Netherlands residents among most accepting of non-binary people, study shows
The Netherlands is one of the countries with the highest acceptance of non-binary people, according to a survey conducted by research agency Motivaction. The study also indicated a relatively high level of acceptance in Belgium, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Austria, and Sweden. In contrast, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Israel exhibit higher resistance towards individuals who do not strictly identify as male or female.
The survey revealed that six out of ten Dutch respondents agree with the statement, "I understand if people do not identify solely as male or female.” Approximately 30 percent neither agree nor disagree, while a minority of 12 percent express a lack of understanding. Only six percent would end a friendship due to a friend's non-binary identity, a relatively low percentage. In comparison, 20 percent of American participants would end a friendship for the same reason.
The study revealed considerable reluctance among Slovak respondents; for example, 39 percent indicated that they have no understanding for people who identify as non-binary. On the other hand, a minority of 29 percent do, with the rest falling somewhere in between. The researchers found mixed results in Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, and Poland.
The research agency, on behalf of COC Nederland and Mastercard, interviewed nearly 16,000 people from sixteen Western countries, with 452 respondents identifying as non-binary. The study exposed the struggles faced by these individuals, with almost one in three reporting discrimination, bullying, or insults in the past year.
Non-binary people reported feeling up to three times more unsafe than others. They also more frequently feel lonelier or more depressed and generally rate their mental health lower than those who solely identify as male or female, according to the research agency. These results are not segmented by country, so the study does not reveal potential differences between countries in these respects.
The survey also revealed that nearly half of the Dutch respondents have at least some discomfort with gender-neutral toilets. A similar proportion has no issue with this, and 7 percent are indifferent. Four out of ten respondents appear somewhat weary of the topic and agree that there is "too much attention to diversity and gender equality."
Reporting by ANP