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Americans' moral stance towards affairs between married persons in 2018

This statistic shows the moral stance of Americans regarding an affair between a married man and a married woman in 2018. During the survey, 10 percent of respondents stated that they think an affair between a married man and a married woman is morally acceptable.

The moral acceptance of social issues in the US

More than two thirds of respondents to a survey in the United States responded that they believe that sex between an unmarried man and woman is morally acceptable, while one third believed that it is morally wrong and only 1 percent stated that it is not a moral issue. Unsurprisingly, when posing the same question to respondents of the Mormon faith, a significantly higher percentage stated they believed that premarital sex is morally wrong.

Regarding other morally acceptable or unacceptable actions, divorce had an acceptance rate of 71 percent among the American population, and the use of birth control was deemed acceptable – remarkably higher than the acceptance rates for premarital sex.

In the United States, the likelihood of divorce after the first marriage is at about 41 percent, and proportionally higher the more times one gets hitched; and it is increasingly more accepted than it has been in the past. Interestingly, the 2015 results for premarital sex acceptance in the United States are quite different from the results of a similar survey back in 2013, conducted globally, in which 36 percent of respondents in the United States said that premarital sex is not a moral issue, only 29 percent responded that it was acceptable and 30 percent stated it was unacceptable. The country with the least acceptance was Pakistan, where no one responded that premarital sex was acceptable. This is not surprising when taking into account that Pakistan is an Islamic Republic. In contrast, the Czech Republic had the highest acceptance rates, a country with one of the largest atheist populations worldwide.

Do you think married men and women having an affair is morally acceptable or morally wrong?

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Release date

June 2016


United States

Survey time period

May 1-10, 2018

Age group

18 years and older

Method of interview

Telephone interview

Supplementary notes

The source does not provide the exact number of respondents.

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Statistics on "Beliefs and faith in the United States"

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