When it comes to social issues, like abortion and gay marriage, the tide has been running mostly in one direction for the last 50 years: towards more liberal attitudes. That’s why social conservatives have been getting louder and more angry: they’ve been getting left behind by public opinion as a whole, particularly the opinions of younger adults.
So it might come as a surprise to learn that in one area opinions are actually becoming a bit less tolerant. It seems as though people are becoming a bit less tolerant of the idea that “Divorce is usually the best solution when a couple can’t seem to work out their marriage problems.”
Acceptance of this idea has fallen by 8.7 percentage points among women and by 4.4 percentage points among men. Now that’s not a huge plunge, nor can we read a trend into it.
But still, it’s intriguing: why would there be this hardening in attitudes against divorce when the reason for the breakup is “We can’t work out our problems”? Isn’t that exactly why people leave their marriages?
Well, it turns out there is an explanation for this increase in intolerance. People (more…)