Young Czechs and Slovaks have differing views on LGBT rights, immigration, and drugs

A survey found Czechs under 30 more tolerant of gay neighbors, while young Slovaks were more open to immigrants and Muslims.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 22.03.2021 17:07 (updated on 23.03.2021)

Young Czechs and Slovaks differ in their attitudes towards sexual, religious, and ethnic minorities, according to the results of survey on youth values conducted jointly in by the Czech Council of Children and Youth and Czech Council for Children and Youth (ČRDM) and the Slovak Youth Council (RmS).

Czechs are more tolerant of the LGBT community, and have a more positive about alcohol, marijuana and casual sex. Slovaks, on the other hand, have fewer reservations about immigrants, Muslims and alcoholics.

Young people in Slovakia were twice as likely to be bothered by the idea of having a gay or lesbian as a neighbor than their Czech counterparts. Some 11 percent of Czechs objected, while for Slovaks it was 23 percent. When it came to the idea of gay or lesbian sex in general, 63 percent of young Czechs said they didn’t object to it, while a slight minority of young Slovaks, 47 percent, held the same opinion.

Trans people were less poplar in both countries, but the gap was similar, with 16 percent of Czechs and 30 percent of Slovaks saying they would not want to have them as neighbors.

On the other hand, 78 percent of young people in the Czech Republic and 69 percent of young Slovaks would not want heavy alcoholics for their neighbors. A slight majority of young Czechs, 51 percent, would object to Muslims as neighbors, while young Slovaks were more tolerant, at 41 percent. For both countries, about 3 percent fewer objected to immigrants as neighbors: 48 percent of young Czechs and 38 percent of young Slovaks.

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The survey also found differences in age groups among young Czechs. Respondents between the ages of 15 to 19 were more tolerant of Roma, Muslims, and migrants than respondents between 24 to 29, with a gap ranging up to 15 percentage points.

“This points to a greater openness of the younger generations to ethnic or religious minorities,” the survey’s authors said.

Czechs who spent at least three months abroad also proved to be more tolerant, the authors added. In Slovakia, however, age and foreign experience did not play a major role in young people’s opinions.

Amnesty International in 2020 reported that Roma still face discrimination in the Czech Republic, especially when it comes to education.

The ČRDM and RmS survey showed that there are more young Czech users of tobacco, marijuana, and alcohol. In the Czech Republic, 32 percent of young people drink alcohol at least once a week, while in Slovakia it is 19 percent. For tobacco, it was 22 percent of young Czechs and 16 percent of young Slovaks. As for marijuana, 32 percent of young Czechs and 20 percent in young Slovaks said that had experience with the drug.

The Czech Republic has one of the world’s highest consumption rates of alcohol, though the figure is a bit inflated by tourists. It also ranks seventh in the world in cigarette smoking. Use of medical marijuana has also been on the rise.

Young Czechs were also more willing to consider abortion as an option to terminate pregnancy, at 38 percent compared to 28 percent for their Slovak counterparts. Slovaks were also more critical when it came to euthanasia and suicide.

The survey, supported by the Erasmus+ program, took place between last May and July. In the Czech Republic, 1,508 people aged 15 to 29 took part and the data were collected by polling agency Kantar CZ. In Slovakia, 1,500 respondents took part in the survey, and information was collected by the Focus SK and 2Muse agencies.

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