Startling chart illustrates success of LGBT movement

12:30 pm - January 14th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    

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Over the last twenty years at least, could the LGBT-rights movement been the most successful in changing perceptions across the western world?

A new poll by Ipsos Mori certainly suggests so, showing there has been a greater shift in attitudes towards same-sex marriage than even the place of women in society.

To gauge changing attitudes they asked one simple question on different gender roles.

The chart above shows fairly flat changes in attitudes across generations. But there are also clear distinctions between different generations – with those born before 1945 half as likely as all other generations to disagree with the statement.

Ipsos-Mori add:

The flatness of the lines suggests that views of gender roles are pretty much set from early in life. This is backed up by a study which shows that support for working mothers is set early in teenage years and remains steady into young adulthood.

Compare that with attitudes on same-sex relations

There is similar though less marked movement on attitudes towards same-sex marriage.

They also make a good point on why attitudes shifted

the impact of the AIDS epidemic in the 1980s is very clear. Both the pre-war and baby boomer generations see steep increases in the proportion saying that sexual relations between adults of the same sex are always wrong, and it took almost a decade to return to 1983 levels.

While attitudes have changed even across generations on LGBT rights, Ipsos-Mori say that major events still significantly affect these views.

But it is still rather startling that attitudes have changed more towards LGBT communities than women over the last 20 years.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Story Filed Under: Equality ,Feminism ,News

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Reader comments

Ha! It’s well known that it’s better to be a man – any kind of man – than a broad. Just ask the CoE & their decisions on female & gay bishops.

Interestingly, the General Synod Bishops’ vote seems t have been swung by supporters of women bishops concerned about lack of provision for the minority, several of whom had identified that attitude in the Election Addresses at the last round of elections.

It’s a bit more complicated than “misogynistic CofE”.

“But it is still rather startling that attitudes have changed more towards LGBT communities than women over the last 20 years”

If I didn’t know better, Sunny, I’d think you were trying to whip up some sympathy here for pore ole Julie and Suzanne in their desperate struggle against the horrid “bunch of dicks in chicks clothing”.

These polling numbers make for excellent reading. And if you read these, and also the Ashcroft polling, it all puts paid to the mythical rise of parties like UKIP.

Those kinds of reactionary and hardline conservative parties are increasingly drawing on older, white, male voters.

The polling data in recent years only confirms the UK is shifting to the progressive socially liberal left. In my book as a 23 year old gay man, this can only be a good thing.

Maybe the relative success of the LGTB movement in the last few years explains the antipathy of feminists we’d formerly have expected to be fellow travellers?

Half of the decisive lay votes against women bishops were cast by women. The House of Laity is by far the most female of the three Houses. One of the others is made up entirely of bishops. Work it out. And look at how much younger, not to say more female, were the laypeople who had voted against women bishops compared with the bishops put up to whinge about it on radio and on television.

In declining to permit women bishops, the General Synod of the Church of England has made its most positive decision in decades, possibly ever.

Christianity is the basis of this state and the foundation of all three of its political traditions. But independent research has found very large proportions of the women among the Church of England’s clergy to be doubters of or disbelievers in key points of doctrine. Two thirds deny “that Jesus Christ was born of a Virgin”. One quarter denies the existence “of God the Father Who created the world”. Assuming a woman on the episcopal “team” in each diocese, of those with privileged access to the media and other organs of national life as the voice of the Christianity professed by 72 per cent of Britons, at least one eighth would have been agnostics or atheists.

A positive decision to retain declared “Fathers in God” sets the tone for the introduction of a legal presumption of equal parenting. For the restoration of the tax allowance for fathers for so long as Child Benefit was being paid to mothers. For the restoration of the requirement that providers of fertility treatment take account of the child’s need for a father. For repeal of the ludicrous provision for two women to be listed as a child’s parents on a birth certificate, although even that is excelled by the provision for two men to be so listed. And for paternity leave to be made available at any time until the child was 18 or left school.

That last, in particular, would reassert paternal authority, and thus require paternal responsibility, at key points in childhood and adolescence. That authority and responsibility require an economic basis such as only the State can ever guarantee, and such as only the State can very often deliver: high-wage, high-skilled, high-status employment. All aspects of public policy must take account of this urgent social and cultural need. Not least, the energy sources to be preferred by the State are those providing that secure economic basis of paternal authority in the family and in the wider community. Nuclear power. Coal, not dole.

And it includes foreign policy, in no small part because those sent to war tend to come from working-class backgrounds, where starting to have children often still happens earlier than has lately become the norm. Think of those very young men whom we see going off or coming home, hugging and kissing their tiny children. Yet our society urgently needs to re-emphasise the importance of fatherhood. That authority cannot be affirmed while fathers are torn away from their children and harvested in wars. You can believe in fatherhood, or you can support wars under certainly most and possibly all circumstances, the latter especially in practice today even if not necessarily in the past or in principle. You cannot do both.

To argue for this by word and by sheer presence is a role for living icons of God the Father, addressed as “Fathers in God”.

On the polling, this is encouraging.

Though the questions could have been better, by the look of it.

I would be answering “Never Wrong” on the basic question, but “Sometimes Wrong” if the question did not rule out betrayal of an existing relationship.

8. Chaise Guevara

@ 3 white trash

“If I didn’t know better, Sunny, I’d think you were trying to whip up some sympathy here for pore ole Julie and Suzanne in their desperate struggle against the horrid “bunch of dicks in chicks clothing”.”

Now you mention it, this article shows the risk of using comfortable categories like “LGBT”, because there’s nothing in the OP discussing attitudes to trans people. It’s just LGB.

The rise in the gay rights movement almost entirely coincides with the mass availability of contraception.

So, if straights are having non-procreative sex, how can they condemn others having non-procreative sex? That would be hypocritical.

Notably, those who do not use contraception or have large families anyway are noticeably hostile to homosexuality.

I wouldn’t be cheering just yet as this has obvious demographic implications for politics and the welfare state.

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  1. Can Christians and secularists peacefully coexist? – Telegraph Blogs

    […] As this interesting Liberal Conspiracy post shows, the gay rights movement has been the most successful of all the new Left groups at changing attitudes, far more so than feminists. This is partly explained by it starting later, and from a lower base of public opinion, but it also reflects the reality that too many of the second-wave feminist goals have brought negative side-effects; women can’t have it all, just as men can’t; children are generally more attached to their mothers; sexual liberation has created a consumer-led sexualisation of childhood; liberation often liberates badly behaved men. Gay rights, on the other hand, has not led to family breakdown, unhappy children or atomisation: quite the opposite. […]

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