The percentage of Americans who say pornography is morally acceptable increased more over the past year than in all other years this decade combined.
While the acceptability of pornography still holds minority status in the United States, it has climbed to 43 per cent, according to Gallup Poll figures released June 5. The number increased by 7 per cent from last year’s figure.
In 2011, when Gallup first started asking this question, only 30 per cent said pornography was morally acceptable. As of last year, that figure had climbed to 36 per cent, a rise of 6 per cent.
While acceptance of pornography had trailed other social issues earlier this decade, such as doctor-assisted suicide, same-sex relations, sex between unmarried people and out-of-wedlock childbirth, the 2017-18 surge means that porn has eclipsed all other social issues in their growing acceptance by Americans this decade, according to Gallup.
A report on the poll’s findings by Gallup analyst Andrew Dugan said that while Americans had grown more “tolerant” on social norms over the decade, the reason behind the steep climb on pornography is “less clear.”
One theory Dugan offered is that adult film actress Stormy Daniels, a “fierce critic of President Donald Trump, has given pornography a sense of moral credibility that it previously lacked.”
Among the demographic groups broken out in Gallup’s survey, only married people held pornography less acceptable than the year before, from 37 per cent last year to 35 per cent this year, a drop of 2 per cent.
Two groups for whom a majority now believe pornography is morally acceptable are people ages 18-34, up from 48 per cent last year to 59 per cent this year, a hike of 11 per cent, and men in general, from 45 per cent in 2017 to 53 per cent in 2018, a rise of 8 per cent.
One of the biggest spikes was among men aged 18-49. Already a majority last year at 53per cent, the number soared 14 percentage points to 67 per cent this year.
Fifty per cent each of unmarried respondents and those who hold religion to be “fairly important” said they found pornography to be morally acceptable. The unmarrieds’ spike of 15 per cent from year-before numbers was the highest recorded by Gallup.