Gallup has just released the astonishing results of a survey designed to measure how American’s ideas about immorality have changed over the past dozen years. Not surprisingly, the poll revealed that the moral standard has declined significantly as evidenced by the acceptance in the media of once questionable moral standards such as same-sex marriage and marital affairs.
The chart below reports the change over time in “moral acceptability of 20 issues”. The numbers in the 2001 and 2013 columns represent the percentage of people who feel the issue is “morally acceptable”. The issues are ordered according to how much opinion of the morality changed with issues that are now much more acceptable located at the top of the chart.
|Gay or lesbian relations||40||59||19|
|Having a baby outside of marriage||45||60||15|
|Sex between an unmarried man and woman||53||63||10|
|Medical research using stem cells from human embryos||52||60||8|
|Buying and wearing clothing made of animal fur||60||59||-1|
|Married men and women having an affair||7||6||-1|
|The death penalty||63||62||-1|
|Medical testing on animals||65||56||-9|
|Sex between teenagers||—||32||—|
|An unmarried woman having a baby||—||67||—|
Couple of points are surprising to me. Regardless of the media stance, the common morality view of abortion remains unchanged over the past 12 years with less than half of the population considering abortions “moral”. Regardless, the media often portrays pro-life believers as “politically incorrect”.