The Pew Research Global Attitudes Project recently released data on attitudes about homosexuality in 39 countries. Generally, those living in the Middle East and Africa were the least accepting, while those in the Americas, Europe, and parts of Asia (the Philippines, Australia, and to a lesser extent Japan) were most accepting:
Generally, the more religious a country, the less accepting its citizens are of homosexuality:
The proportion of people who support social acceptance of gays and lesbians ranged from a high of 88% in Spain to a low of 1% in Nigeria:
Attitudes about homosexuality vary widely by age. There is a pretty consistent global pattern of more positive attitudes among younger people, with a few exceptions:
Thus far, legalization of same-sex marriage has been largely confined to the Americas and Europe; New Zealand and South Africa are the two outliers:
The Pew Center points out that of the 15 nations that have fully extended marriage rights to same-sex couples, 8 have done so just since 2010. In the U.S., we’re currently awaiting a Supreme Court’s decision, which should arrive shortly, to know if we’ll be joining the list sooner rather than later.
Thanks to Peter Nardi at Pitzer College for the link!
Gwen Sharp is an associate professor of sociology at Nevada State College. You can follow her on Twitter at @gwensharpnv.
The first suggests that the belief that hard work pays off remains strong in only a few countries: Pakistan (81%), the U.S. (77%), Tunisia (73%), Brazil (69%), India (67%) and Mexico (65%). The low scores in China, Germany, and Japan are worth noting. This is not to say that people everywhere are not working hard, just that many no longer believe there is a strong connection between their effort and outcome.
The second chart highlights the fact that growing numbers of people are losing faith in free market capitalism. Despite mainstream claims that “there is no alternative,” a high percentage of people in many countries do not believe that the free market system makes people better off.
GlobeScan polled more than 12,000 adults across 23 countries about their attitudes towards economic inequality and, as the chart below reveals, the results were remarkably similar to those highlighted above. In fact, as GlobeScan noted, “In 12 countries over 50% of people said they did not believe that the rich deserved their wealth.
It certainly seems that large numbers of people in many different countries are open to new ways of organizing economic activity.
I recently posted some data revealing the average caloric intake across the globe. Since then, I’ve learned of a new photo project by Peter Menzel and Faith D’Aluisio documenting individuals’ daily meals across many countries. While the former post gave averages, the photographs in Menzel and D’Aluisio’s new book, What I Eat, offer data points. What one person reported eating in one day. They are suggestive of the range of caloric intakes, intersecting with genetics and physical activity, that make each individual body unique.
Menzel and D’Aluisio, through Tawanda Kanhema, gave us permission to share these three examples with you; you can see a larger sample at TIME.
Saleh Abdul Fadlallah (Egypt), 3200 calories:
Camel broker Saleh Abdul Fadlallah with his day’s worth of food at the Birqash Camel Market outside Cairo, Egypt. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of his day’s worth of food on a typical day in the month of April was 3200 kcals. He is 40 years of age; 5 feet, 8 inches tall; and 165 pounds. Although virtually all of the camels that Saleh Fadlallah sells at the camel market are sold for their meat, he rarely eats this meat himself as it’s too expensive for everyday meals. Contrary to popular belief, camels’ humps don’t store water; they are a reservoir of fatty tissue that minimizes heat-trapping insulation in the rest of their bodies; the dromedary, or Arabian camel, has a single hump, while Asian camels have two. Camels are well suited for desert climes: their long legs and huge, two-toed feet with leathery pads enable them to walk easily in sand, and their eyelids, nostrils, and thick coat protect them from heat and blowing sand. These characteristics, along with their ability to eat thorny vegetation and derive sufficient moisture from tough green herbage, allow camels to survive in very inhospitable terrain.
Rick Bumgardener (Tennessee, USA), 1600 calories:
Rick Bumgardener with his recommended daily weight-loss diet at his home in Halls, Tennessee. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of his day’s worth of food in the month of February was 1,600 kcals. He is 54 years of age; 5 feet, 9 inches tall; and 468 pounds. Wheelchair-bound outside the house and suffering from a bad back and type 2 diabetes, he needs to lose 100 pounds to be eligible for weight-loss surgery. Rick tries to stick to the low-calorie diet pictured here but admits to lapses of willpower. Before an 18-year career driving a school bus, he delivered milk to stores and schools, and often traded with other delivery drivers for ice cream. School cafeteria staff would feed the charming Southerner at delivery stops, and he gained 100 pounds in one year. The prescription drug fen-phen helped him lose 100 pounds in seven months, but he gained it all back, plus more.
Curtis Newcomer, a U.S. Army soldier, with his typical day’s worth of food at the National Training Center at Fort Irwin in California’s Mojave Desert. (From the book What I Eat: Around the World in 80 Diets.) The caloric value of his day’s worth of food in the month of September was 4,000 kcals. He is 20 years old; 6 feet, 5 inches tall; and 195 pounds. During a two-week stint before his second deployment to Iraq, he spends 12-hour shifts manning the radio communication tent (behind him). He eats his morning and evening meals in a mess hall tent, but his lunch consists of a variety of instant meals in the form of MREs (Meals, Ready-to-Eat). His least favorite is the cheese and veggie omelet. “Everybody hates that one. It’s horrible,” he says. A mile behind him, toward the base of the mountains, is Medina Wasl, a fabricated Iraqi village—one of 13 built for training exercises, with hidden video cameras and microphones linked to the base control center for performance reviews.
I think this photograph does a wonderful job of disrupting the idea that the U.S. has it all figured out and our only job is to support other countries in ascending to similar political perfection. Americans had been watching the protests in Egypt, most cheering on the democratization, as if we were watching them become more like us. But the effort to criminalize stifle public employee union activity in Wisconsin suggests that our own democracy is quite fragile. And when Egyptians can watch American protests, cheer on our workers’ movements, and donate to our organizing efforts, then it becomes clear that a hierarchical “west and the rest” binary fails to describe reality.
Coverage of the Egyptian protests this week disproportionately interviewed and photographed male protestors, occasionally using the terms “Egyptian men” and “protestors” interchangeably (excellent example here). What images we did receive of women depicted them as separate from the demonstrations if not dependent on male guardianship. The paucity of images or stories about women activists excludes them from the national uprising and silences their protests.
The caption is this examplecaption reads ” A woman crosses a street as demonstrators flee from tear gas in Suez, on Jan. 27″ (Foreign Policy):
Outside of the mainstream media a widely circulated photo album, available to anyone with Facebook, collected over a hundred pictures of Egyptian women demonstrating. Curation of this album during the internet blackout, when nearly all images were filtered through the media, serves as a testament to the value of diaspora and transnational networks. Additionally, placing these images side by side becomes a powerful counter to women’s media invisibility and highlights diversity of backgrounds, opinions, and forms of protest undertaken by Egyptian women.
It might be worth nothing that we’re seeing more stories about women since a You Tube video (below) of a woman calling for people to join her in protest on January 25th caught the attention of the media. Namely this excellent NPR story and an AFP article. Lastly, anyone interested in social media should visit this Facebook group.
April Crewson is completing her masters in Gender Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London.
In this short clip journalist Ken Silverstein explains how editors at The Los AngelesTimes censored his reporting of the Israel-Palestine conflict in an article that was, consequently, never published:
Brook M. brought our attention to Al Jazeera’s English-language coverage of Arab women athletes training for the 2008 Olympics. They include a Moroccan runner, Israeli Arab boxers, a Qatar race-car driver, and Egyptian soccer players. Among other topics, the segments address opposition the women have faced being female Arab Muslims in sports, especially concerning their clothing. The first segment is about 11 minutes long; the second one is about 12 and a half.
One thing I like about these videos is they show the diversity of Arab Muslim women, a group often depicted as a homogeneous, passive, subordinate group all wearing veils. Some of the women in the clips do not cover their hair while some wear hijab. Among those who wear hijab, some cover every bit of their hair, others do not; some head scarves are lace and fairly transparent, while others are dark and solid. The women talk about how they feel about mixing religion and sports and being female athletes, and again, they differ in their perspectives.
While the sports element is interesting, seeing the diversity among Arab women, as well as Arab women actively discussing religion and resisting gender roles, may be very useful for students who usually encounter portrayals of Arab women as completely oppressed victims of a sexist culture/religion, so I can imagine using it in classes that aren’t about sports.