Over half of Chinese people surveyed say LGBTQ people should be accepted by society

A new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law surveyed a segment of the Chinese population and found over half (53%) of respondents agree that LGBTQ people should be accepted by Chinese society. People who were familiar with an LGBTQ person, younger, female, and had a higher education were more likely to show favorable attitudes toward LGBTQ people.

In addition, 62% of respondents agreed, and 34% somewhat agreed that LGBTQ people should be treated fairly at work. Many also agreed (68%) or somewhat agreed (30%) that LGBTQ students should be protected from bullying and violence in schools.

Researchers surveyed the mainland Chinese public about their familiarity with and acceptance of LGBTQ people. Researchers also asked participants about their attitudes toward policy issues such as discrimination at work, same-sex marriage, and same-sex couples raising children—areas where China does not currently recognize the legal rights of LGBTQ people.

Results show that about half of the respondents agreed that same-sex couples can be capable parents (48%), should be able to marry (52%), and that they would personally attend a same-sex wedding (46%). An additional 37% somewhat agreed with each positive attitude toward same-sex families.

“Over the past decade, China has experienced government restrictions on LGBTQ rights and advocacy. But little is known about the general Chinese public’s view of LGBTQ people and issues,” said lead author Ilan Meyer, Distinguished Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. “This study shows evidence of high approval of LGBTQ rights and protections among an influential segment of the Chinese population, which may impact attitudes towards LGBTQ people overall.”

Additional Findings

  • Most respondents (70%) knew at least one person who was LGBTQ, and almost half (47%) knew two or more LGBTQ people. 30% did not know any LGBTQ people.
  • Nearly half of the respondents (46%) agreed that they would not mind having an LGBTQ neighbor, and an additional 39% somewhat agreed. Only 6% would mind.
  • Close to half of respondents (45%) said that they didn’t mind being exposed to LGBTQ content in the media.
  • One-half (50%) of respondents agreed that, in line with Chinese values of justice and equality, companies should promote the acceptance of LGBTQ people.

Read the report

July 2, 2024

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