Men and women divided in attitudes towards Diana

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The Independent Online
FAR FROM uniting the nation, responses to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales seem to have divided us, especially along the traditional battle lines of sex and class.

Women are more likely than men to say that her death last August "changed the way they think about life", with 21 per cent saying it had, compared with only 14 per cent of men.

Interviewees in social groups C2, D and E were also more likely than ABC1s to say they had changed: 20 per cent compared with 14 per cent.

Women are also more likely than men to think that the royal family has become "more in touch with the people" as a result of Diana's death, with 48 per cent of women saying so as opposed to 40 per cent of men. Again, class differences are marked, with middle-class (ABC1) respondents more supportive of the royal family while the working-classes (C2DE) are more sceptical.

Whereas 50 per cent of ABC1s said the monarchy was "more in touch", 6 per cent said "less in touch", only 40 per cent of C2DEs said "more" and 10 per cent said "less".

Women and men also differ in their attitudes to reform of the monarchy and the effect of Diana's death on the media.

While more men think modernisation of the monarchy should be "speeded up", 42 per cent, than think the present pace of reform is "about right", 41 per cent, women tend to be happy with the present speed of change - supported by 47 per cent against 37 per cent who want faster reform.

Men are also more cynical about journalists, with only 17 per cent thinking the media has showed "more respect" for the privacy of the famous since Diana's death, against 25 per cent of women.