Americans think infidelity is worse than … anything

Having an affair is one of the most immoral things you can do, according to a new Gallup poll.  A survey of 1,535 American adults found that 91 percent considered extramarital infidelity to be morally wrong, a higher percentage than objected to human cloning, suicide, and polygamy. As The Atlantic discussed the new findings: “The poll aside, it’s difficult to think of any other relatively common and technically legal (adulterous affairs are no longer subject to criminal sanction) practice of which more of us disapprove.images

“While this same poll showed growing acceptance of divorce, pre-marital sex, and having babies out of wedlock, the 91 percent disapproval rate for cheating is nearly twice what it was 40 years ago, when similar surveys showed that only half of American adults believed that having an affair was always wrong. As political scientist John Sidesnotes in a recent detailed analysis of changing attitudes towards adultery, “Americans, and especially better educated Americans, have become less accepting of adultery with the passage of time.” Pointing out the simultaneously growing acceptance for ending an unhappy union, Sides summarizes what he sees as our contemporary attitude: “If you’re in an unhappy marriage, don’t cheat. Just get divorced.” Continue reading “Americans think infidelity is worse than … anything”

Majority favor wealth redistribution

About six in 10 Americans believe that money and wealth should be more evenly distributed among a larger percentage of the people in the U.S., while one-third think the current distribution is fair, reports the Gallup Organization today.images-1

“Although Americans’ attitudes on this topic have fluctuated somewhat over time, the current sentiment is virtually the same as when Gallup first asked this question in 1984. Slightly fewer have favored a more even distribution since October 2008.

“The range in the percentage saying wealth should be “more evenly distributed” has been relatively narrow over time, from a low of 56% in 2000 to a high of 68% in April 2008.

“Gallup has asked the question at least once during the administration of three Republican presidents — Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush — and two Democrats, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama. But there is no generally consistent pattern across these administrations. For example, the slightly lower percentage favoring a more even distribution during the Obama administration started in the final year of George W. Bush’s administration — after the onset of the financial crisis. Continue reading “Majority favor wealth redistribution”

Majority now fear global warming

U.S. worry about global warming is heading back up after several years of expanded public skepticism, reports polling from the Gallup Organization Views on the subject are now near the midpoint in Gallup trends, exemplified by the 58% of Americans who say they worry a great deal or fair amount about global warming. This is up from 51% in 2011 but still below the 62% to 72% levels seen in earlier years.

More specifically, 33% of Americans worry about global warming “a great deal,” 25% worry “a fair amount,” 20% “only a little,” and 23% “not at all.” Full trends are available in the Survey Methods section.

Public concern about global warming has waxed and waned over the past two decades, ranging between 50% and 72%. The average percentage over time for “worrying a great deal/fair amount” comes in at just under 60%, similar to the March 7-10 reading from Gallup’s 2013 Environment poll.images-1

The same poll finds 54% of Americans saying the effects of global warming have already begun. This also matches the average in Gallup trends on this measure since 1997. The low points were recorded in 1997 and 2011, when less than half thought global warming’s effects were already manifest. The high point was recorded in 2008, at 61%. This year’s percentage represents a slight increase from the lows reached just a couple of years ago. Continue reading “Majority now fear global warming”