The latest study conducted by Ipsos into the normative attitudes of Singaporeans towards same-sex relationships, see an increase in overall support for same-sex relationships. The study revealed a 20% opposition to the Section 377A of the Singapore Penal Code which criminalises sex between consenting male adults, an increase of 8% from the first study conducted by Ipsos in 2018. Nearly half (45%) of respondents say that they are more accepting of same-sex relationships than they were three years ago.
New findings from the study reveal that over one-third (36%) of respondents believe that Singaporeans should be able to participate in same-sex relationships. The study delved deeper into the ramifications of having a positive attitude towards same-sex relationships and sought respondents’ opinions on civil union, parenting rights and other areas.
Views are split over the rights of same-sex couples in Singapore
On Civil Union
About half of the respondents agree that same-sex couples should be allowed to either marry or gain some legal recognition of their union. Supporting this sentiment, 46% of respondents are open to attending the wedding of a same-sex couple, including 38% of those 50 years old and above.
- 27% believe same-sex couples should be allowed to legally marry in Singapore, a sentiment shared especially by young people aged 18-29 (43%).
- About the same proportion (24%) believe same sex couples should be allowed to obtain some kind of legal recognition but not to marry in Singapore.
- Another 27% say same-sex couples should not be allowed to marry or obtain any legal recognition in Singapore.
- The remaining 22% are unsure what legal union rights same-sex couples should be allowed.
On Parenting Rights
- 51% of respondents agree that same-sex couples are just as likely as other parents to successfully raise children. 33% disagree, 16% are unsure.
- 49% of respondents agree that same-sex couples should have the same rights to adopt children as heterosexual couples. 35% disagree, 16% are unsure.
Similarly split views over the support for LGBTQ community regarding media content, sports participation, and brands.
Around 1 in 3 (between 26% – 38%) respondents are supportive of the LGBTQ community across various aspects such as welcoming more LGBT content in media, LGBT participation in sports, and brands promoting equality for LGBT people. But a significantly large proportion (about 40%) of respondents remain on the fence, who neither support nor oppose these actions.
On Content in Media
- 29% of respondents are supportive of more LGBT characters on TV, in films and in advertising. 28% of total respondents oppose.
- Among parents, 35% oppose having more LGBT content in media and advertising. 45% neither support nor oppose, 21% are supportive.
On Participation in Sports
- 34% of respondents are supportive of openly lesbian gay and bisexual athletes in sports teams. 25% oppose.
- There is just slightly less support (28%) for transgender athletes competing based on the gender they identify with rather than the sex they were assigned at birth. 28% oppose.
On Brands who Promote Equality for LGBT People
- 31% are supportive of companies and brands actively promoting equality for LGBT people. 25% oppose.
On Visibility in Society
- 38% are supportive of LGBT people being open about their sexual orientation or gender identity with everyone.
- 26% are supportive of LGBT people displaying affection in public such as kissing or holding hands.
- 32% would attend a public event in support of LGBT people (eg. Pink Dot SG)
- 31% would visit a bar or a night-club that caters primarily to LGBT people.
About the study
Between 25 May 2022 and 2 June 2022, Ipsos ran a nationally representative online survey of n=500 Singaporean Citizens and Permanent Residents aged 18 and above, in which respondents were asked about their attitudes towards Section 377A and other aspects of same sex-relationships. The study came five years after ground-breaking research was released by Ipsos in 2018 to mark the 10th year of Pink Dot SG, a not-for-profit movement organised to raise awareness of, and support for, the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) community in Singapore.
Quotas on age, gender and ethnicity were employed to ensure that the sample’s composition reflects the overall population distribution, based on Singapore Department of Statistics population estimates.
The precision of online surveys is measured using a credible interval. In this case, the results reported are accurate to +/- 5 percentage points of the views and perspectives of all Singaporeans aged 18 and above (at 95% confidence interval). Credible intervals are wider among subsets of the population.
Attitudes towards same-sex relationships shift towards greater inclusivity in Singapore
Increased opposition towards Section 377A, support for same-sex parents and a willingness to speak up against unfairness towards the LGBTQ community point to a growing acceptance of same-sex relationships among Singaporeans.