Majority of Americans Now Believe that Pre-Marital Sex is Acceptable

Friday, May 29, 2015

It appears that the days are over when most of America wagged a disapproving finger at anyone who dared to engage in sex outside of marriage. Today a majority of Americans think that a little hanky-panky, and then some, before tying the knot really isn’t all that bad.


As of this decade, 55% of Americans approved of premarital sex, compared with only 29% who felt this way in the early 1970s, according to a new study on sexual behavior by researchers from San Diego State University, Florida Atlantic University and City University of New York.


Among young people (18-29 in age), acceptance of premarital sex has only grown. In the ‘70s, 47% of Baby Boomers felt sex before marriage was “not wrong at all.” By the 2010, Millennials’ approval registered at 62%.


When it comes to same-sex relationships and practices, Millennials have an even greater acceptance than Boomers did 40 years ago: 56% approval today vs. 21% in the 1970s.


One of the more unusual statistics was that in the most recent surveys only 1.3% of Americans approved of extramarital sex…but 15.8% admitted to having indulged in it.


The study’s authors based their findings on an analysis of data from the General Social Survey and additional literature.

- Danny Biederman, Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Changes in Americans’ Attitudes about Sex: Reviewing 40 Years of Data (by John Wihbey, Journalist’s Resource)

Changes in American Adults’ Sexual Behavior and Attitudes, 1972–2012 (by Jean M. Twenge, Ryne A. Sherman and Brooke E. Wells, Archives of Sexual Behavior)


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