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More Americans Than Ever Down with Porn, Divorce, Sex, Poll Finds

A record 69 percent of the country is cool with unmarried men and women having sex.

by Drew Schwartz
May 11 2017, 10:30pm

Photo via Flickr user lookcatalog

Americans have more liberal views on a range of moral issues now than ever before, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday.

Gallup surveyed 1,011 US adults on how they feel about 19 different moral issues, asking them if they found the practices morally acceptable or morally wrong. The research firm noted record-high percentages had permissive views on ten of those issues, including premarital sex, divorce, and pornography.

Specifically, 91 percent of Americans are fine with birth control, 73 percent are cool with divorce, and 69 percent (nice) are down with unmarried men and women having sex. That represents a big change since the turn of the century—in 2001, only 59 percent of Americans were fine with divorce and 53 percent endorsed premarital sex.

Since the early 2000s, the percentage of Americans who were OK with unmarried sexual relations, having a baby outside of marriage, and gay and lesbian relationships has jumped by double-digits. Those figures leapt from 53 to 69 percent, 45 to 62 percent, and 40 to 63 percent, respectively.

"Much of this change was apparent a few years ago, but opinions continue to shift in a slightly more left-leaning direction," Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones wrote. "It would appear that US opinions will continue on this path, as younger, more liberal generations replace older, more conservative ones in the US population."

That's in line with other polls showing a slow liberalization of America, at least on social issues. One recent Pew study found young Evangelical Christians were more likely to be tolerant of same-sex marriage, for instance. Those sorts of shifts shouldn't be underestimated—"in the past, conservatives outnumbered liberals by a significant margin" according to Gallup.

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