Sexuality Policy Watch

Survey finds Nigerians increasingly tolerant of Lesbian, gay and bisexual people

LAGOS – The biennial survey poll commissioned by The initiative for Equal Rights and conducted by NOI Polls, to map the perception and awareness of LGBT people amongst the general population in Nigeria indicates that there is increasing social acceptance of lesbian, gay, and bisexual Nigerians, despite continued support for the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which bans marriage and criminalizes same sex associations, cohabiting amongst other discriminatory provisions.

Amongst the key findings of the poll are that a majority of Nigerians surveyed (53%) have some awareness and knowledge of homosexuals either through knowing a friend, family member or someone in their locality who is homosexual or through media, and (39%) of Nigerians accept that lesbian, gay and bisexual Nigerians should have equal access to public goods such as healthcare, housing and education, which represents a 9% increase from a previous poll conducted in 2015.

The survey covered 2000 Nigerians from the six geo-political zones recruited through a proportionate, stratified random sample design with 95% confidence that the results obtained are statistically precise.

Bibi Bakare-Yusuf, Chair, The Initiative for Equal Rights says:

“While this year’s poll represents a positive trend in the acceptance of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Nigerians, the continued violations of human rights and support for criminalization shows there’s still a wide gap between increased awareness about diverse sexualities and the importance of human rights that needs to be addressed”

Olumide Makanjuola, Executive Director, The Initiative for Equal Rights:

“The increasing number of Nigerians who accept the right of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual to access public healthcare, housing and education is a welcome and encouraging development – yet these finding show that more work remains to be done to achieve social acceptance of sexual minorities and other marginalized people in Nigerian society”

Key Findings

Findings from the survey

39% of Nigerians agree that homosexuals should have equal access to healthcare, housing and other public goods, a 9% increase from previous polls

53% of Nigerians say they have an awareness of homosexuality through media, family member or friend

At 39% Media remains and is increasingly the most common means through which Nigerians are aware of homosexuals and homosexuality through the media

28% say they don’t mind homosexuals, if they don’t have to see them

22% of male respondents are aware of someone who is homosexual [friend, family or local person] – compared to 11% for women

13% of Nigerians say they would accept a family who is homosexual, a 2% increase from a previous poll in 2015

At 18% and 17% respectively, younger demographics are more likely to know a lesbian, gay or bisexual person

Support for the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act remains high at 90% overall

Download the Full Report

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