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.
“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”