Prague - Czech high school students hold the worst opinion about prisoners, drug addicts and Roma people. They don't have much sympathy for prostitutes or homeless people either, according to a poll by Network Media Services, published on Monday.
The poll was commissioned by the People in Need foundation in September and run in selected high schools across the whole Czech Republic. The campaign was called "Equality is cool!" ("Rovnost je cool!"), using the English word popular with young Czechs.
As the survey showed, the degree of tolerance and sympathy towards minorities depends a great deal on parents' education. On top of that it is partially affected by gender.
Girls show more tolerance towards gays and transsexuals than boys who are ready to accept lesbians, but not homosexual men. On the other hand, girls have less tolerance for prostitutes than boys.
Opinion-makers: parents, teachers, media
The poll also suggested that young Czechs of both sexes hold a similar positive view of other groups of people, for example the mentally and physically challenged, Western Europeans and Africans.
Christians were perceived more positively than people of other faith, which is largely based on their knowing Christianity more than any other religion.
Young people form their opinions and attitudes based on information they collect from their own personal experience as well as from parents and teachers.
A high number of people are affected by the information received from media. It concerns especially those groups of people they have never had a personal contact with (for example Muslims, transsexuals, prostitutes).
Young people from vocational and technical schools showed a far worse attitude towards the monitored minorities. However, their share in the survey was significantly lower than that of grammar school students.