In this age of uber-tolerance on all the other pelvic issues, you’d expect Americans would be getting more tolerant of infidelity, too. But not so.
A recent article in the New York Times magazine provocatively asked “Is an Open Marriage a Happier Marriage?” Given the worldview of the New York Times, we shouldn’t be surprised that their answer was “probably.”
And the response to the article was also not surprising. Rod Dreher argued that if open marriages became common and accepted, the result would be “the dissolution of family and eventually of society.” In keeping with his new book, “The Benedict Option,” he told Christian readers that “there is no point in trying to argue with this culture anymore,” and urged them to “shake the dust off your feet.”
But wait a minute. Despite the article, are open marriages becoming more common and more accepted? The Times article just offers a series of anecdotes. And as statisticians will remind you, “anecdote” is not the plural of data.
The term “open marriage” has been around since at least the 1960s, and while people are more willing to talk about it, there’s no evidence that people in actual marriages, as opposed to merely “relationships,” are more willing to dispense with the “forsaking all others” part of their vows.
As a point of fact, according to the General Social Survey, which tracks Americans’ attitudes and practice on a range of subjects, there has been little, if any change in Americans’ attitudes towards infidelity since 1972. They still hate it.
In contrast to the shift in beliefs on almost all the other issues concerning marriage and sexuality, Americans are steadfast in their condemnation of extramarital sexual relations. In fact, they’re slightly more likely today than in 1973 to say that a “married person having sexual relations with someone other than the marriage partner” is “always wrong.”
What’s more, there’s very little, if any, difference between older and younger Americans on this point.
These results align with the findings of the Gallup organization, which found that only six percent of Americans found adultery to be acceptable under any circumstances.
As I said, this steadfastness stands in marked contrast to shifting attitudes concerning sexual ethics on many other issues.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, John Stonestreet