Poll: Majority of Americans ok with divorce, birth control, premarital and gay sex

Gallup's annual survey of values and beliefs also finds that 50 percent of those polled find abortion wrong, while 42 percent don't

(image: Christopher Polk/Getty Images)

An increasing majority of Americans view divorce, sex outside of marriage, gay relationships and birth control as morally acceptable while a majority of Americans continue to view abortion as morally wrong, according to new Gallup data.

Gallup released its annual Values and Beliefs poll last week, which showed that Americans are continuing to become increasingly liberal when it comes to their views on a variety of social behaviors.

The poll interviewed over 1,000 Americans from all 50 states in early May 2019 and has a margin of error of four percentage points.

According to the data, 92 percent of Americans consider the use of birth control to be a “morally acceptable” behavior, while just six percent of Americans consider the act to be “morally wrong.”

Gallup found that 77 percent of Americans consider getting a divorce to be a morally acceptable action, while 20 percent disagreed. Meanwhile, 2 percent responded by saying that appropriateness of divorce “depends on the situation.”

By comparison, in 2001, just 59 percent of respondents said they thought divorce was morally acceptable. That year 28 percent of respondents considered divorce morally wrong and 12 percent said that the morality of divorce depended on the situation.

Since 2012, the percentage of respondents who think divorce is morally acceptable has risen by about 10 percentage points.

When it comes to sex between unmarried men and women (which many Christians consider being a sin), Gallup’s new data indicates that about 71 percent of Americans consider the act to be morally acceptable. On the flipside, 28 percent of respondents consider sex between an unmarried man and woman to be morally wrong.

In May 2001, just 53 percent of respondents said that sex between an unmarried man and unmarried woman was morally acceptable while 42 percent said it was morally wrong.

“Sex between an unmarried man and woman is at its highest point in the Gallup trend,” Gallup research consultant Megan Brenan wrote in an analysis.

A majority of Americans (58 percent), however, believe that sex between teenagers is morally wrong, while 38 percent believe it to be morally acceptable.

According to the data, there are seven issues that are deemed acceptable by a majority of liberals but fewer than half of conservatives. Those include abortion, gay or lesbian relations, pornography, having a baby outside marriage, doctor-assisted suicide, smoking marijuana and sex between teenagers.

Meanwhile, there were only three issues viewed as morally acceptable by a majority of conservatives that are viewed as morally wrong by less than half of liberals. Those include medical testing on animals, wearing clothes made of animal fur and the death penalty.

Full story at Christian Post.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    A Post-Christian America means there is a great need to pray for the conversion of sinners.

    • Robert B says

      Universal salvation means that’s not necessary.

      • Anonymous says

        Wrong wrong wrong, not all are saved!! Our Lady of Fatima tells us to pray for sinners. Don’t be stubborn, listen to her and do what she says.

  2. helen wheels says

    this is a DEMOCRACY
    majority rules !
    Right???

    • I think we have a democratic REPUBLIC.

      • Anonymous says

        The famed Greek democracy only lasted three generations– 150 years! It takes a great deal of hard work, self-sacrifice, and self-control, to establish and maintain a true democracy!

    • Anonymous says

      Who’s president?

    • No Barbara, we are not a democracy and it was never intended that should be. We are a republic. We elect the people who make the laws and lead the country. We don’t make them. Although some of the states still have town meetings each year – they are democracies at the local level. Our founding fathers argued the pros and cons of democracy and settled on a republic. Read the Federalist Papers if you get a chance.

      • Anonymous says

        We are not a PURE democracy, but we are an INDIRECT democracy. That doesn’t mean that we are not a democracy.

  3. The data indicates these beliefs and attitudes have changed over time. This means these beliefs and attitudes can change again in the future! The data also shows that we have a lot of work to do!

  4. Anonymous says

    I grew up in a much happier, more stable, traditional society, with traditional family and church at the center. Despite typical upheavals of war, economic problems, etc.– that all the world goes through!–your stable, Traditional Marriage and family home, and traditional church– will see you through everything! You will never find happiness– in the shallow pursuit of money, prestige, power, egoism, women, sex– or gay sex perversions!– and breaking all of God’s Laws! In obedience to God, as Jesus told us– we will find our true happiness, health, and well-being!

    • Anonymous says

      That’s very hard to convince people of when priests and bishops are unfaithful to the morals and disciplines and tenets of the faith they are supposed to be leaders of. No wonder the young are leaving the church of hypocrisy.

    • Anonymous says

      Sin affects traditional marriages, homes and churches, too.
      It has a lot to do with why things are the way they are.
      I think the best life is the consecrated life.
      But you are correct that in times of war and economic problems having a STABLE family, home and church will be a great blessing.

  5. Anonymous says

    This wasn’t the case in the 1940s and 1950s, much better times in America. How low the country has sunk.

    • Anne, the Gallup organization is expert in doing these surveys. The technology is well known and the algorithms are pretty standard. If its Gallup, you can take them at face value.

    • If you were a white Anglo Saxon protestant, maybe. If you were not, life could be pretty tough. Do you remember things like “Irish need not apply” or the KKK burning crosses on the front lawn of the church, and poor people and blacks not being allowed to vote? The good ole days maybe weren’t so great for many.

  6. Hmmmm? I wonder if the “majority” of Americans even answer these questions over the phone or on forms. Most of us do not have the time nor the money for all that. Also, we are bombarded with so many of them, it would be pretty much impossible to do so. Just saying.

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