Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Insight Into The American Moral Compass

Above: Bristol Palin in a PSA for teen pregnancy prevention.
56% of Americans believe that sex between teenagers is morally wrong. 
Last month, Gallup came out with some new and interesting polling data. Gallup found that half of Americans prefer to be called pro-choice-- despite the fact in the same survey, a 55% majority of Americans said they want abortion to be illegal (19%) or legal in only a few circumstances (36%).

Those results got a lot of attention, and deservedly so. But Gallup didn't just poll on abortion; they conducted a broader survey on a range of moral issues. Examining abortion in the context of this broader polling yields some even weirder discrepancies. Click to enlarge:

For starters, I'd like to meet the people who believe that it's wrong for teenagers to have sex, but apparently have no problem with aborting the child who may result. What is the rationale here? Is it a matter of finding teenage sex so shameful that any means are justified to hide the evidence that the teenage sex took place? I'm not saying I'm pro-teenage-sex, but I'm disappointed that the American public finds teenage sex more objectionable than tearing an unborn baby limb from limb.

And what's with the 35% of people who find it immoral to have a baby outside of marriage? I'd love to know where they came out on abortion.

I'd also like to have a word with the people who continue to insist that the pro-life movement hates birth control. Based on this data, Americans who find birth control morally wrong can only constitute, at maximum, 18% of those who find abortion morally wrong. (I suspect the number would be even lower if, instead of a broad question about "birth control," Gallup distinguished between non-abortifacient, pre-fertilization methods versus methods that prevent a zygote from implanting.)

Any other results jump out at our readers?

No comments: