Western Tolerance?

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When Westerners talk about the differences between them and people  from other countries some topics seem to come up almost always. The tolerance of the Western world for example  is something we just love to brag about. But how tolerant are we really? The Get Data blog took a look at the numbers from an American perspective.

Where does the American Public Stand on Racism?

The World Values Survey is an association of social scientists from around the world that gather data on human values, political and social life, as well as a host of other social statistics.  Using the WVS data, we’ll present a brief analysis of tolerance, racism and xenophobia in the Western world.

The below figure shows the number of respondents by country that affirm the following positions. All questions began with, ‘Would not like to have as neighbours:’ and ends with the y-axis category.  For example the first survey question was, ‘Would not like to have as neighbours: Different Race’ and 5.6% of American affirmed with this statement.

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Even within the Western world huge differences between neighbouring countries can be observed. While only 3.5% of the respondents from Sweden had a negative view on immigrants, 21.5% of Germans did.

Tolerance towards Homosexuality in the US

As we can see in the below figures, which again uses WVS data, the United States ranks among the most tolerant countries towards homosexuality.   Still, more than 24%, almost a quarter, of Americans believe homosexuality is never justifiable and only 21.5% believe homosexuality is always justifiable with similarly low numbers found in countries like Germany compared to 60% of Swedes.

 

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Syrian LGBTQ Youth: Finding Acceptance in Europe

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While most Syrian refugees are fleeing the war, others are escaping the persecution they face because of their sexual identities – and the violent punishments often inflicted on those who violate the Islamic State’s ban on homosexuality

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As war rages on, Syria’s queer youth seeks acceptance in Europe.

KALMAR, Sweden – Sara, a 22-year-old openly bisexual who was recently granted asylum in Germany, has seen her life change in remarkable ways since leaving Syria. She is also adamant: “I wouldn’t go back, not even for a visit.”

“Today, I am free on all levels. My new friends and even their families love me and support me. The whole society is on my side. People here are open-minded and accepting,” she said.

Nearly five years of war have forced millions of Syrians to flee their homes and their homeland, risking everything for the chance of a safer life in Europe. But there is a smaller group of refugees fleeing not only the day-to-day bloodshed and chaos, but a more targeted form of violence aimed at their sexual identity.

Discrimination against non-normative sexual and gender identities in Syria is nothing new. As in many parts of the Arab world, it is illegal to be homosexual in Syria and same-sex partners have long been the target of honor crimes, harassment and imprisonment.

But the arrival of Islamic fundamentalist factions such as the so-called Islamic State (ISIS) has radically intensified persecution across the country, pushing some Syrians to join the stream of refugees headed to Europe in search of sexual freedom and expression as well as safety.

“The Islamic State executes homosexuals by throwing them from the tops of high buildings,” said Logal Kako, a 21-year-old Syrian man who’s been openly gay since he was in high school.

Read on…

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