Correlation Is Not Causation

by Maggie Gallagher

In its latest survey of attitudes toward moral issues, Gallup reports dramatic swings in opinion on only two of 19 issues it asks about: the morality of gay sex and unwed childbearing. Around six in ten Americans now say both are morally acceptable (59 percent gay sex, 60 percent unwed childbearing). Both experienced large swings in the last decade (19 points for gay sex, 15 points for unwed childbearing).

Correlation is not causation. In fact “cause” is probably the wrong word here; it’s more like an underlying cultural logic causing both trends. A society in which Dan Savage is a mainstream advice columnist (which he is) and it’s considered scandalous for ESPN reporters and pediatric neurosurgeons to hold Christian views of sex would sort of look like this.

I personally still cherish the hope that we can as a society eliminate cruel homophobia without jettisoning heteronormativity — which is the need for social norms and institutions to be oriented strongly around the problem and the blessing that sex between men and women makes babies.

But so far, the disconnect between sex, marriage, and babies proceeds rapidly apace. Hat Tip Christian Post.

UPDATE: Its worth noting that in the same survey support for divorce climbed 9 percentage points, and support for polygamy doubled to 14 percent.

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