WHAT MEN AND WOMEN THINK OF HOMELESSNESS

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Late in 2015, Rådet for Socialt Udsatte (Council of Socially Vulnerable People) published a survey of the Danish people’s attitude towards socially vulnerable citizens.

The survey was carried out by the consultancy company Epinion, who has asked 1,013 representatively selected Danes about their knowledge of and attitude towards socially vulnerable people. Homeless people are one of the subgroups of socially vulnerable people included in the survey, however briefly.

Is there a difference between what men and women know and think of vulnerable and homeless people? The survey can actually tell us a bit about this. For instance, significantly more men than women believe that citizens in distress in this country are lazy and lack willpower. The men asked also seem to think that people are in distress because they are unlucky whereas more women than men believe that distress is due to injustice in our society.

Specifically about homeless people and homelessness, twice the number of men than women feels that homelessness has nothing to do with them. Men, to a greater extent than women, are repelled by homelessness whereas far more women than men are sad about the insufficient help from society.

As to the reasons for people being homeless, more than twice the number of men than women answer that people become homeless because they have a weak disposition. On the other hand, far more women than men believe that people become homeless because society demands too much from them.

We welcome more surveys that shed a light on the differences in the view on social issues of men and women. A conservation conclusion to this Epinion survey could be that men are inclined to seek explanations within the individual whereas women focus to a greater extent on the interaction between individuals and the surrounding society.

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