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Defining acceptance in modern day Australia

Acceptance of an individual could be a key element in bridging divisions within our community. Currently, Australians are most likely to define acceptance as accepting the individual without necessarily accepting their practise or worldview (50%).

Almost two in five Australians (36%), however, define acceptance as accepting the individual and their practise or worldview, while one in ten (10%) consider acceptance to mean accepting the individual and celebrating their practise or worldview.

Older generations are less inclined to accept an individual’s practise or worldview

Older generations are more likely than their younger counterparts to define acceptance as accepting the individual without necessarily accepting their practise or worldview (66% Builders, 59% Baby Boomers, 50% Gen X cf. 40% Gen Y, 44% Gen Z).

Younger generations, however, are more likely than older generations to define acceptance as accepting the individual and their practise or worldview (43% Gen Z, 39% Gen Y cf. 40% Gen X, 31% Baby Boomers, 24% Builders).

Interestingly, Gen Z are just as likely to say acceptance is accepting the individual and their practise or worldview (43%) as accepting the individual without necessarily accepting their practise or worldview (44%).

Australia and the effects of cancel culture

The current context is proving challenging for some Australians. While three in four Australians (75%) have the confidence to share their worldview even if its contrary to broader public opinion, many Australians are self-censoring. More than three in five Australians (65%), believe that cancel culture has affected when and with whom they share their opinions.

While there is a focus on accepting an individual, more than one in two Australians (52%) are struggling to be their authentic self for fear of judgement or exclusion, while a similar proportion (54%) have hidden their perspective on topical issues because they’re afraid of how people will respond.

Younger generations are being silenced

Younger generations are more likely than their older counterparts to increasingly self-censor and consider when and with whom they share their opinions, due to the rise of cancel culture (77% Gen Z, 74% Gen Y cf. 66% Gen X, 52% Baby Boomers, 50% Builders).

Almost three in four Gen Zs (74%) have previously hidden their perspective on topical issues because they’re afraid of how people will respond, compared to 66% Gen Ys, 55% Gen Xs, 35% Baby Boomers and 33% Builders.

A similar proportion of Gen Zs (79%) have struggled to be their authentic self for fear of judgement or exclusion, while 66% of Gen Ys, 48% of Gen Xs, 32% of Baby Boomers and 31% of Builders agree they have had a similar experience.

Hot topics are proving a hot topic for Australians

More than one in two Australians (54%) feel the need to hide their perspectives on topical issues for fear of another person’s response. Interestingly, the top three areas Australians feel the need to hide are their perspective on hot topics (27%), political views (26%) and their religious beliefs (24%).

Almost one in five Australians (18%) feel, at times, the need to hide their values, while a similar proportion feel the need to hide aspects of their parenting style/choices (14%) or their sexuality (14%). Australians (11%) are less likely to feel the need to hide their brand or product purchases.