A new study has found that acceptance of gay men and lesbians has increased in 90 percent of surveyed countries over the past 20 years.

According to the study released by NORC at the University of Chicago and the Williams Institute, acceptance has increased an average of 0.9 percent annually per nation.

“Available research on global public acceptance of lesbians and gay men is limited,” Andrew Park, director of International Programs at the Williams Institute, said in releasing the findings. “This study shows a clear trend toward increasing acceptance across the globe.”

Social researchers examined hundreds of surveys conducted over the last three-and-a-half decades.

Key findings include the observations that women are on average one and a half times more accepting than men and that attitudes can vary greatly even within continents. One example given is Africa, where 38 percent of South Africans are accepting compared to 2 percent of Ghanians.

Found to be most accepting were the countries in Northwestern Europe, followed by the following clusters of counties: Australia/Canada/New Zealand/United States, Southern European countries, Latin American countries, former Soviet Union/Eastern & Central Europe, Asian countries, African countries and majority Muslim countries.

(Read the complete report.)