A survey done by the Pew Research Center of 39 countries regarding the acceptance of homosexuality finds variance based on region, age, gender, and religiosity. European countries and countries in both North and Latin America were more accepting of homosexuality than African countries and Muslim nations. Homosexuality was found to be more accepted in countries where religion was less of a central part of their lives. Along with religiosity and region, age and gender had an affect on the acceptance of same sex marriage with women being more accepting than men and the younger generations more accepting than the older ones.1
Dolapo Badmos, a high ranking Nigerian policewoman from Lagos, cautioned gay people living in Nigeria to leave or face criminal prosecution via social media. In Nigeria the Same Sex Prohibition Act criminalizes homosexual clubs and organizations with a possible up to 14 years in jail for violating the law. Although the law was condemned by several humans rights organizations, 90% of Nigerians support the enforcement of the law. Badmos received many responses to her post of people showing their support for the continued enforcement of the law.2
How does access to the Internet and social media affect the ways in which people view homosexuality and other societal controversies?
In both European countries and the US and Canada, a majority of the population accepts homosexuality. In most of these countries, social media and the Internet is easily accessible and used often. On the contrary, in countries such as Russia or China where the media and or Internet is controlled or regulated by the state, only about ⅕ of the population accepts same sex marriage and in countries with similar accessibility to Internet, there are even laws prohibiting homosexuality. In countries where the Internet is liberated from the state, the population is more likely to be accepted of homosexuality and other LGBTQ controversies whereas countries with more regulated media is more likely to reject them.
- “The Global Divide on Homosexuality.” Pew Research Center, Washington D.C. (June 4, 2013).
- Aanu Adeoye, “Nigerian police officer tells gays: Leave country of face prosecution” CNN, January 23, 2019. https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/23/health/nigeria-police-gay-prosecution-warning/index.html.