A new research study carried out by Connector, an innovation studio in Dublin, found that Ireland has new attitudes regarding gender and sexuality.
The researchers found that Ireland is becoming less heterosexual. In the survey, 30% define themselves as not completely heterosexual. The scale ranged from “mostly attracted to the opposite sex” to “only attracted to the same gender”.
This study comes out just weeks after a poll where nearly half of LGBT+ people said they identify as bisexual.
Ireland is also more accepting of transgender people than what they are perceived to be. The survey found that 40% of people thought that the Irish are uncomfortable about transgender people using a public restroom. However, only 16% of participants said they would not want to share a toilet and would react negatively.
The research also found that 18% of Irish people do not agree that people are exploring their identity more, who don’t know anyone using non-traditional gender pronouns, who don’t think gender-neutral public spaces are important and who are not becoming more accepting of non-traditional gender identities.
Connector found that the age of the participants played a large role in their decisions, especially in terms of acceptance. Of the percentage of people who do not agree with gender exploration, 28% were in the 14-17-year-old group. Those 45-54 made up 6% and 12% were 54 or older.
This gap finds that people become more accepting as they get older as they experience new situations and perspectives.
Connector reports that they are not finding an increase in acceptance being shown through advertising campaigns, with 51% of participants saying they had never or had rarely seen TV and print ads featuring LGBT+ people.
However, 74% of people stated that an LGBT+ presence in advertising doesn’t impact whether or not they purchase a product.
Connector found that for nearly 34% the presence of queer people in ads reflect daily life and the state of society today.
The study found that LGBT+ people shouldn’t be tied to a specific category such as fashion or personal care. Survey participants believe they should be represented in a multitude of fields.
“Connector is a proud supporter of the LGBTQ+ community and we believe that creative innovators need to create work that reflects and push boundaries of the acceptance,” said Ivan Adriel, Innovation and Strategy Director at Connector. “Advertising is one of the strongest forces to challenge perceptions and we want this research to be an eye opener for marketers to become more inclusive”.
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