Gallup’s annual Values and Beliefs survey recently asked Americans their views on issues from acceptance of gay and lesbian relationships, to teen sex, gambling, stem cell research, and married folks having affairs–the results are in and quite surprising.
The survey asked 1,535 American adults about the moral acceptability of 20 behaviors, and it seems Americans’ views toward a number of moral issues have shifted significantly since the survey’s start in 2001.
Beginning with their acceptance of gay and lesbian relations–which has increased by 19 percentage points–to a record high of 59%. Americans’ tolerance toward having a baby outside of marriage is also now much greater, up 15 points since 2001, to the current 60%.
One of the interesting features of the trend data is Americans’ steady and overwhelming disapproval of men and women have extramarital affairs. More than nine in 10 people said they felt the behavior to be morally unacceptable, within only two points of where it was in 2001. 91% of Americans believe that having an extramarital affair is the least morally acceptable behavior, at 6%. Leaving cheaters at the bottom of the list.
Conversely, Americans are generally accepting of such things as birth control, divorce, embryonic stem cell research, gambling, sex between unmarried men and women, the death penalty, and having a baby outside of marriage. But also disapproving of cloning humans, polygamy, suicide, pornography, and teenagers having sex.
So, we can kill a criminal, gamble, and divorce, We don’t love, but can live with, cloning humans, multiple spouses, and teen sex. But whatever you do, DON”T cheat on your husband or wife.