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Study: U.S.
occupies bigotry median

Study: U.S.
occupies bigotry median

Northern Ireland is "the hate capital of the West," according to new university research, with an astonishing 44% of its citizens proving disturbingly homophobic.

The research from Northern Ireland's University of Ulster, to be published in the economics journal Kyklos, said that the country leads Western nations in its animosity toward gays and immigrants, while the United States is almost exactly in the middle, bigotry-wise, of 23 nations studied.

Vani Borooah, professor of applied economics at Ulster, and John Mangan, professor of economics at Australia's University of Queensland, collaborated in the study, which surveyed 32,000 people across 19 European counties, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States.

The Human Rights and Values survey asked respondents what they thought of minority groups--and how they would feel about having members of certain groups as their neighbors.

The five groups included members of other races, immigrants or foreign workers, Muslims, Jews, and homosexuals.

An astonishing 44% of the 1,000 respondents in Northern Ireland said they didn't want members of even one of the five groups as their neighbors.

The bigotry proportion of Northern Ireland was followed closely by Greece with 43%.

The lowest proportion occurred in Sweden, with 13%.

Homophobia was by far the main source of bigotry in most Western countries: More than 80% of bigoted people in Northern Ireland and Canada, and 75% of bigots in Austria, the United States, Great Britain, Ireland, and Italy, wouldn't want gays or lesbians as neighbors.

In Scandinavian countries the main target of hostility turned toward Muslims.

Seventy-four percent of bigoted Danes, 68% of bigoted Swedes, and 63% of bigoted Icelanders did not want Muslims as neighbors.

* The study also came up with the following conclusions:

* Women are less likely to be bigoted than men.

* There is evidence that financial dissatisfaction might also be a source of bigotry.

Students were less likely to be bigots than nonstudents.

To read the full report go to www.publicaffairs.ulster.ac.uk/podcasts/Bigotry.pdf. (Hassan Mirza, Gay.com/U.K.)

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