According to the latest survey conducted by the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia on a scale of values of high school students, only 24% of them support LGBT rights, 31% are moderately homophobic, while 44% are homophobic, i.e. show pronounced homophobia.
The analysis entitled “Vrednosne orijentacije srednjoškolaca u Srbiji – Istraživanje 2019” (Guidelines on the values of high school students in Serbia – Research 2019), authored by Marija Radoman from the Institute of Sociological Research at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade, mainly included questions about values and attitudes related to gender, abortion, homophobia, ecology, nationalism and attitudes towards the Roma minority, as well as attitudes towards the past and the wars of the 1990s in the former Yugoslavia.
Research has shown that girls show more tolerant attitudes than boys when it comes to LGBT rights, and that survey participants in Novi Pazar, i.e. those of Muslim faith, are more homophobic than those in other cities covered by the research, namely Belgrade, Novi Sad, Nis and Kragujevac.
“Attitudes towards transgender people show more negative thinking than attitudes towards gays or lesbians. Of the total number of responses, 21% of high school students support the right of transgender people to change gender, while 60% are against it, indicating a significant misunderstanding of the transgender experience,” says the research.
The survey goes on to show that high school students are slightly inclined towards nationalism, as the results show that 24% of them do not support nationalist statements, 44% say are “moderate nationalists”, while 32% support nationalist statements.
With regard to the Kosovo problem, the highest percentage (53%) of high school students agree that Kosovo should remain part of Serbia, compared to almost 12% who believe Kosovo is an independent state.
On the scale of attitudes towards the Roma minority, high school students show that, compared to the total number, 16% have extreme attitudes towards the Roma, 40% have moderate attitudes and 44% have tolerant attitudes.
“When we observe the average values of all statements related to this group of problems and compare them with the same statements from 2011, we can notice that attitudes are more tolerant today and that there are weaker stereotypes towards Roma. Therefore, 71% of respondents now agree with the statement that Roma should have equal rights in society,” reads the analysis.
One of the questions that high school students answered was – “How would you feel if one of the following people or families moved into your neighbourhood?”
The results show that the most accepted groups are students (72%), followed by Russian families (69%) and American families (63%), while gay and lesbian couples would be the least wanted (only 19% of high school students want them in their neighbourhood, while 44% are against).
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Moreover, 29% of high school students would not want a Kosovo Albanian family in their neighbourhood, and a similar percentage would be against Roma families (20%) and migrants (26%).
Students, on the other hand, do not have a clear attitude towards the wars from the recent history, so 29% of them believe that Serbs are the main perpetrators of the crimes committed during the wars of the 1990s, while the same number say that Serbs were not responsible for the war and crimes at all.
“Abortion is a sin”
“There has been a slight decline in the ideas of patriarchy in high school students; compared to 2011, they are now more inclined towards non-patriarchal orientation and equality in relations between men and women, as 44% of them support such equality. However, what is worrying is the acceptance of the view that women occasionally deserve to be beaten, supported by 8% of high school students, a similar result to the 2011 research. More than 45% of respondents believe that abortion is a sin, which indicates the strong influence of the Church,” the research concludes.
This post is also available in: Italiano