Attitudes towards Homosexuality in the South Caucasus
The 2011 CB asked one question regarding attitudes towards homosexuality-“Please tell me whether you think homosexuality can be justified or not?” The question was recoded from 10-point scale into 5-point scale, where the highest number indicated “can always be justified” and the lowest number indicated “can never be justified”. The majority in each country felt that homosexuality could never be justified (96% in Armenian, 84% in Azerbaijan and 87% in Georgia). Only 3-7% of responses resulted for points 2 to 5 on the scale.
Figure 1: Homosexuality can never be justified (Point 1)
The above mentioned study from Pew Research Center also found that there is a strong relationship between religiosity and acceptance of homosexuality. The study concludes that attitudes towards homosexuality are more positive in countries where religion is less central in people’s lives (with several exceptions such as Russia and China). Also, acceptance of homosexuality is greater in poorer countries. These factors, however, are again different in the South Caucasus. Armenians and Georgians say they are more religious (an average of 6 and 7 points, where 1=least religious and 10=most religious, respectively in 2012), than Azerbaijanis (an average of 5). However, the levels of acceptance of homosexuality are relatively similar for all three countries. Regarding the wealth of these countries, Azerbaijan is classified as an upper middle income economy (according to 2012 gross national income (GNI) per capita, World Bank data), while Georgia and Armenia are lower middle income economies. Nevertheless, acceptance towards homosexuality does not significantly differ.
If you would like to explore more about attitudes towards homosexual and other social groups, please visit our interactive ODA.
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