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Russians’ Gender Attitudes Among World’s Most Conservative: Poll

Russia's government has characterized the country as Europe’s last bastion of conservative values for the past decade and a half. Valery Sharifulin / TASS

Russians have some of the world’s most conservative attitudes toward gender roles, according to a multinational survey spanning 10 countries.

The GlobalNR research network and its Russian partner ROMIR found that 82% of Chinese respondents, 71% of Russians and 69% of Indians agreed with the statement that traditional gender roles are best suited for society. The global average stood at 47%.

Russian respondents were also more likely than their global counterparts to agree with statements that the existence of transgender people is offensive, women shouldn’t work, same-sex couples shouldn’t legally marry and men shouldn’t wear skirts.

“We’re witnessing a rare case when Russians don’t line up with the image of the average human and show their unwillingness to compromise,” the ROMIR research agency's president Andrei Milekhin said.

“It’s telling that our neighbors in the top three are China and India, which are also hotbeds of civilization based on traditions, core values and conservative views,” he added.

The study’s results published Monday are consistent with the Russian government's efforts to cast itself as Europe’s last bastion of conservative values for the past decade and a half, lawyers and activists say.

“That’s why we don’t have progressive laws such as a law against domestic violence,” women’s rights lawyer Mari Davtyan told the Kommersant business daily.

“It doesn’t fit into conservative values because conservatism implies hierarchy and power, and the possibility of violence is what holds and legitimizes such power,” Davtyan said.

Russians accounted for 800 out of the 7,100 respondents from the U.S., Britain, Germany and other countries including India, Brazil and Thailand polled this year. 

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