[I should have noted this before, but, in order to get a better view of larger visualizations, you should click on the “<>” symbols on the upper right corner of the page for flexible page width. I have finally figured out how to embed from Tableau but it makes a mess of the page.]
Here is just quick data snippet from the Pew Global Attitudes Project that measured changes on acceptance of homosexuality (link to Tableau) for selected countries, from 2007 to 2013. Here is a static dual point plot, the link in the previous sentence will take you to the interactive version:
First of all, out of 26 countries, 17 had a better acceptance score from 2007 to 2013, 2 had no change, and 7 had a worse score in 2013 than in 2007. But just to look at these raw numbers does not tell us much. Not every country was at the same level of acceptance in 2007.
Look at the 2007 static bar chart (interactive one here):
So what changes in 2013? (interactive chart here)
France takes a tumble, for sure, but is still in the top 5. I would explain this with the fact that France legalized gay marriage this year, and the run-up to the final passing of the law revealed a rather dark and ugly underbelly of homophobia that might have been latent when there was no law in perspective, but that reared its hideous head when legislative action started. The top of the list is still occupied by the same countries with a bit of shuffling but still high acceptance scores. Interestingly enough, the US plays middle of the pack in both years, probably due to its high level of right-wing religiosity and puritanism compared to European countries. The bottom of the list stays roughly the same. The religiosity hypothesis seems confirmed by this scatterplot:
We see a very negative correlation: as religiosity increases, acceptance scores decline. Finally, let’s look at the differences between years (interactive chart here):
Looking at the differences between 2007 and 2013, South Korea and France are the two shocking stories. The acceptance score for South Korea jumps 21 percentage points (even though the majority still finds homosexuality unacceptable), and France takes a 6 percentage points drop (Which I explained above). Frankly, I have no idea what the heck is happening in South Korea. Most Western countries see improvements in their already high acceptance scores. Another noticeable improvement is Kenya, with a jump of five percentage points, which gets it out of the bottom three. The bottom of the list is now occupied by quite a few Western countries. One could argue rising activism in the Global South, and backlash in the Global North.
Looking a bit more globally, the North / South differences are still striking: