Measuring Tolerance of Homosexuality in the Mass Public Across Countries and Over Time


Pohang University of Science and Technology

University of Iowa

Pennsylvania State University

Tsinghua University

University of Iowa


June 30, 2023

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Tolerance of homosexuality has increased in many countries over recent decades, but the resulting scholarship has been hindered by the limited available data on these trends in public opinion. To overcome this problem, we present the Tolerance of Homosexuality (TOL-H) dataset, which combines a comprehensive collection of survey data with a latent-variable model to provide annual time-series estimates of public attitudes toward homosexuality across 119 countries and over as many as 49 years that are comparable across space and time. We show these data perform well in validation tests and demonstrate their potential by replicating an influential but recently questioned finding that more income inequality yields less tolerance of homosexuality. We anticipate that the TOL-H data will become a crucial source for cross-regional, cross-national, and longitudinal research that improves our understanding of the sources and consequences of tolerance of homosexuality.

Important figures

Figure 1: Countries and Mean Years Observed in Survey Datasets

Figure 2: Countries and Mean Years Observed in Prominent Research

Figure 4: TOL-H Scores, Most Recent Available Year

Figure 7: Construct Validation: Correlations Between TOL-H Scores and Tolerance of Homosexuality Survey Items

Figure 8: Predicting Tolerance of Homosexuality

BibTeX citation

 title={Measuring Tolerance of Homosexuality in the Mass Public Across Countries and Over Time},
 author={Woo, Byung-Deuk and Ko, Hyein and Tai, Yuehong Cassandra and Hu, Yue and Solt, Frederick},