Gallup Finds Americans Increasingly Accepting of Formerly Taboo Behaviors


Behaviors once thought to be fraught with negative moral implications are becoming generally more acceptable to Americans, according to a Gallup poll.

The acceptance of behaviors such as infidelity, human cloning, polygamy, and suicide have risen to heights not seen since the organization began polling on the subjects.

“Many of the 19 topics rated this year are now judged as morally acceptable by record or near-record percentages of U.S. adults, in tandem with a rising wave of social liberalism,” Gallup reported Monday.

While older Americans still find that many of the behaviors polled to be morally wrong, younger citizens are less interested in casting aspersions for a growing number of behaviors.

Cloning humans, for instance, has gone from a low of only 7 percent acceptance to 15 percent acceptance. Polygamy has seen an even greater jump, going from 6 percent of respondents accepting it in 2003 to a high of 16 percent seeing nothing wrong with it today. Suicide has also grown in acceptance, rising from 13 percent in 2001 to 19 percent today.

One behavior has only grown slightly in acceptance, however: married people having affairs went from 7 percent acceptance to 8 percent. Even among younger Americans, extramarital affairs are frowned upon. While younger respondents were more accepting of a range of behaviors, only 10 percent of respondents 18 to 29 were tolerant of extramarital affairs.

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