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.

 

2001

2013

% Change

% % % points
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
Divorce 59 68 9
Medical research using stem cells from human embryos 52 60 8
Polygamy 7 14 7
Cloning humans 7 13 6
Cloning animals 31 34 3
Suicide 13 16 3
Birth control 89 91 2
Gambling 63 64 1
Pornography 30 31 1
Abortion 42 42 0
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
Doctor-assisted suicide 49 45 -4
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”.