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February 16, 2011
When it comes to attitudes about the sweeping changes in the structure of the family, the American public is split — not into two camps, but three. About a third of the public generally accepts the changes; a third is tolerant but skeptical; and a third considers them bad for society, according to a new report from the Pew Research Center.
This finding emerges from an analysis of a national survey of 2,691 adults conducted by the Pew Research Center from Oct. 1-21, 2010. The survey asked whether seven trends were good, bad or of no consequence to society. These trends included more births to single parents; more unmarried couples living together; more gay or lesbian couples raising children; and more interracial marriages.
About a third (31%) of survey respondents are Accepters. A similar share of the public (32%) rejects virtually every trend that the Accepters tolerate or endorse. They are the Rejecters. The third and somewhat larger group (37%) are the Skeptics. While they generally share most of the tolerant views of the Accepters, they also express concern about the impact of these trends on society.
The report also shows the demographic characteristics of each group, breaking them down by gender, race, age, location, marital status, political affiliation, voter registration, and religious affiliation and observance.