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Sex

In mid-century, Alfred Kinsey found that half the married men in his sample and a quarter of the married women had been unfaithful at some point during their marriages. But when a careful study was done in the early 1990s, these proportions were much lower. Information on public tolerance of extramarital sex only goes back to 1972, but there has been no increase whatsoever in acceptance of this behavior. The proportion of people who say it is "always wrong" actually increased from 70 percent in 1972 to 78 percent in 1996. 

Extrmarital sex

But premarital sex is completely different. Premarital sex is vastly more common in 2000 than it was in 1900. Public acceptance of it has grown as well. Forty-four percent of respondents said that premarital sex was "not wrong at all" in 1996. Only 24 percent condemned it as "always wrong."

Premarital sex

Related Links:

Program Segment 10

Interviews:
Gebhard
Jones
Chafe
Moore
Fukuyama
J. Wilson

Book References:
Premarital Sex
Extramarital Sex

Attitudes about Sex

 

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