Some three per cent even think murder, or so-called “honour killings”, can be justified in some circumstances
And two thirds of young British Asians, including young women, say families should live according to the concept of “honour”, according to the poll for BBC Panorama.
The findings come despite attempts by politicians, the police and prosecutors to send out a strong message that honour-based violence is unacceptable.
Police fear as many as 12 people a year are victims of honour killings in the UK and a recent survey suggested there are more than 2,800 honour crimes committed annually—the equivalent of eight a day.
Last week, the mother of a teenager stabbed to death by her Asian boyfriend claimed her daughter was the first white victim of an honour killing.
Laura Wilson, 17, was repeatedly knifed in the head on a secluded tow path by Ashtiaq Ashgar in 2010 after their relationship turned sour. He was subsequently jailed for at least17-and-a-half years.
In the most high profile case, five men were eventually jailed over the 2006 murder of Banaz Mahmod, including her own father.
The lead prosecutor for honour crimes warned the latest survey reveals campaigners now face a new generation of supports of honour violence.
Nazir Afzal, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: “I thought this was a generational thing, it was something that would die out with my generation.
“Unfortunately, I’ve come across many young people who think the same way.”
The survey of 500 Asian men aged 16 to 34 was conducted for a Panorama investigation in to honour crimes.
It found 18 per cent thought punishments on women could be justified in some circumstances if they had dishonoured their family.
That could include disobeying a father’s wishes, wanting to marry someone the family or community considered unacceptable, going out in the evening unaccompanied or dressing in an unacceptable manner.
Three per cent said honour killing could be justified while a similar proportion were undecided.
Some 69 per cent said families should live according to the concept of honour of “izzat”.
Mr Afzal told Panorama: “We don’t know the true figure of honour killings. It’s anything between 10 and 12 a year in this country.
“I don’t know how many other unmarked graves there are in our green and pleasant land, I don’t know. And that suggests to me that we’re underestimating this issue.
“My view is there’s no place for multicultural sensitivity in this situation . . . This is something that we cannot tolerate.”
Jasvinder Sanghera, of Karma Nirvana, set up a helpline for women at risk of honour based violence. At 14, she was imprisoned in her bedroom after refusing to marry a man she had never met.
“I was conditioned to learn that from a very young age, it is dishonourable to make eye contact with men, sit with men,” she said.
“And the rules shift and change as you get older, you’re not allowed to have boyfriends, be seen talking to the opposite sex, to cut your hair, wear make-up. You are taught these are all dishonourable acts of behaviour.”
In 2010, Mohammed Ali and Omar Hussain were jailed for life for the murder of Banaz Mahmod in January 2006, after being extradited from Iraq.
The men carried out the murder with a third man, Mohammad Hama, on behalf of Miss Mahmod’s father, Mahmod Mahmod, and his brother, Ari.
Hama and Miss Mahmod’s father and uncle, members of the Kurdish community, were jailed at the Old Bailey in 2007.