This study aims to explain variation in the level of tolerance towards homosexuality between European countries. Results of multi-level regression analyses on 40 countries from the 2008 wave of the European Values Study show that countries’ economic affluence and laws on same-sex unions are positively associated with individuals’ tolerance towards homosexuality. An additional exercise suggests that the association between laws and attitudes may be the result of two-way causality; legislation seems to both shape and reflect levels of tolerance towards homosexuality. The study finds no independent association between tolerance and the level of religiosity in a country and refutes the hypothesis that high numbers of diagnosed HIV cases resulting from sex between men are negatively related to tolerance towards homosexuality in Europe.
- same-sex marriage