process began even before he resigned and still continues. Some politicians think that Ivanishvili gives orders to the Georgian Dream party from behind-the-scenes, while others believe that he actually distanced himself from politics. Politicians, journalists and experts continue to discuss the situation. Meanwhile, a majority of Georgia’s population thinks that Bidzina Ivanishvili is still involved in the governing process and that his informal participation is unacceptable.