OK, kiddo! Here are all the fantastically amazing posts tagged with Surveys

An anti-gay lobby group called Scotland for Marriage is publishing the results of an in-house poll which claims that a majority of Scotspersons opposes equal marriage rights, a deviation from what reputable polling companies suggest. Perhaps this difference can be explained by the wording of the question, which asks if you agree with the following statement: “Since gay and lesbian couples already have the same rights as married couples available to them under civil partnership, they should not be allowed to redefine marriage for everyone else.” Uhh…

A dating website in China is claiming that over 80% of Chinese people born after 1980 “don’t disapprove of homosexuality.” I didn’t not hesitate to not withhold this story, since I wasn’t not unsure if the methodology wasn’t unsound, but the results definitely don’t not appear to not be discouraging!

Homophobia In The Workplace Not Completely Gone Yet

November 23rd, 2011

A gay man sits at his desk looking sad: "Why did I accept a job at the Foundation for the Elimination of GLBT Rights?"

A new poll released by Angus Reid this month suggstes that anti-gay discrimination is still a reality for some people in the GLBT community.

While 90% of GLBT employees in Canada indicated that their current bosses and coworkers are tolerant of their sexual orientation, just under 50% indicated that they’ve experienced discrimination at some point in their careers. Basically, gay people are smart enough not to remain in jobs where they are actively discriminated against, but about half have found themselves at exactly that kind of job at some point in their professional lives. The most worrying statistic: half of the respondents who found themselves faced with job discrimination said they wouldn’t do anything to address the problem (other than look for new work, I imagine).

Still, with 90% of GLBT respondents currently working discrimination-free in Canada, things are getting better.

World Becoming More Gay-Friendly

June 3rd, 2011

Calvin and Hobbes look under their cardboard Transmogrifier, confirming that the globe they put under it is changing

For anyone who feels like equal rights have been regressing, here’s a bit of encouraging news. According to a report from the University of Chicago, the world is steadily becoming more and more gay-friendly.

Virtually every country studied has reported a greater acceptance of people with different sexual orientations over previous polling periods, with only four exceptions: Russia, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, and Latvia. Encouragingly, the growth of acceptance in other countries outpaced the decline in these four.

The top five countries in terms of GLBT acceptance (which doesn’t include Canada, sadly) are the Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, and Belgium. The bottom half of the list was unsurprisingly largely East Asian and Latin American countries, along with Cyprus, South Africa, and Turkey.

South Africa, incidentally, recognizes full marriage equality, which proves that popular acceptance isn’t a prerequisite to offering equal rights. So, even if you’re experiencing some local setbacks in equal rights thanks to alarmist politicians and widespread misinformation, keep your chin up! The trend line is still on your side, and will be for as long as you keep fighting for it!

Ottawa School Board Wants To Know If You’re Gay

November 5th, 2010

Question six: Tell us the secret you're desperately trying to hide from everyone.

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board is handing out surveys to each of its students in grades 7 to 12, asking—among other things—whether or not they’re gay.

The survey, which is not anonymous, specifically asks “How do you identify your sexual orientation?” The offered choices include: “Bisexual, Gay (male), Heterosexual (straight), Lesbian (female), Queer, Questioning, Transsexual, Two-spirited,” and “Prefer not to disclose.”

The school board says that knowing the diversity of students will help them correlate it with other data and decide which support avenues and other programs are required.

Well, their heart’s in the right place, even if their brain is locked in a committee meeting room, sipping coffee below buzzing fluorescent lights, contemplating even more excruciatingly dull forms for other people to suffer through.

Here’s my beef with the survey question. Even if every student answers honestly—and they won’t; I wouldn’t have in grade 7—it doesn’t take a survey to conclude that there are gay students in the system that have unique needs to be addressed through support programs. Gay people represent a consistent proportion of the population, they generally have a harder time fitting in at school, they’re more likely to be bullied, and they very much dislike filling out stupid forms. Help ‘em out, Ottawa-Careton District School Board!

Acceptance Of Gay Families Inching Forward

September 17th, 2010

Tony and his magnificently stupid sibiling, Professor Slobberboots.

A new survey out of Indiana University suggests that 68 percent of Americans now consider gay couples with children to be families. This is an increase from 2003, where only 54 percent of respondents said so.

Encouraging as that is, there’s still a large group—30 percent—who indicated that pets count as family, but not same-sex couples. No word on how many of them have actually tried to declare Mister Snugglekins III as a dependent for tax purposes, but these kooks sure have a crazy idea of what makes a family. Of course, they’re also largely the same group of people that like to define themselves as “pro-family,” (as opposed to the more accurate “anti-gay”) even though—by their definition—it’s legal to have some members of your family put down if they get too expensive to care for.

In the meantime, I guess a third of Americans had better update their wills to include Sir Wigglepuss, or they’ll have some costly family legal battles to deal with later.

A big thank you to Slap reader Matt for the story!

Academic Studies Weirdly Excluding Gays

March 24th, 2010

Alien pops out of gay research participant's chest.

A statistically significant percentage of medical studies in the United States have been excluding gay participants for no logical reason, a new survey has found.

The survey was started when one researcher, Brian Egleston, noticed that a clinical trial about cancer patients deferred all gay couples from participating. That study turned out to be just one of about 15% to exclude gay participants without any obvious link to the subject matter. Results of the survey have now been published in last Thursday’s New England Journal of Medicine.

It’s definitely odd for such a disciplined field of academics to arbitrarily exclude subjects for research as generic as a cancer study. Unless they know something I don’t.  Say… Are—are we gays immune to cancer? ‘Cause if we are, I’m totally starting a new, gay-only, asbestos fashion line.

Cyberbullies Target GLBT Youth

March 15th, 2010

Cyberbullying

A new study out of Iowa State University suggests that gay and lesbian teenagers are among the hardest hit by cyberbullying, a phenomenon unique to today’s youth. With the popularity of social networking, bullies have found new venues to harass and ostracize their peers, often without the threat of adult intervention.

The numbers aren’t terrifically encouraging. 54% of gay youth and friends of gay youth reported being cyberbullied within the thirty days prior to the researchers’ survey. The next highest group was females, at 21%.

Less encouraging still, victims of cyberbullying reported feeling helpless, with 55% saying that their parents couldn’t do anything to stop it, and 57% saying they don’t believe school officials could help either.

To help ameliorate the situation, I’ve decided to make an actual cybernetic bully, programmed to protect gay youth against its human counterparts. Any investors?

Gay Youth At Greater Risk Of Bullying

February 1st, 2010

Gay teens are nearly twice as likely to be bullied as straight ones, according to a new study conducted out of the Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio.

The study, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health, is based on a survey of 7,559 teens and young adults. While the number of out teens in the sample was relatively small, the results still re-confirm that GLBT youth are at a higher risk of being bullied, likely because bullies tend to target anyone perceived as being different.

Bullying is a huge problem—a problem with lasting, negative effects, and one that will not disappear on its own. Schools must train their staff to recognize and put a stop to it, or the problem will only continue.

Calgary Stampede Puts Out Homophobic Survey

January 8th, 2010

The Calgary Stampede, Calgary’s annual carnival and rodeo, has launched a marketing research survey that asks respondents for opinions on blatantly sexist and homophobic statements. Gems include “The only acceptable definition of a family is a husband, wife and children,” and “Some jobs are best suited to men. Women should just accept this.”

Doug Fraser, a spokesperson for the Stampede, said that the statements don’t reflect the opinions of the Stampede, but are part of an standard research package to help develop a product that reflects a “rapidly changing community.”

Oh, I get it! They’re not being homophobic and sexist at all; they just want to tailor a unique Calgary Stampede experience to people that are. How thoughtful!

Yvonne Brouwers, president of the research firm that developed the statements, said that the questions have been used without incident for 15 years and are designed to identify divisive opinions to “get a better understanding of differences and similarities.”

Yep, those statements sound 15 years old alright. I wonder what ads and events they’ll help shape…

Gay Spouses Not That Different From Straight Ones

November 9th, 2009

All kinds of families are great!

Same-sex couples are virtually identical to opposite-sex couples when it comes to age, income, and child rearing according to census data released in the United States this month.

A study conducted at UCLA analyzed the data for nearly 150,000 gay couples to compare how they fare in comparison to their straight counterparts—taking into account gay couples who were legally married as well as those that still referred to each other as being married even if equal marriage rights were not legal in their state. The results show that gay married couples are 52 years old on average, earn a combined household income of $91,558, and have children 31 percent of the time. This compares to straight couples who are 50 years old on average, earn a household income of $95,075, and have children 43 percent of the time.

Gary Gates, a UCLA researcher who compiled the results, said that these numbers show that gay and straight families aren’t as different as lobbyists claim:

Most proponents of traditional marriage will say that when you allow these couples to marry, you are going to change the fundamental nature of marriage by decoupling it from procreation. Clearly [same-sex couples] are not decoupling child rearing from marriage.

Just goes to show you, gay people really aren’t all that different from straight people. Except for our extrasensory abilities and ability to wither your crops by blinking, that is.

Anti-Gay Canadians Are A Fringe Minority

October 26th, 2009

Doug from Trading Spaces and Moving Up seems angry today, doesn't he?

Last week, I said that people who hold anti-gay views were a small and shrinking minority. Behind their loud and obnoxious rally cries, there just isn’t any real support.

I’ve cited polls before, but most were conducted around the time of the same-sex marriage debate. I didn’t cite anything in my last post to back up my claim that Stephen Harper’s new speech writer (who believes that same-sex couples shouldn’t even be able to share each others benefits let alone get married) is part of a fringe group, so let’s see if we can put this to rest once and for all.

As it turns out, the most recent poll about equal marriage rights was conducted just five weeks ago by Angus Reid Strategies. They polled over 4000 people across three countries, including 1,006 Canadians. The result: 84% of Canadians believe that same-sex couples should have the same legal rights as straight couples. Of those, 73% support full-on same-sex marriage and the remaining 27% support civil unions with all the same legal rights.

The anti-gay side—Canadians who believe that gay couples should have no legal rights whatsoever—polled at 11%, a segment rapidly approaching the single digits. The remaining 4% were “not sure.”

Basically, Canada is leading both the United States and Britain in support for equality for gay people. It just looks like the staffers with which our Prime Minister surrounds himself aren’t among those supporters.

Danger! Gay Teachers!

September 4th, 2009

Hiiiiisssssss!!!!!

A new poll conducted in Peru has revealed that a substantial majority of Peruvians believe gay teachers to be “dangerous,” posing an immediate threat to children.

The exact wording of the survey was “Do you think it is dangerous for children to have a homosexual professor at school?,” with 61 percent responding “yes,” 31 percent responding “no,” and 8 percent indicating that they weren’t sure.

While homosexuality isn’t illegal in Peru and there’s a good chance there’ll be an openly gay candidate on their next presidential ballot, these results show there’s still quite a bit of progress to be made before gay people become acce—wait, no! Stay back! Aaaarrggaahhh!

Correction: I had previously, incorrectly claimed that the poll was conducted by Angus Reid. It was actually conducted by Ipsos, Apoyo, Opinión y Mercado, a Peruvian polling company. Thanks to Mario from Angus Reid for the correction!

Study: Gun-Toting Canadians Don’t Like Gays

September 29th, 2008

A study conducted by Wilfred Laurier University has found that gun-toting voters held the same opinions on controversial topics than non gun owners—with exactly one exception: Same-sex marriage.

Using data donated by Ipsos Reid, researchers noted that of the 5,954 gun-owning Canadians polled, same-sex marriage was the only topic that gun owners opposed in numbers significantly higher than the rest of the Canadian population. Despite their similarities in opinion on other topics, gun owners were also 10% more likely to vote for the Conservative party, which has historically opposed gay rights.

Interesting stuff! Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll go pick out some lead curtains.

Study: Gay Students Feel Threatened

May 14th, 2008

DUH Magazine

More than two thirds of gay students in Canada feel their safety is threatened at school according to a survey conducted by Egale Canada. The 1,200-student questionnaire was distributed in schools across the country, except for several Catholic school boards which declined participation.

Further to the banner statistic, the survey also revealed that fourty-one per cent of gay students reported having been sexually harassed at school (as opposed to only nineteen per cent of straight students), that fifty per cent reported having been verbally harassed, and nearly half reported having mean rumors spread about them at school.

Dr. Catherine Taylor, a researcher at the University of Winnipeg, was particularly bothered by the results:

This [sexual harassment] figure is shocking. Homophobia and transphobia is linked to poor performance in school, drop-out rates, and teen suicides.

Helen Kennedy, Egale’s executive director, was also worried by the results, saying that the high numbers could have been prevented:

There’s no issue around sensitivity training so the teachers, we are finding, don’t have the resources that they need to address this issue.

I agree completely, although it will be tough to make educators aware of the problem. Religious lobby groups have already successfully pulled optional diversity training guidebooks from teacher’s lounges.

Catholic School Boards Refuse Gay Bullying Study

January 28th, 2008

Iran—no, wait… Catholic Schools…

A nation-wide study on homophobia and bullying in high schools was launched on Friday as a collaborative effort between the University of Winnipeg and Egale Canada. The ambitious study hopes to gauge the social climate in Canadian high schools by surveying 10,000 students before the end of June.

Not all students will have the opportunity to participate, however. Three Catholic school boards in Ontario and Alberta have refused to co-operate with researchers and barred the survey. Helen Kennedy, Egale’s executive director, expressed surprise at the Catholic boards’ decisions:

The study is not about sexual behaviour; it is about social behaviour. It’s about bullying, harassment and taunting in our schools.

A worthwhile effort, and it’s unfortunate that not everyone is sensitive to the cause. Even more strange, though, is the rationale for the research ban. Reverend Dennis Noon of the Wellington Catholic District School Board, who refused his students’ participation in the study, told the media that homophobia was simply “not a big issue” in Catholic schools.

Gee, where have I heard that before?

Having gone through the Catholic school system, I don’t buy it. I’m not alone, either; Ontario’s Minister of Education, Kathleen Wynee, expressed disappointment at the school boards’ dismissal of the research, saying she hopes for more open conversations with the boards.

As for Reverend Noon and the other board representatives, if they don’t think that homophobia is a problem, then why not allow the researchers to conduct their survey? Given the harm caused by bullying, I think the Catholic school boards ought to face the issue for a change and acknowledge when gay students are being harmed in their schools.

Canada Ranks Your Morality: A Poll

January 4th, 2008

Tricky Issue #3

Our dear, dear friends at Angus Reid have released a new poll ranking contentious issues by how morally acceptable they are to Canadians. Gay relations is on there for some reason—and here’s how it stacks up:

Contraception, divorce, sex before marriage, bastard children, stem cell research, assisted suicide, abortion, and gambling are all more acceptable than gay love. Wearing fur, the death penalty, animal testing, porn, prostitution, animal cloning, suicide, drugs, affairs, human cloning, polygamy and pedophilia are all worse.

So, paying your doctor to kill you and abort your baby after legally dissolving your marriage and gambling away your savings is OK—as long as you’re not gay or clone a fur-wearing porn actor.

Or some other derivation.

What? Stupid polls deserve stupid conclusions.

Love Thy Neighbour, Unless They’re Gay

February 12th, 2007

Gay Neighbour

Canadians would be more uncomfortable having a gay neighbour than any other minority. At least, that’s the news according to a recent poll conducted across various western and Eurpoean nations.

Canada, where nearly one in five people reported they’d dislike a gay neighbour, falls well behind Sweden’s 6% intolerance rate, but better than Italy’s 28.7%.

Respondents weren’t asked why they disliked gays so much, but I’ll address the most likely culprit: Garden jealousy.

Yes, it’s time to dispel the old myth that a gay garden in the neighbourhood will outshine your own. You see, no houseplant—let alone an actual outdoor garden—has survived my care. Too much water, not enough sun, sporadic fertilization schedule… I’m just destined to be incapable of nurturing a plant. So, if you have me as a neighbour, there’s nothing to fear! Your garden will be comparatively better in pretty much every respect. Though I guess it’s kind of a moot point, since I live in a downtown apartment.

But, what do you say? Am I welcome in the neighbourhood?

Union To Teachers: You Gay?

January 24th, 2007

Supreme Survey For Sexual Orientation

Less than one year after the Nova Scotia Teacher’s Union scolded the Halifax Regional School Board for asking teachers if they’re gay, the union is doing the exact same thing.

Now, before you all exclaim something like “Gee whiz, talk about the pot calling the kettle tacky and unfit to grace any self-respecting gay man’s kitchen!” this survey is different. As union president, Mary-Lou Donnelly, put it:

[The survey is] more to gather information on perceptions, on resources that are available in the schools, on what we can identify in our schools that help our educators or our students or that are lacking in our schools. It’s not about identification of individuals at all.

Well, I gotta admit, this is a far better approach than the Halifax School Board’s mandatory and personally-identifiable survey. That survey was an ill-advised attempt at appearing concerned for gay staff after being fined for an appalling, gay-related human rights violation. But, still, after that fiasco, what kind of responses are they expecting, precisely? “Yeah, I can be fired based on my sexual orientation and wrongfully investigated for child molestation, but hey—the coffee here is not too shabby!”

Lobby Group Endorses Homophobic School Trustees

November 10th, 2006

School Board Monster

Remember the obsessively anti-gay lobby group Defend Traditional Marriage and Family? (They’re the ones who publicly demanded that a non-religious counseling centre stop providing meeting space to a gay rights group.) Well, now they’re pestering candidates for their local public school board with homophobic questionnaires!

Kitchener candidate, Rob McNeil, said he was baffled by the “irrelevant and offensive” survey:

There was no question of value on it. It just blew my mind because there are so many other important issues going on. There’s school safety, there’s the balanced school day. This is a questionnaire based only on how I stand on the gay rights issue—which, to me, has nothing to do with “can you balance a set of books at the school board?”

Well, that’s the thing with the “pro-family” lobby, isn’t it? They’re one-issue folks. You could be a pointy, baby-eating vampire robot and still win their endorsement, so long as you’re anti-gay. Heck, they’re so one-issue that they’ve got more gay-related material on their website than I do!

Incidentally, only 1 of the 6 candidates ended up receiving an endorsement. According to the group’s newsletter, that candidate didn’t agree with many of their views on gays—but he was the only to actually return the survey.

Anti-Gay “Institute” Plays Poll-Twister!

November 1st, 2006

Shady Poll

Oh, this ought to be good! The anti-gay lobby group, Institute for Canadian Values, unveiled their latest poll this week, concluding that the majority of Canadians want to revisit same-sex marriage in light of religious freedoms.

The poll’s “big result” is, of course, that a whopping 72% of Canadians do not want clergy to be forced to marry same-sex couples. A very odd thing to include in a poll, considering that the same-sex marriage law already includes redundant preamble stating that clergy can’t be forced to marry anyone. The Supreme Court of Canada has also ruled that the Charter guarantees this right, in the same capacity that clergy do not have to wed interfaith or divorced couples.

Where the poll gets especially interesting, though, is in the choice of questions relating to matters which are presently illegal. The pollsters were very quick to state, for example, that 61% of Canadians think a publisher should be able to refuse business to gays.

Really? 61% of Canadians said that?

Luckily, I’m somewhat literate (bear with me), so I was able to read the poll questions myself. Here’s the actual phrasing presented to respondents:

Should a religious person who prints brochures for a living have the freedom to recommend another printer to a homosexual group wanting some brochures printed?

Should a printer have the “freedom to recommend another printer?” What?

The other questions were equally hypothetical and deliberate in not having anything to do with same-sex marriage whatsoever. Not that it matters, of course, as—no matter what the majority thinks—the Charter guarantees, irrevocably, that clergy are protected and that Joe Public can’t refuse squat to nobody.

Halifax’s Teacher Survey

May 31st, 2006

Would you like to take a survey?

Oh, goody! The Halifax Regional School Board (yes, the same one that was punished by the Human Rights Commission for assuming their gay teachers were molesting students) will now be sending out a lovely batch of surveys! The surveys, which each teacher will be required to fill out and sign tomorrow, includes the age-old question: “Are you heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian?” You know, because that would shed so much light on how well someone can teach long division…

While the school board was quick to note that they won’t be penalizing teachers for unanswered questions (gee, how nice of them!), the Nova Scotia Teachers Union is unimpressed. President Mary-Lou Donnelly isn’t quite sure what to recommend to union members, claiming that the board soundly rejected her suggestion of making the surveys anonymous.

The board will probably be more subtle next year (“Which of the following sexes would you most like to marry?”), but, in the meantime, I suggest that the current wording leaves only one answer…

Q: Are you heterosexual, bisexual, gay, or lesbian?
A: Yes.

Canada’s Anti-Gay Workplace

May 19th, 2006

Water cooler talk

According to a survey released to coincide with the National Day Against Homophobia last Wednesday, over 60% of Canadians agree that coming out in the workplace is harmful to one’s career. As if that’s not discouraging enough, 28% of respondents then went on to state that they’ve personally witnessed gay bashing at the office. Quelle horreur!

Thankfully, this doesn’t seem to apply to bosses, as 75% of Canadians think a gay or lesbian boss would get just as much respect from their employees as a straight one.

So… Basically, if you’re gay, and out at work, and manage to avoid outright gay bashing—let alone hit your head on the glass ceiling—only 25% of your employees won’t respect you. Hooray?

Saskatchewan Not Very Gay

April 17th, 2006

Gay Saskatchewan

Shocking news! A recent poll of Canadians has discovered that Saskatchewan, the smallest little prairie province in the west, is the most gay unfriendly place in Canada. This conclusion was reached after only 40% of rednecks respondents agreed with the statement “To me, homosexuality is morally acceptable.” This is in stark contrast to Quebec, the most fabulously gay friendly place ever, where nearly 70% of respondents agreed.

Hmm… Perhaps this means I should find a new place to erect my 90 metre rainbow grain elevator.