July 1, 2013


Gay Marriage: A Country is Moving, It's People Not So Much : Comparing a multi-year study of attitudes with other surveys suggests that America's growing acceptance of gay marriage does not automatically mean that individual attitudes have budged. (Michael Todd, 7/01/13, Pacific Standard)

[A] new white paper from Rice University's Portraits of American Life Study, which looks at the religious attitudes of the exact same group of 1,294 randomly sampled Americans captured in 2006 and again last year, reports that opinions not only aren't changing, but positions are hardening. Yes, on this issue as on so many right now, Americans are more divided than ever, although not as cleanly along the red-blue fault lines as you  might see, say, on Obamacare.

How can it be that attitudes are changing if attitudes aren't changing?

In part, according to Rice sociologists Michael O. Emerson and Laura J. Essenberg, because the attitude change has been exaggerated. "In fact," they write in the white paper (PDF), "we find that statistically, there was no change in people's response to legal marriage being defined as one man and one woman. In both years, slightly over half of adult Americans agreed with the statement (57 percent agreed in 2006, 53 percent agreed in 2012, not a statistically significant change) about one-third disagreed, and the remainder were uncertain."

Posted by at July 1, 2013 7:21 PM

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