A landmark study looking at attitudes towards same-sex relationships across 23 countries found that, while American men and women “did not significantly differ in their attitudes toward gay men,” women were “significantly more prejudiced” against lesbians.
However, this was not unique to just America. The countries included in the study were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Great Britain, Hungary, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, and the United States. Of these 23, only in three did men report more negative attitudes towards lesbians than women: China, France, and Italy. Yet only in Mexico and the United States were women’s prejudices against lesbians “significantly” higher than men’s.
Among the general populations of all 23 countries, however, lesbian women were viewed less negatively than gay men. Attitudes towards gay men and lesbian women were most similar in India and Spain, and more negatively skewed towards men in Russia and Hungary.
People from western countries were found to have more positive opinions of homosexuality in general, with the highest-placing non-Western country being India in 14th place. The country with the most positive perceptions was Spain, followed by Belgium, Sweden, and Canada, and the country with the most negative perceptions was Russia, preceded by Hungary, Turkey, Peru, and South Korea.