Why Homosexuality Is Seen Differently Around the World: Amy Adamcyzk

Why Homosexuality Is Seen Differently Around the WorldIn a recent book and related podcast for Inside Higher Ed, Amy Adamcyzk (GC/Hunter, Sociology) illustrates why attitudes towards homosexuality vary widely from country to country.

Amy Adamcyzk "Cross-National Opinion About Homosexuality"“While in some countries, like Saudi Arabia, individuals can be killed for having a same-sex relationship, in other places like, the Netherlands, gay rights have been embraced as human rights,” Adamcyzk comments in a recent podcast based on her book, Cross-National Public Opinion about Homosexuality (University of California Press, 2017). “Why are there such big differences in how people across the world view this issue?  This is the issue that I sought to examine,” she adds.

Adamcyzk drew on survey data, interviews, and comparative case studies to understand the factors that shape both individual-level and country-level responses. On average, older people throughout the world tend to be less tolerant of homosexuality, according to her research. Comparing countries, she found that tolerance increased with greater wealth and democracy and less religion. 

“The interesting thing about these three factors is that they had an effect on the attitudes of everyone living in the country,” she says. “Hence, regardless of how religious a resident was, if he or she lived in a nation where a high proportion of people thought religion was important, the individual was more disapproving.”

Adamcyzk’s research focuses on how different contexts — such as nations and friendship groups — and personal religious beliefs shape people’s deviant, criminal, and health-related attitudes and behaviors. In addition to her recent book, she has published her work in leading journals and has received grants from the Department of Homeland Security, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Chiang Ching-kuo Foundation. 

Submitted on: APR 5, 2017

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