Social Issues: Big Party Differences On Gay Rights And Creationism

February 28, 2012, 6:00 PM GMT+0

The Republican and Democrats parties have taken different positions on many social issues, and on most of these the latest Economist/YouGov Poll (Week of 2/18/2012) finds party differences. But there are a few behaviors that most Democratic and GOP voters agree are morally acceptable. 

Gay rights:

  • Partisans differ dramatically on gay rights. 73% of Democratic voters believe gays and lesbians should be allowed to serve openly in the military; GOP voters are nearly evenly divided. 
  • Half of Democratic voters think gay and lesbian relations are morally acceptable; 58% of GOP voters find them morally wrong.

The Bible and Creationism:

  • Americans are divided when it comes to the teaching of creationism in schools: Democratic voters are almost evenly split; but 49% of GOP voters would teach creationism in schools.
  • Part of the reason for this is how differently partisans view the validity of creationism. 49% of GOP voters say they believe in the creation of the earth as described in the Bible; just 34% of Democratic voters do.
  • However, fewer than a third in both parties agree that the Bible is to be taken literally, "word for word."

Sex and Divorce:

  • Parties divide on premarital sex and abortion. GOP voters are overwhelmingly opposed to abortion, while 41% of Democratic voters find it morally acceptable (27% say it’s morally wrong). Half of Democratic voters find premarital sex morally acceptable. But just 37% of GOP voters do.
  • Both groups agree that divorce is morally acceptable, though by different margins (Democratic voters say it’s acceptable by 67% to 13%, GOP voters by 49% to 24%).

Women’s Role:

  • There are hardly any party differences on the acceptability of birth control: about eight in ten Democratic voters and three in four GOP voters find it morally acceptable.
  • Nearly three-quarters of the public believes it is possible for a woman to have a full-time job and be a good mother. Democratic and GOP voters agree.
  • The parties split on the issue of military women in ground combat. Democratic voters are in favor, 50% to 15%; GOP voters are narrowly opposed, 42% to 38%. Women support having women in combat, 46% to 20%. 

Economist/YouGov poll archives can found here.

Photo source: Press Association

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