How do Americans view the morality of sex outside of marriage, sex between teenagers, and homosexual relations? New Gallup polling shows an increasing approval of all such sexual behavior, with a stunning majority approving of both premarital sex and gay relations.
Participants were asked, "Next, I'm going to read you a list of issues. Regardless of whether or not you think it should be legal, for each one, please tell me whether you personally believe that in general it is morally acceptable or morally wrong?"
Only 28% of those polled thought premarital sex was "morally wrong," whereas a stunning 69% found it "morally acceptable."
With regard to gay relations, 67% of Americans considered gay and lesbian relations "morally acceptable," with just 30% finding it "morally wrong."
Approval for sex between teens was on the rise, but did not comprise a majority. "U.S. adults remain more likely to say that sex between teenagers is morally wrong (54%) rather than morally acceptable (42%). But the percentage who find it acceptable has grown by 10 percentage points since Gallup first polled on the question in 2013, including a six-point increase in the past year," Gallop reports.
The polling also found that a majority of Americans, 65%, said having a child out of wedlock was "morally acceptable;" 32% found it morally wrong.
Analysis of the polling by Gallup since 2001 found moral acceptance on the rise for all areas polled, though a majority of Americans still found sex between teens morally unacceptable. "Since 2001, most U.S. adults have consistently felt that sex between unmarried adults is morally acceptable -- and they have become even more likely to view it as acceptable since. But these views do not extend to sex between teens, as Americans remain more likely to say it is morally wrong -- though the percentage saying it's morally acceptable has grown in recent years," reads the analysis.
The polling was conducted via telephone in early May with a random sampling of 1,024 adults over the age of 18 from all 50 states and D.C.