Show Summary Details

Page of

Printed from Oxford Research Encyclopedias, Politics. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a single article for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 June 2024

Public Opinion Toward LGBT People and Rights in Latin America and the Caribbeanlocked

Public Opinion Toward LGBT People and Rights in Latin America and the Caribbeanlocked

  • Enrique Chaux, Enrique ChauxDepartment of Psychology, Universidad de los Andes
  • Manuela León, Manuela LeónSchool of Education, Universidad de los Andes
  • Lina CuellarLina CuellarUniversidad de Bogotá Jorge Tadeo Lozano; Executive Director, Sentiido
  •  and Juliana MartínezJuliana MartínezDepartment of World Languages and Cultures, American University

Summary

Important changes toward more acceptance of homosexuality seem to be occurring in many countries around the world. However, large differences exist between individuals, societal groups, countries, and regions in attitudes toward homosexuality. Countries in Latin America and the Caribbean (LatAmC) are not an exception in either of these trends.

More positive attitudes toward homosexuality in LatAmC countries and significant legal and political changes in favor of LBGT rights have been occurring in the region since the third wave of democratization in the 1980s. Nonetheless, there are important limitations to these advancements: they are highly uneven; they are fragile and likely to become targets of politically motivated public outrage; enforcement is irregular and often faces hostile resistance from the civil servants appointed to enact and uphold them; and LGBT individuals continue to face high levels of violence, making the region one of the deadliest for sexual and gender minorities, particularly trans women.

Analyses from two large surveys, conducted periodically in several LatAmC countries, which include questions about homophobic attitudes (the International Civic and Citizenship Education Study, or ICCS, and the Latin American Public Opinion Project, or LAPOP) show a clear historical pattern of increased acceptance toward homosexuality in most countries. They also reveal large differences between countries with high (e.g., Uruguay) or low (e.g., Haiti) levels of acceptance of homosexuality. Multiple variables are associated with these differences. In almost all countries, women and more educated, less religious, and more politically active participants show more positive attitudes toward homosexuality than men and less educated, more religious (especially evangelical) and less politically involved participants. The analysis of attitudes toward homosexuality in LatAmC shows that (a) change in attitudes at a large scale is possible and is occurring relatively fast in LatAmC; (b) some countries are greatly lagging behind in these changes, especially in the Caribbean; and (c) policies and programs are urgently needed in the region, not only to facilitate changes in those countries where homophobic attitudes are still very common, but also to consolidate changes that have already been occurring.

Subjects

  • Political Psychology
  • Political Values, Beliefs, and Ideologies
  • Public Opinion

You do not currently have access to this article

Login

Please login to access the full content.

Subscribe

Access to the full content requires a subscription