Gender split reveals deep divide between men, women on issues surrounding the sex trade

by Angus Reid | June 11, 2014 5:42 pm

June 10, 2014 – Canadian women and men hold significantly divergent views on the buying and selling of sex, but those differences do not extend to their overall opinions of Bill C-36 – the Harper government’s proposed new prostitution law.

Those are the findings of the latest online survey from Angus Reid Global. The poll asks Canadian adults their opinions about specific aspects of the sex trade, as well as their support or opposition to Bill C-36.

The Gender Gap:

When it comes to specific issues addressed in the proposed legislation, including the buying and selling of sex in Canada, men and women do not agree.

Legality versus Morality:

Separate from the issue of whether the buying and selling of sex should be legal, Angus Reid Global also canvassed opinions on whether it was justifiable.

Again, the gender divide was clear. Two-in-five women (43%) say selling sex can never be justified, nearly twice the number of men who say the same (23%). Half of women (50%) say that buying sex can never be justified; compared to a quarter (27%) of men who say the same.

Support for Bill C-36:

Overall, Canadian respondents are not particularly supportive of Bill C-36. About a third – 35 per cent – support the proposed law, compared to almost half – 47 per cent – who say they oppose it, and 18 per cent who say they aren’t sure.

This is notable, considering the strong views women have on the illegality of several aspects of the sex trade, and the fact that Bill C-36 makes most of these aspects illegal. While majorities of womens’ views on all but the selling of sex are in step with the proposed law, women are split; with most (41%) saying they oppose the law, 35 per cent saying they support it, and nearly one-quarter (24%) saying they aren’t sure.

By contrast, just over half of men (53%) say they oppose the law. This compares to 35 per cent who support it and 12 per cent who say they aren’t sure.

Rather than seeing public opinion split over gender lines, divisions are more evident depending on which political party respondents have supported in the past. Support for C-36 is highest among past Conservative Party of Canada (CPC) voters (45%). Opposition is highest among past Liberal Party voters (62%) followed by past NDP voters (56%).

Click here for detailed results, tables, charts and methodology[1]

  1. Click here for detailed results, tables, charts and methodology:

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