France least tolerant country in Western Europe of homosexuals
World Values Survey: France is the least tolerant country in Western Europe, survey finds, despite the signing into law of a gay marriage bill.
The information which has been monitoring the political and moral attitudes of various countries for more than two decades, shows that countries with more economic freedom have higher degrees of tolerance.
France was the least tolerant country in Western Europe, with 28.8 per cent of the population responding that they would not want a homosexual neighbour. This contrasts with 3.6 per cent of Swedish people, 7.4 per cent of Spaniards and 11.1 per cent of Swiss. 16.8 per cent of British people would not want a homosexual neighbour.
There is a clear divide across the iron curtain, with homophobia much more common in Russia and Ukraine, while Serbia and Moldova were even less tolerant than majority Muslim Indonesia. Georgia, was the third most homophobic country surveyed, with 92.6 per cent of the population unhappy with the idea of a homosexual neighbour.
Muslim countries were among the most homophobic, with 19 out of 20 Jordanians unwilling to live near to homosexuals. Iran was close behind, with 93.2 per cent of the population intolerant. Despite their Catholic heritage, liberal attitudes predominate in Latin America, with Uruguay, Argentina and Guatemala more tolerant than some Western countries. Colombia was an outlier, with 45.9 per cent of the population unwilling to have a homosexual neighbour.
Therese Nilsson and Niclas Berggren, whose paper "Does Economic Freedom Foster Tolerance" was published in economic journal Kyklos last month, believe that these results show the correlation between economic freedoms such as small government and stable monetary policy, and tolerance of those of a different race or sexuality. Their work found that tolerance of homosexuality is particularly strongly correlated with economic freedom.
"While homosexuals can hide their orientation, racial characteristics are usually not possible to hide. One way in which this could matter relates to interaction with others. Homosexuals can do business with others and leave a good impression without revealing their orientation. If they later reveal it, this may cause tolerance to increase. In contrast, in the case of race, the immediate identification of minority status may cause some people to assess others in accordance with prejudices, which may block interaction and a positive interaction effect."
They also believe that a stable monetary supply is particularly important in fostering tolerance of homosexuals. "It is not unreasonable to think that the link between monetary instability and intolerance is particularly relevant for the case of homosexuals, as they may be perceived as more well-off materially than others, which can cause jealousy. This perception may stem from homosexual celebrities or from a more conspicuous consumption pattern among homosexuals in general."