More than half of Canadians think it is inappropriate to change the skin colour of an adult or a child as part of a costume.
Vancouver, BC [October 30, 2019] – Canadians are divided on whether Halloween should always be observed on a weekend, a new Research Co. poll has found.
In the online survey of a representative national sample, 41% of Canadians agree with moving Halloween to the last Saturday of October, while 43% disagree and 16% are undecided.
There is a petition circulating in the United States that calls for Halloween to be moved to the last Saturday of October, instead of being observed every year on the same day (October 31).
Men are more likely to support observing Halloween on a Saturday than women (46% to 35%). Canadians aged 18-to-34 are more likely to support the move (46%) than those aged 35-to-54 (38%) and those aged 55 and over (39%).
“While most Quebecers (53%) welcome the idea of observing Halloween on Saturdays, the rest of the country is not as excited,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “The lowest level of support for the proposed modification is observed in British Columbia (31%).”
Respondents to this survey were also asked about five specific types of costumes that children or adults could wear for Halloween.
More than half of Canadians believe that two types of children’s costumes are inappropriate: those who represent an ethnic stereotype (57%) and those that change the colour of the child’s skin (51%).
Almost half of Canadians (47%) believe costumes where a child carries toy or replica weapons are inappropriate, while smaller proportions appear troubled by costumes that refer to a culture that is not the child’s own (38%) or that represent a social stereotype, such as a jailbird or vagabond (33%).
When asked about the same types of costumes for adults, the results are similar. Majorities of Canadians say it is inappropriate to wear a costume that represents an ethnic stereotype (59%) or one that changes the colour of the adult’s skin (53%).
Almost half of Canadians (49%) find fault with a costume where an adult carries toy or replica weapons, more than two-in-five (44%) feel the same way about costumes that refer to a culture that is not the adult’s own, and 36% believe it is inappropriate to wear a costume that represents a social stereotype.
On a regional basis, respondents in Quebec (44%) are the least likely to believe that a costume that changes the colour of an adult’s skin is inappropriate for Halloween.
The proportion of Canadians who disagree with this type of costume for an adult is higher in Atlantic Canada (50%), Manitoba and Saskatchewan (56%), Alberta (57%), British Columbia (also 57%) and Ontario (58%).
Results are based on an online study conducted from October 21 to October 23, 2019, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.