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-Prejudice is Acceptable 2003-09-30

Posted by clype in Intolerance, Scotland, Statistics.
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  • Many people in Scotland appear to believe some form of prejudice is acceptable, according to new research.

A quarter of those questioned said there were good reasons for intolerance of some kind. Only 5 per cent of the 1 600 people questioned thought there was no discrimination in Scotland while nearly 60 per cent felt disability rights had not gone far enough.

The findings are part of a survey commissioned by the Scottish Executive to look at attitudes towards “GAY people”, “the disabled”, those in “ethnic minorities”, and “women”.

With the row over “Section 28” in the past, experts said the survey suggests that about half of those living in Scotland believe there is still a lot of “homophobic” and racial prejudice.

The research, being published on Tuesday [2003-09-30], also found that more than half the people in Scotland consider there to be a great deal of prejudice against “ethnic minority” groups.

It also showed that older people with no qualifications were more likely to be intolerant, while knowing someone who is “GAY” made people less likely to treat others differently The Equal Opportunities Commission Scotland (EOCS) said the results showed many people found prejudice in areas of employment acceptable and added that more should be done to challenge attitudes. A spokesman said:

‘One alarming figure to come out of the survey is the fact that 28 per cent of people still feel that women make more suitable primary teachers than men.

‘This outmoded assumption does not just stereotype women it also prevents men from following a career of their choice’.

Negative attitudes:

Those carrying out the survey had identified three possible reasons for discrimination continuing in Scotland.

Some people’s attitudes were found to be coloured by their own experiences in life, while others perceive those in certain minority groups as a threat to their economic success. The most significant factor was said to be the image that some people have of those who they think are different from themselves. The survey has been welcomed by the “GAY” and “lesbian” equality group, Stonewall Scotland.

Director Ali Jarvis told BBC Radio Scotland that the survey had showed up what they expected. She added that Scotland on the whole was not a prejudiced society but some entrenched pockets needed to be tackled.

‘Now the opportunity is to actually start shaping specific policies and interventions that can address, and perhaps work on changing, the negative attitudes that are out there — as well as building on the positive ones’.

Maggie Chettie, of the Moving on Racial Equality in Scotland group, said the survey offered ‘nothing new’ on the issue of discrimination in Scotland. She said:

‘I would have been much more interested in looking at something much more focused, something looking at the mechanisms of institutionalised racism, rather than something which does nothing more than reiterate what we already know.

‘We need something much more practical which is actually going to focus in on how can we overcome discrimination’.

More action:

Prof.Mr.John Curtis of the National Centre for Social Research in Scotland, which carried out the survey, said that showed that Scotland was by and large a tolerant society. He said:

‘Discriminatory attitudes are held for the most part only by a minority of Scots, but in some cases that minority is not an inconsiderable one’.

Communities Minister Margaret Curran welcomed the results of the survey. She said:

‘I’m encouraged by much of these findings. The majority of people think prejudice is wrong and want to see more action to combat it’.

The executive plans to use the findings to inform future policy decisions. Mr.John Curtis:

‘Discriminatory attitudes are held for the most part only by a minority of Scots, but in some cases that minority is not an inconsiderable one’


-Suncream offers No Protection against Cancer 2003-09-28

Posted by clype in Health, Science, Statistics.
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Sunbathers who smother their bodies in lotions to block out harmful rays are not being protected against skin cancer and premature ageing, a new study has found.Research published tomorrow [2003-09-29, Mo] will show that sunscreens, even when they are high factor and applied in the proper amounts, do not prevent dangerous changes in the skin's make-up which can promote the growth of cancer.

Although the lotions prevent burning they are less effective at blocking out UVA rays, which are believed to cause melanoma, the most dangerous skin cancer.

Scientists are expected to warn this week that people must not be led by a false sense of security into staying longer in the sun because they are covered with high-factor lotions.

Cases of melanoma are now rising faster than any other cancer in Britain, and deaths from the disease are also on the increase.

In the UK, 1 600 British people die each year from melanoma, more than the 1 000 Australian deaths/year, where people have learnt to cover up in the sun.

The lifetime risk from the disease is doubling every decade.

Currently, one in every 68 adults will be diagnosed with the illness, but by 2010 that will have risen to one in 50. This summer's heatwave is likely to have proved particularly harmful.

Ambulance services reported record numbers taken to hospital with sunstroke and sunburn, and sales of suncream broke all records.

On the two hottest days, more than 35 000 bottles of lotion went off the shelves.

 But even the highest factor of 35 is not enough to filter out all the damaging rays, according to researchers at the Mount Vernon Hospital in north London.

profsanders.jpg Led by burns specialist Prof.Roy Sanders, they will warn tomorrow [2003-09-29, Mo] that limiting sunbathing and covering up when the sun is at its strongest is the only safe way of protecting the skin.

This leaves a dilemma for the cancer charities which want people to carry on using sunscreen because it prevents sunburn and some damage, even though it is not foolproof. Lesley Walker, head of information at the Cancer Research UK charity, said:

'People should cover up as much as possible but we don't want to see them abandoning the creams altogether'.

Some companies are introducing UVA filters into their creams but these appear at present to be too weak fully to block the ultraviolet light.

"Suncream is 'no protection against cancer'"Jo Revill, The Observer, 2003-09-28 Su


-Belief in ‘God’ Falling 2003-09-10

Posted by clype in Intolerance, Statistics.
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Three in five Britons (60 per cent) say they believe in God, according to a new survey from the MORI Social Research Institute.

The research, conducted for the BBC TV’s ‘Heaven and Earth Show’, shows a small drop over the past five years (down from 64 per cent in 1998-02) in the percentage of Britons who say they believe in ‘God’.

One in five British people (18 per cent) say they are a practising member of ‘an organised religion’, with a quarter (25 per cent) a non-practising member.

A further quarter (24 per cent) are ‘spiritually inclined’ but ‘do not really belong to an organised religion’, whilst 14 per cent are ‘agnostic’ and 12 per cent are ‘atheist’.

Most people in Britain say their own life experience has the most influence on their views and outlook on life.

Of those asked, three in five (62 per cent) say their views are most influenced by their own life experience, while more than half (56 per cent) say their parents and almost a third (30 per cent) say their education most influence their views.

As far as religious teaching are concerned, 17 per cent say these have the most influence on their views or outlook on life.

Technical details:

  • Results are based on 1001 interviews conducted by telephone with a representative sample of British adults, aged 16+. Interviews were conducted between 8-17 August 2003. Data have been weighted to match the known population profile. Trend data is taken from a ‘Paranormal’ survey conducted by MORI on behalf of ‘The Sun’ newspaper between 1998-02-04/05 with a representative sample of 721 adults aged 18+ across Great Britain (Q2B, Q2C) and a BBC Heaven and Earth Survey conducted by MORI between 2000-12-15/17 with a representative sample of 999 adults aged 15+ across Great Britain (Q1B).

-Glasgow Historian’s Book Major TV Epic on WWI 2003-09-05

Posted by clype in Humanities, Intolerance, Scotland.
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The full impact of the First World War is set to be brought back to life in a new 2.6 million GBP television series created in Scotland for Channel 4 — the biggest factual series ever undertaken by the broadcaster outside London.

Produced by the Glasgow production company Wark Clements, the series is based on the definitive book, "First World War", by the Glasgow historian, Prof.Mr.Hew Strachan. (more…)