Study finds prejudice in Brazil — translation
Study shows that 99.3% of those involved in the educational environment in Brazil exhibit prejudice
By Flavia Albuquerque
Sao Paulo, Brazil — Research carried out in 501 public schools from all over Brazil and based on interviews with over 18,500 students, parents, principals, teachers and school staff reveals that 99.3% of those interviewed demonstrated some kind prejudice: ethnic/racial, socioeconomic, towards persons with disabilities, gender, sexual orientation or origin. The study, released June 17, 2009, in Sao Paulo, and the first of its kind in Brazil, was carried out in order to develop a plan of action that will turn school into an environment that promotes diversity and the respect of differences.
The research project, “Prejudice and Discrimination in the School Environment,” was requested by the National Institute of Educational Study and Research (INEP) and carried out by the Institute of Economic Research (FIPE). The research reported high levels of prejudice. Of those interviewed, 96.5% have prejudice against persons with disabilities, 94.2% have ethnic/racial prejudice, 93.5% have gender prejudice, 91% age prejudice, 87.5% socioeconomic prejudice, 87.3% sexual orientation prejudice and 75.95% prejudice based on place of origin.
According to the study’s coordinator, Jose Afonso Mazzon, professor at the Faculty of Economics, Administration and Accounting at the University of Sao Paulo (FEA-USP), the research found that prejudice is widespread in all participants in the school environment. “There isn’t anybody who is prejudiced in one area and not another. The majority have five areas of prejudice. The fact that every individual has prejudice is generalized and alarming,” he said.
In terms of the intensity of prejudice, the study revealed that 38.2% have prejudice by gender, and this is mostly by men against women. As for age, 37.9% have prejudice, mainly against older people. The intensity of prejudicial attitude comes to 32.4% in relation to persons with disability, 26.1% associated to sexual orientation, 25.1% in relation to socioeconomic differences, 22.9% ethnic/racial and 20.65% place of origin.
The research indicates that virtually everyone interviewed (99.9%) wants to keep a distance from some social group. Persons with intellectual disabilities suffer the most, with 98.9% of respondents wanting to maintain some level of social distance. This is followed by homosexuals (98.9%), gypsies (97.3%), persons with physical disabilities (96.2%), indigenous people (95.5%), poor people (94.9%), persons living in the outskirts or slums (94.6%), persons living in rural areas (91.1%) and black persons (90.9%).
According to Daniel Chimenez, Director of Studies and Follow Up in the Secretariat of Continuing Education, Literacy and Diversity at the Education Ministry, the results of the study will be analyzed in detail because the Ministry is already concerned about this issue and the sees the need to improve the school environment and broaden actions to promote the respect of diversity.
“In the Ministry of Education there are already some initiatives, but we need to improve, deepen and broaden this kind of approach, maybe even with a course that reflects all these themes and tackles it with an integrated approach,” he said.
Thanks to Stephen Muller of Troy, NY, for the translation!