What do we know about Sexual Orientation and Equality?

The Equality Act defines sexual orientation as including how you choose to express your sexual orientation, such as through your appearance or the cultural and social activities you choose, such as places you visit. Protection from discrimination relates to feelings as well as actions and manifestations (e.g. appearance, dress, social life etc)[1]. Sexual orientation described as being towards people of the same sex, the opposite sex or of either sex.

Data used in monitoring this usually based on allowing respondents to self-define as belonging to one of the following categories: Heterosexual or straight; Gay or Lesbian; Bisexual or Other.

Interesting #Equalityfacts about Sexual Orientation  in Fife

Public surveys still report low proportions of people reporting as LGB & other
The SSCQ 2018 estimate reports 1.8% people identifying as LGB & other and 95.36% identifying reporting as Heterosexual nationally. In Fife, this was 1.6% (a +0.3% increase, giving an approximate figure of number of 4900) and 96.2% as heterosexual.

More likely estimates indicate 5%~7% of the population 
More recent estimates from the NRS population and the Stonewall and Scottish Government LGBT estimates, gives an approximate LGBT population in Fife as being between 18570 and 26000 people.

Sexual orientation aggravated crime is the second most common type of hate crime. The number of charges reported increased by 3% in 2017-18 to 1,112.

Demography

There is a known lack of reliable and/or up to date data on sexual orientation both a local and national level, although this is improving. While the majority of the UK and Scottish population identifies as heterosexual or straight, the proportion of people who identify as Gay or Lesbian; Bisexual or Other has been estimated as ranging between 0.3% and 10%[2].

Explanations in the variation in estimates range from different definitions used (e.g. in Office of National Statistics, National Records of Scotland, Stonewall, ScotPHO / NHS etc) to respondents uncomfortable with the survey questions or methods choosing the ‘Prefer not to answer’ or ‘Other’ options and therefore reducing the accuracy of data[3]. The most commonly used figure by Stonewall and the ONS that is taken as reasonable estimate is between 5%-7%[4].

Recent figures from public surveys via the Office National Statistics[5] show that in 2016, 2.2% of Scotland’s population aged 16 and over identified themselves as lesbian, gay or bisexual or other (LGBO), which is slightly above UK’s average of 2%.

The SSCQ2016 surveys had similar figures, with 95.36% reporting as Heterosexual and 1.8% reporting as LGB & other nationally. In Fife, this was 96.2% and 1.6% (a +0.3% increase), giving an approximate number of 4896.

  Response %   Totals
  Heterosexual   LGB & other   Adults Sample  
Scotland 95.3 ± 0.4   2.2 ± 0.3    4,488,800   19,532  
Fife 96.2 ± 1.5 294372 1.6 ± 0.8 4896     306,000     1,258  
                       

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 (9 Apr 2018) 4.4

Using more recent NRS population estimates and the Stonewall and Scottish Government LGBT estimates, a very rough model gives the LGBT population in Fife as being between 18570 and 2600 people.

  Fife
LGBT Population
Stonewall / Scottish Government Population Estimates <Low
5%
High>

7%

LGBT Population (count) 18570 26000

While this is no further detailed breakdown at local, certain patterns at national level can be expected to also exist in Fife, for instance in the age or generational effect in how people identify their sexual orientation. In Scotland, people aged 16-24 being over 5 times more likely to identify and report as LGBO than the 75+ group (3.7% vs 0.7%).

Nationally, we can see a race and ethnicity component to how people respond. People from ‘White:Other’ ethnic groups’[6] were most likely to identify as LGB and other (4.3%) and ‘Asian’ ethnic groups the least likely (0.7%).

Ethnic Group        
  Heterosexual   LGB & other Adults
White: Scottish 95.6 ± 0.5 2.1 ± 0.3
White: Other British 95.8 ± 1.1 2.9 ± 1.0
White: Polish 90.7 ± 6.4 1.3 ± 1.5
White: Other 93.5 ± 2.2 4.3 ± 1.9
Asian 95.2 ± 2.2 0.7 ± 0.8
All other ethnic groups 92.0 ± 3.6 1.7 ± 2.1

Table 225 Sexual Orientation by ethnicity

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 (9 Apr 2018) 4.4

4.4% of people identifying their religion as ‘Other’ described their sexual orientation as LGB or other, followed by 3.1 for people who said ‘None’ (3.1%).

  Hetero-sexual   LGB & other Adults
None 95.0 ± 0.6 3.1 ± 0.5
Church of Scotland 96.9 ± 0.5 1.0 ± 0.3
Roman Catholic 95.7 ± 1.1 1.6 ± 0.6
Other Christian 97.0 ± 1.0 1.7 ± 0.8
Muslim 97.6 ± 1.8 .  
Other 83.8 ± 4.1 4.4 ± 2.3

Table 226 Sexual Orientation by religion

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 (9 Apr 2018) 4.4

Education

The Scottish Government does not collect detailed information on the sexual orientation of pupils or teachers (e.g. through the Pupil Census) as it is considered sensitive and not appropriate[7]. It is of note however that negative attitudes to LGB teachers have been decreasing. 21% of people in Scotland in 2006 thought LGB people were unsuitable to be teachers in primary schools, compared to 13% in 2015.

Figure 75 Proportion Who Thought That Gay Men And Lesbians Were Unsuitable As Primary School Teachers – Scotland

Source: Scottish Social Attitudes Survey 2015

College Teacher Profiles

Fife College has a baseline dataset with 3% of staff who declare themselves lesbian, gay, bisexual or other and at the end of the academic year 2015-16. There remains a high percentage of staff who either do not make a declaration or indicate that they ‘prefer not to say’[8].

School bullying

The Stonewall School Report surveyed 3,713 lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) young people aged between 11-19 (402 living in Scotland) and gives a breakdown of their experience at school as:

  • 48% are bullied for being LGBT
  • 71% trans young people are bullied at school
  • 63% ‘frequently’ or ‘often’ hear homophobic language in school,
  • 44% of LGBT young people who experience homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying
  • 43% ‘frequently’ or ‘often’ hear biphobic language
  • never tell anyone about it

Modern Apprenticeships (MA)

Equality opportunity monitoring in MAs covers Disability, Gender and Ethnicity, there is no data collected on sexual orientation and religion of Modern Apprentices in Scotland available at this time.

Work

Employment

There is no detailed local area data on sexual orientation and employment at this time. However, at national level, LGBO people tend to be slightly more likely to be unemployed compared to those who identified as ‘heterosexual’ (4.1%). However as a high proportion of those identifying as LGBO were in the age groups 16-24 and 25-34, it is important to consider that this also corresponds to the age groups with highest unemployment and is not significant:

  Hetero-sexual LGB & other
All 95.3 ± 0.4 2.2 ± 0.3
In employment 95.5 ± 0.5 2.4 ± 0.4
Unemployed 93.8 ± 3.2 4.1 ± 3.0
Inactive 95.1 ± 0.6 1.8 ± 0.4

Table 227 Sexual Orientation and employment

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 (9 Apr 2018) 4.4

TotalJobs (26 February 2016) surveyed 435 trans people across the UK (23 employed in Scotland) which show a higher incidence of transphobic discrimination (60%, against 50% in the Government Equalities Office 2011 research) but similarly reports the main source as coming from colleagues[9]. Other key findings for this report are:

  • 53% have felt the need to hide their trans status from colleagues.
  • 51% believe in the workplace, acceptance and understanding of trans employees has improved due to increased media focus on trans issues.
  • 50% received positive reactions from colleagues when they transitioned.
  • 43% actively look for companies with trans-friendly policies when applying for jobs.

The Fife LGBT Community Needs Assessment Report 2016[10] survey of 148 LGBO people in Fife found that 1 in 3 of survey respondents were not out about their sexual orientation or gender identity to any of their work colleagues and that 1 in 10 of respondents (9%) feel that their LGBT identity is not respected or not at all respected by their colleagues.

Living Standards

Poverty

There is limited data at local level regarding poverty levels and sexual orientation. However, national level from the SSCQ2016 can give an idea if there is an impact on relative poverty. In 2016, the distribution on people identifying as LGBO lived mainly in the middle 3 quintiles of households across Scotland:

  Response %
  Heterosexual LGB & other
All 95.3 ± 0.4 2.2 ± 0.3
SIMD Quintiles        
1=Most deprived fifth of households 93.7 ± 1.1 2.1 ± 0.6
2 94.8 ± 0.9 2.4 ± 0.6
3 95.4 ± 0.9 2.6 ± 0.6
4 95.7 ± 1.0 2.5 ± 0.8
5=Least deprived fifth of households 96.8 ± 0.7 1.6 ± 0.5

Table 228 Sexual Orientation and SIMD

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 (9 Apr 2018) 4.4

Housing

However, national level statistics from the SSCQ2016 can however give an idea of patterns that can be expected to be broadly similar in. In 2016 on average, people who identify as LGBO tended to reside in single or small adult households that are owned outright, marking a shift from renting privately in 2015.

Household Type
  Hetero-sexual   LGB & other  
All 95.3 ± 0.4 2.2 ± 0.3
Single adult 92.9 ± 1.0 4.0 ± 0.8
Small adult 93.4 ± 1.1 4.6 ± 0.9
Large adult 96.3 ± 1.2 1.4 ± 0.6
Single parent 97.2 ± 1.2 0.8 ± 0.6
Small family 97.3 ± 0.7 0.7 ± 0.4
Large family 95.2 ± 1.9 2.9 ± 1.5
Single pensioner 94.8 ± 0.9 1.2 ± 0.5
Older smaller 96.3 ± 0.7 1.0 ± 0.4
Detailed Tenure 92.9 ± 1.0 4.0 ± 0.8
Owned outright 93.4 ± 1.1 4.6 ± 0.9
Mortgaged 96.3 ± 1.2 1.4 ± 0.6
Social rented 97.2 ± 1.2 0.8 ± 0.6
Private rented 97.3 ± 0.7 0.7 ± 0.4

Table 229 Sexual Orientation and household type

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 (9 Apr 2018) 4.4

The Fife LGBT Community Needs Assessment Report 2016[11] survey of 148 LGBO people in Fife found that 48% of respondents using housing services did not communicate their sexual orientation with their service provider. This is a comparable figure to 43% for those using social services and 40% for users of (non-LGBT specific) voluntary sector services.

Health

Health outcomes

On average, people who identify as LGBO tend to report less good overall health, even when taking into account the younger age of this equality group. With age standardisation, 67% of LGBO report good / very good health compared to 75% of heterosexual people, raising the question of barriers to access in healthcare:

Limiting Long-term Physical or Mental Health Condition

 

  Hetero-sexual LGB & other
All 95.3 ± 0.4 2.2 ± 0.3
Limiting condition 93.7 ± 0.8 2.6 ± 0.6
No limiting condition 95.9 ± 0.5 2.1 ± 0.3

Table 230 Table 4.4 Sexual Orientation and Limiting conditions

Source: Scottish Surveys Core Questions 2016 (9 Apr 2018) 4.4

Figure 76 LGBO General Health

Source: Sexual Orientation in Scotland 2017 24 Jan 2017) – A Summary of the Evidence Base

Access to healthcare, mental and sexual health

There is no detailed local or national level data at this time on access to LGBO/LGBT health services with a sample size that adjusts for standard mediating factors (e.g. age, socio-economic group or earnings). It is also recognised that there has been a historical bias in research towards research on gay and bisexual men, with far less research on lesbians, bisexual women, trans and non-binary people[12].

LGB people tend to report a higher dissatisfaction with health services than heterosexual people, mainly associated with the experience of discrimination (including lack of recognition of one’s partner; reaction to a patient saying they are LGB), invisibility of LGB people and information on their health needs and lack of knowledge on LGB health (NIESR evidence review).

The Fife LGBT Community Needs Assessment Report 2016[13] survey of 148 LGBO people in Fife found that 26% of respondents had not reported their sexual orientation to their GP, 29% to sexual health services and 34% to mental health services.

Justice and Personal Security

Hate crime

In 2017-18, 1,112 charges were reported with an aggravation of prejudice relating to sexual orientation, 3% more than in 2016-17. The number of charges reported has increased consistently year on year since the legislation was introduced, with the exception of a fall in 2014-15.

Court proceedings were commenced in respect of 85% of charges (or 92% including those not separately prosecuted, but which may have been incorporated into other charges for the same accused).

No action was taken in respect of 2% of charges. With the exception of 2014-15, there have been year on year increases in charges reported since the legislation introducing this aggravation came into force in 2010.

Figure 77 Trends in Hate Crime, Scotland

Source: COPFS (2017) Hate Crime in Scotland 2017-2018 

Year 10-11 11-12 12-13 13-14 14-15 15-16 16-17 17-18  
Total number of charges of an offence aggravated by prejudice related to sexual orientation 452 650 729 887 848 1027 1081 1112  
Decision on how charge will proceed (numbers)  
  Court proceedings 357 535 564 780 757 890 899 945
Not separately prosecuted 37 42 63 66 43 55 94 78
Direct measures 15 24 36 9 8 19 40 35
Referred to Children’s Reporter 7 11 18 9 10 22 21 15
No action 36 38 48 23 30 41 27 25
Awaiting decision 14
Decision on how charge will proceed (percentages)  
  Court proceedings 79% 82% 77% 88% 89% 87% 83% 85%  
Not separately prosecuted 8% 6% 9% 7% 5% 5% 9% 7%  
Direct measures 3% 4% 5% 1% 1% 2% 4% 3%  
Referred to Children’s Reporter 2% 2% 2% 1% 1% 2% 2% 1%  
No action 8% 6% 7% 3% 4% 4% 2% 2%  
Awaiting decision 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 0% 1%  
                                                 

 Table 231 Sexual orientation aggravated crime Charges reported, 2010-11 to 2017-18

Source: COPFS (2017) Hate Crime in Scotland 2017-2018 p11

People convicted and aggravations

Across Scotland, in 2016-2017, 12,252 people were convicted with aggravations, the majority of which (10,830) were on charges of domestic aggravators. The number of people convicted with sexual orientation aggravations decreased in 2016-2017 by 4%. Of note is the increase in convictions of females at +25%.

  2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 % change 2015-16 to 2016-17
Male and Female        
All aggravators 13,751 13,828 12,252 -11%
Domestic 12,441 12,376 10,830 -12%
Racial 701 761 721 -5%
Religious 241 247 277 12%
Sexual orientation 320 369 356 -4%
Disability 40 68 54 -21%
Transgender 8 7 14 100%
  2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 % change 2015-16 to 2016-17
Male        
All aggravators   11,884   11,980   10,689 -11%
         
Domestic 10,796 10,741 9,501 -12%
Racial 573 633 588 -7%
Religious 213 230 258 12%
Sexual orientation 265 316 290 -8%
Disability 33 55 41 -25%
Transgender 4 5 11 120%
  2014-15 2015-16 2016-17 % change 2015-16 to 2016-17
Female        
All aggravators 1,867 1,848 1,563 -15%
         
Domestic 1,645 1,635 1,329 -19%
Racial 128 128 133 4%
Religious 28 17 19 12%
Sexual orientation 55 53 66 25%
Disability 7 13 13 0%
Transgender 4 2 3 50%

Table 232 People convicted with an aggravator recorded against the main charge by gender

Source: Criminal Proceedings in Scotland 2016-17 (27 February 2018)

Participation

Political and civic participation and representation

Across Scotland, 4.4% of applicants to public appointments were from LGBO candidates and 7.1% were appointed.  There is no further local breakdown available at this time (Public Appointments in Scotland 2016 Diversity Analysis Report – March 2017).

Social and community cohesion / Experiences of discrimination

Due to the small sample size of Fife LGBO people in the 2016 Scottish Household Survey, local level statistics are not available at this time. National figures can however be indicative, with LGBO people over twice as likely to experience discrimination (15% vs 6%) and harassment (17% vs 6%).

  Discrimination Harassment All
Yes No Yes No  
Fife 2016          
Sexual orientation          
Heterosexual/Straight 4 96 4 96 100
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual * * 100
Scotland 2016          
Sexual orientation          
Heterosexual/Straight 6 94 6 94 100
Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual 15 85 17 83 100

Table 233 Experience of discrimination and harassment by sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion and long-term physical/mental health condition.

Source: Scottish Household Survey (2016) LA Tables (8 Feb 2018) 4.14

[1] EHRC (March 2017) Equality Act 2010 – Handbook for Advisors [Scotland] p9

[2] EHRC (2009) Estimating the size and composition of the LGBT population in Britain

[3] Scotland’s Census (2011) Sexual Orientation in the Census

[4] ONS (2006) Sexual Orientation and the 2011 Census

[5] ONS (4 October 2017) Sexual Identity, UK: 2016

[6] SSCQ Ethnic Groups definitions:
‘White’: Other’ includes ‘White: Irish’, ‘White: Gypsy/Traveller’ and ‘White: Other White Ethnic Group’

‘Asian’ includes the categories Asian, Asian Scottish or Asian British

‘All other ethnic groups’ includes categories within the ‘Mixed or Multiple Ethnic Group’, ‘African’, ‘Caribbean or Black’, and ‘Other Ethnic Group’ sections

[7] Scottish Government (2017) Sexual Orientation and School Education

[8] Fife College Mainstreaming report (April 2017) p12

[9] TotalJobs (2016) TRANS EMPLOYEE EXPERIENCES SURVEY 2016. https://www.totaljobs.com/insidejob/trans-employee-survey-report-2016/

[10] LGBT Health and WellBeing (February 2016) Fife LGBT Community Needs Assessment Report

 [11] LGBT Health and WellBeing (February 2016) Fife LGBT Community Needs Assessment Report

[12] NIESR (July 2016) Inequality among lesbian, gay bisexual and transgender groups in the UK: a review of evidence p38

[13] LGBT Health and WellBeing (February 2016) Fife LGBT Community Needs Assessment Report