Traditional Values vs. Personal Freedom: European and Russian View on LGBT Community

Prof. Zhanna Puzanova
Prof. Nikolai Narbut
Miss Tatiana Larina

Attitude towards LGBT community has become a litmus test of the level of personal freedom in a concrete society. However, despite a long history of the discussion concerning LGBT community in Europe, especially in Russia, a certain antinomy of social norms and public opinion on this question remains. The well-known paradox of La-Pierre is best applicable to the current situation.
RUDN University, one of the largest higher education institutions of Russia, conducts the large-scale researches devoted to the realization of personal freedom in the European and Russian context, already the second year. Attitude towards representatives of LGBT community is one of the research blocks. The following methods are used: mass survey, garfinkeling, participant and non-participant observation.
At the first stage, the attitude of Russian students to the LGBT representatives based on mass survey has been established. According to the obtained data most students are ready to take this phenomenon tolerantly, unless it concerns them personally or their friends. It is remarkable that attitude to female homosexuality is more loyal, than to men's.
At the second stage the comparative research in Moscow, Vienna, Prague and Amsterdam by means of participant and non-participant observation in the places of leisure, which are specially intended for LGBT community representatives, has been realized. Thus, the degree of "openness" of LGBT community in each society (country, city) has been detected. The results made it possible to say that, despite the postulated tolerance to homosexuals, not all European communities are "open", that is confirmed by existence of certain standard and social antinomy.