Bosses at a women’s charity say they are “disappointed” after a survey revealed many people believe men should be able to pay for sex.
More than 600 people, the vast majority of them female, took part in the online survey, carried out by Dundee Women Against Violence Partnership.
Participants’ views were clear on women’s place in society, the workplace and within relationships – however attitudes become mixed when questioned on paying for sex or women’s bodies.
For example, 19% of participants strongly agreed that men over 18 should be able to pay for sex, and 18% strongly disagreed that it should be against the law to pay for sex.
And 26% strongly disagreed that it should be against the law to post naked photos of women online without telling her.
Of the 621 participants, 77% identified as women. One question asked if women were too emotional to be effective leaders and 86% responded “completely disagree”.
When faced with possible scenarios that could arise in relationships or which could lead to rape, results were far less agreeable, with 5.2% of participants strongly agreeing that rape happens because men are unable to control their need for sex.
When asked if women often lie about being raped, 4% strongly agreed, 15% were impartial and 12 people – or 2% – strongly agreed that a woman who is raped while drunk is to blame.
Attitudes towards domestic abuse were largely similar, with 95% saying it was seriously wrong or slightly wrong for one person to verbally take out a bad day at work on their partner.
And 95% said it was seriously wrong for that person to later slap their partner in the face.
Ann Hamilton, chairwoman of the Dundee Violence Against Women Partnership, said: “It is clearly disappointing that the survey showed a far higher level of tolerance towards paying for sex, so-called entertainment and pornography than for example, sexual violence or the roles of men and women in the workplace.
“But what we have found out means that we can focus our resources much more effectively by shining a light on sexual exploitation of those involved.
“The acceptance of men’s right to buy women has to be challenged and we need to understand the impact it has on women’s equality and our society more broadly.”