Parliament committee to hear from experts on discrimination in Scotland

28/01/2008

One third of Scots believe there is sometimes a good reason to be prejudiced according to a controversial report on the nature and extent of discrimination in Scotland. The co-authors of the report entitled Attitudes to Discrimination in Scotland: 2006 and published in December 2007, will be giving evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee this week.

Catherine Bromley and Professor John Curtice from the Scottish Centre for Social Research explored the Scottish population’s views in relation to all six grounds for which anti-discrimination legislation exists in Scotland. This covers age, disability, gender, race, religion or belief and sexual orientation.

The Report not only attempts to examine the extent and character of discriminatory attitudes but also to uncover why people hold such attitudes.

Committee Convener Margaret Mitchell MSP said:

“Members will seek to ‘look behind the report’ by questioning the authors on the methodology of the research and whether it provides an accurate assessment of the nature and extent of discrimination in Scotland. We will be seeking to understand why people in Scotland hold these attitudes and whether the witnesses believe the Scottish Government could or should be doing anything in response.”

Members of the public can obtain tickets in advance of the committee meeting by contacting Public Information on 0131 348 5000 and watch online at www.holyrood.tv.

Key findings of the Attitudes to Discrimination in Scotland: 2006 Report were:

  • One in seven Scots believes a woman’s place is in the home.
  • Half of those surveyed consider increasing numbers of Muslims in Scotland to be a cultural threat.
  • Attitudes towards gay men and lesbians are improving.
  • In general, discriminatory attitudes are most likely to be expressed by those with few educational qualifications and by older people.
  • A significant minority believe that attempts to give equal opportunities to certain groups in Scotland have “gone too far.”

Background

The Report surveyed 1,594 adults across Scotland between August 2006 and January 2007. It was published in December 2007.

Catherine Bromley and John Curtice will give evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Equal Opportunities Committee on Tuesday, 29 January at 11am in Committee Room 1.

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