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Many Christian traditions disapprove of premarital sex. Half of Christians say casual sex — defined in the survey as sex between consenting adults who are not in a committed romantic relationship — is sometimes or always acceptable. Pew Christian views on relationships Center conducted this analysis to better understand how religiously affiliated Americans and religiously unaffiliated Americans differ in their attitudes about certain sex and dating behaviors.
The analysis also explores how the attitudes of Americans who regularly attend worship services differ from those who attend less often. These findings are based on a survey conducted Oct. This way nearly all U. The survey is weighted to be representative of the U. The questions used for this analysis can be found here. The Christian views on relationships did not ask respondents if they themselves would engage in any of these practices. When it comes to sex between unmarried adults who are in a committed relationship, the gap between Christians and the unaffiliated is less stark.
Evangelical Protestants are less likely than most of the other Christian groups in this analysis to find these practices acceptable. For example, just over a third of Christians in the U. Three-in-ten evangelical Protestants hold this view, as do four-in-ten Catholics and Protestants in the mainline and historically Black Protestant traditions.
How often Americans attend religious services is another factor in how they responded to the questions. Those who said before the coronavirus outbreak that they typically attend monthly or more are less likely than others to approve of sex and dating practices asked about in the survey. Younger adults more often identify as religiously unaffiliated than older Americans do, and younger adults also are more likely than older ones to say all of these dating practices are acceptable.
Note: Here are the questions asked for this report, along with responses, and its methodology. Pew Research Center now uses as the last birth year for Millennials in our work. President Michael Dimock explains why. Born afterthe oldest Gen Zers will turn 23 this year. They are racially and ethnically diverse, progressive and pro-government, and more than 20 million will be eligible to vote in November. Despite an uptick in positive views of the economy in some places, many say that children will be worse off financially than their parents.
About Pew Research Center Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan fact tank that informs the public about the issues, attitudes and trends shaping the world. It conducts public opinion polling, demographic research, media content analysis and other empirical social science research. Pew Research Center does not take policy positions. It is a subsidiary of The Pew Charitable Trusts. Newsletters Donate My. Research Topics. Share this link:. Irish vote highlights widespread popular support for legal abortion in Western Europe. Defining generations: Where Millennials end and Generation Z begins.
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Christian views on marriage