Record Number of Americans Find Divorce, Abortion, and Euthanasia to be "Morally Acceptable"

Posted: Jun 03, 2014 4:29 PM
Record Number of Americans Find Divorce, Abortion, and Euthanasia to be "Morally Acceptable"

A new Gallup poll released Friday shows that a record number of Americans find abortion, euthanasia, divorce, and premarital sex to be morally acceptable.

Gallup asked 1,028 participants whether or not they believed 19 different social issues were morally acceptable. Of the 19, seven — cloning animals, cloning humans, suicide, extramarital affairs, polygamy, pornography, and sex between teenagers — were judged to be "largely" or "highly" unacceptable. Birth control was labeled as acceptable by 90 percent of respondents, the highest rate of any of the 19 issues.

On a bit of a curious note, apparently more Americans view issues such as divorce, premarital sex, and capital punishment as "morally acceptable" than the wearing of animal fur.

Despite gay marriage being legal in 19 states, only slightly more than half of respondents said that they believe same-sex relationships to be morally acceptable.

Business Insider notes that Americans have become more tolerant of issues such as divorce and premarital sex in the last decade:

Americans have largely come to accept divorce, premarital sex, and homosexual relations since 2001, when Gallup first conducted a moral acceptability poll.

In 2001, 59% of respondents considered divorce morally acceptable, 40% said homosexual relations were OK, and 53% approved of premarital sex. Today, those rates are at least 10 percentage points higher on each issue.

While less than half of respondents said that abortion was morally acceptable, this represents a record high since Gallup began polling on issues of morality in 2001. Let's hope this number stays below 50 percent.