How Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are Changing

How Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are Changing

According to the results of Gallup's 2019 Moral Issues Survey, Americans’ views on sexual morality continue to become more liberal overall. In fact, for many of the issues Americans were surveyed about, Gallup recorded the most liberal views on record.

Among the more notable changes are that Americans are increasingly comfortable with same-sex behavior, sex between unmarried adults, divorce, and having children outside of marriage. However, while major shifts have occurred in those attitudes in recent years, Americans’ attitudes toward other sex-related issues—especially things like abortion and infidelity—haven’t really changed much.

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Living Together Before Marriage Doesn't Doom Relationships After All

Living Together Before Marriage Doesn't Doom Relationships After All

When I was a graduate student studying the psychology of romantic relationships, I remember learning about “the cohabitation effect” in a few of my courses. Relationship scientists coined this term to describe the increased risk of divorce that seemed to accompany living together before marriage. At the time, several studies had been published in major journals supporting this idea.

Interestingly, however, recent studies suggest that “the cohabitation effect” is a thing of the past—and may have never even existed at all.

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Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are the Most Liberal on Record

Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are the Most Liberal on Record

According to the results of Gallup's 2018 Moral Issues Survey, Americans’ views on sexual morality continue to become more liberal. For the majority of issues Americans were surveyed about, Gallup actually recorded the most liberal views on record. Among the most notable changes were that more Americans than ever believe same-sex behavior, sex between unmarried adults, divorce, and having children outside of marriage are morally acceptable. However, while substantial shifts have occurred in those attitudes, Americans’ attitudes toward other sex-related issues—especially abortion and affairs—haven’t really changed much. Check out the table below for a closer look at the numbers and how they have changed in the last 17 years.

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What Does (And Doesn’t) Predict Divorce, According To Science

What Does (And Doesn’t) Predict Divorce, According To Science

Social scientists have long been interested in the factors that predict divorce. Over the years, they’ve identified a number of things that seem to increase the odds of a couple dissolving their marriage; however, the evidence hasn’t always been consistent across studies, with some effects being more reliable than others. In this article, we'll review some of the most interesting findings from this area of research.

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Till Porn Do Us Part: Why You Should Be Skeptical of the New Study Claiming Porn Kills Love

Till Porn Do Us Part: Why You Should Be Skeptical of the New Study Claiming Porn Kills Love

A new study published in the Journal of Sex Research reports that when married people start using porn, their odds of getting divorced double. In other words, the results would appear to suggest that porn is inherently destructive to relationships.

Though the findings are provocative and based on longitudinal data from the General Social Survey (which is often a great source of information), I’m just not sold on the conclusion. Here’s why.

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Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are More Liberal Than Ever

Americans' Views on Sexual Morality are More Liberal Than Ever

According to the results of Gallup's 2017 Moral Issues Survey, Americans’ views on sexual morality continue to become more liberal. In fact, for a majority of the issues Americans were surveyed about, Gallup recorded the most liberal views on record. The most notable changes observed were that more Americans than ever believe same-sex behavior, sex between unmarried adults, and having children outside of marriage are morally acceptable. Although substantial shifts have occurred in those attitudes, Americans’ attitudes toward other sexual issues—particularly abortion and affairs—haven’t really changed at all. Check out the table below for a closer look at the numbers. You can also compare results from 2001 to today.

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Changes in Americans’ Views on Sexual Morality in the Past 15 Years

Changes in Americans’ Views on Sexual Morality in the Past 15 Years

The results of Gallup's 2016 Moral Issues Survey reveal that Americans’ views on sexual morality have shifted in several important ways in the last fifteen years. Most notable are changes in the number of Americans who believe same-sex behavior, sex before marriage, and having children outside of marriage are morally acceptable. While there have been substantial shifts in those attitudes, Americans’ attitudes toward other sexual issues—particularly abortion and affairs—haven’t really changed at all. Check out the table below for a closer look at the numbers from 2001 compared to today.

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Does Living Together Before Marriage Increase the Risk of Divorce?

Does Living Together Before Marriage Increase the Risk of Divorce?

When I was in graduate school studying the psychology of romantic relationships, I learned about something called “the cohabitation effect.” This was the term scientists were using to describe the increased risk of divorce that accompanies living together before marriage. At the time, several studies had been published supporting this idea.

Recent research has challenged it, though.

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How Many People Have Had Ex-Sex, And Is It A Crazy Idea?

How Many People Have Had Ex-Sex, And Is It A Crazy Idea?

When a couple decides to end their relationship, the result isn’t always a clean break. There’s often some degree of contact that persists and, sometimes, that includes sex. But what exactly are the psychological implications of continuing to have sex with a former partner? Is this necessarily a bad idea? Here’s a look at what the research has found.

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Infidelity: Cause Or Consequence Of Poor Relationship Quality?

Infidelity: Cause Or Consequence Of Poor Relationship Quality?

Several studies have found that infidelity is linked to both poor relationship quality and divorce. But is that because infidelity is harmful to relationships, or is it perhaps because low quality relationships predispose people to cheating? As it turns out, research suggests that both explanations may be correct.

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How Americans' Views On Sexual Morality Have Changed

How Americans' Views On Sexual Morality Have Changed

The results of Gallup's annual Values and Beliefs survey reveal that Americans’ views on sexual morality continue to shift in major ways, with particularly notable changes in the perceived acceptability of same-sex behavior, sex before marriage, and having children outside of marriage. At the same time, however, attitudes toward issues such as abortion and affairs have remained largely the same. Check out the table below for details on the specific changes in moral attitudes that have taken place since 2001.

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Sex With Your Ex: Is It Always A Bad Idea?

Sex With Your Ex: Is It Always A Bad Idea?

Welcome to the wonderful world of ex sex. It’s hot, it’s naughty…oh yeah, and it’s a really stupid idea. – Cosmopolitan Magazine 

Most articles I have seen on the topic of “ex-sex” (i.e., having sex with a former spouse or partner) categorize it as a universally stupid and unhealthy idea. The gist of these articles is that having sex with your ex can only make you feel worse because it will remind you of a failed relationship and make it harder for you to ever move on with your life. But is this true? Is ex-sex as psychologically damaging as the popular media suggests? Let’s take a look at what the research says.
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Americans’ Views On Sexual Morality Are Changing

Gallup recently conducted their annual Values and Beliefs survey and discovered that Americans’ views on sexual morality have shifted significantly in the last dozen years, with particularly notable changes in the perceived acceptability of homosexuality, sex before marriage, and having children outside of marriage. At the same time, however, attitudes toward issues such as abortion and pornography have remained largely the same. Check out the table below for details on the specific changes in moral attitudes that have taken place since 2001.
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How Important Is It To Have Sex Before Marriage?

In a recent piece on Salon entitled “My Virginity Mistake,” author Jessica Ciencin Henriquez talks about how an abstinence pledge ruined her marriage. In her words: “Without having sex before marriage, I blindly walked up an aisle and committed myself to a man who didn’t know me and gave my long-held virginity to someone with whom I had no more chemistry than a second cousin.” The crux of her piece is that sex is too important to a relationship to save it for the wedding night and that couples need to establish sexual compatibility before tying the knot. In light of this article, I thought it would be worth taking a look at what the science has to say on this topic. Does your sexual satisfaction and chance of relationship success really depend upon when you start having sex?
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Should Newlyweds Promise “Till Death Do Us Part” Or “For About 20 Years?”

Most of us have attended weddings before where the couple getting married explicitly promised to love each other “till death do us part.” And if you’re anything like me, you probably thought to yourself “yeah, that’ll happen” at least once, not necessarily because you are pessimistic or jealous (or maybe you are), but because you know all too well that a large number of marriages just don’t go on forever. So what’s a realistic expectation for how long a new marriage will last these days? New research suggests that, among heterosexuals, most people would be pretty fortunate to have a 20-year partnership [1].
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Do Sexy Students Make Teachers More Likely To Divorce?

A few years back, a journal article entitled Teaching May Be Hazardous to Your Marriage was published.1 This article reported a study showing that men who teach at the high school and college levels have a significantly increased likelihood of being divorced or separated compared to guys in other occupations (the same finding did not hold true for women). The researchers interpreted this finding as evidence that being exposed to teenage women on a regular basis is harmful to men’s marriages by creating a contrast effect. That is, male professors are thought to be more inclined to divorce because their wives don’t look as good in comparison to the teenage beauties who populate their classrooms on a daily basis. The title of this paper and the language used by the authors (who repeatedly mention the “real consequences” of working in higher education) imply that people who are married to male teachers might want to start sending their husbands to work with blindfolds on. But is there really any cause for alarm?
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Is Pornography Harmful to Our Brains and to Our Love Lives?

Is Pornography Harmful to Our Brains and to Our Love Lives?

"America is suffering a pandemic of harm from pornography.  A wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences…Pornography is toxic to marriages and relationships. It contributes to misogyny and violence against women."

The above quote comes from 2012 Presidential candidate Rick Santorum’s Campaign Website. He and a number of other prominent politicians have recently waged a war on porn, claiming that it is damaging to society on a number of levels. In fact, Cogresswoman Michele Bachmann has gone as far as to pledge her support for a constitutional ban on all forms of pornography in order to combat these supposed negative effects. But is there anything to all of these claims that exposure to porn is harmful? Is there really a “wealth of research” indicating that pornography causes a host of “widespread negative consequences?”

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