sprinkle: an undergraduate journal of feminist and queer studies


LGBTQ movements have attracted attention to the rights of sexual and gender minorities across many parts of the world in recent years. Japan holds a middle-of-the-road stance by neither criminalizing nor legalizing same sex sexual acts. However, various sources describe incessant discrimination faced by LGBTQ people in Japan. It is evident that sexual and gender minorities experience hardships in numerous spheres such as employment, accommodation, family life, and education. Discrimination in educational institutions has, in extreme cases, even resulted in the loss of lives. Therefore, LGBTQ-friendliness has drawn a significant amount of attention in Japanese universities. While research about LGBTQ issues have been undertaken at private universities such as Keiwagakuen and Ryukoku, there continues to be a void of research about large, influential, public universities such as Kyoto University. This study examines the perceptions about LGBTQ people amongst students at Kyoto University, a leading center of higher education and research in Japan. A survey questionnaire was conducted to investigate perceptions of students. It found that a vast majority of students are familiar with the term “LGBTQ”. Additionally, a large number of respondents showed a positive attitude towards sexual and gender minorities. However, their understanding of transgender issues and familiarity with “Q (questioning)” are still shallow. Furthermore, implicit biases against sexual and gender minorities can be observed among students.

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