Coming, Coming: The Pew site has not posted the report and the dailies seem to have only the Reuters item. We shall analyze this as the whole thing becomes available to hoi polloi. And an update from this early-morning post. The report appears on the site now, in summary and a full 30-page PDF file.
After surveying 2,003 Americans, the Center concluded, "Despite talk of 'culture wars' and the high visibility of activist groups on both sides of the cultural divide, there has been no polarization of the public into liberal and conservative camps."
Everyone (often including us) sees the extremes and extrapolates from there. Many cry that they are oppressed and stifled by the raging ideologues on the other side. Meanwhile if this survey is accurate, the rest of the nation wants middle ground, slow change, and just to, well in the American way, get on with what they were doing.
Pew asked about five prominent issues -- abortion rights, stem-cell research, same-sex marriage, adoption by homosexual couples, and the morning-after pill -- and surprisingly most of those surveyed "did not take consistent stances," reports Reuters. "
Liberal-ish views won, but remained weak. It was as though we had no real opinions and maybe didn't follow these key issues. Specifically:
- 12% were conservative on all five issues and 22% liberal. The rest were mixed
- 56% opposed SSM, but 53% favored something with marriage-like rights, such as civil unions.
- 49% believe homosexuals cannot become ex-homosexuals (up from 42% on the same question 3 years ago), and 36% believe one is born homosexual, up from 30%.
- 56% favored stem-cell research and 325 did not. Shockingly, 575 had heard little or nothing about the issue.
- The most polarization the survey found was on abortion. It reports 31% want general availability, 20% allowed but restricted, 35% illegal with a few exception, and 9% banned absolutely.
Methodological note: Pew conducted the telephone survey from July 6th through 19th. It says the margin of error is 2.5%.
Followup note: More detail now appears on the SSM-related areas of the report here.
Tags: massmarrier, same sex marriage, Pew Research, abortion, culture wars, stem-cell research