Comparing Paychecks With Your Colleagues

With “judgmental” now a dirty word in some circles, one might suppose that Americans are reluctant to render moral judgment. But they aren’t. A recent Gallup poll discovered as much when it asked adults whether they believe various actions are “morally acceptable” or “morally unacceptable.” Marriage is one topic on which people have strict views. The percentage of adults who think it’s morally wrong for a married person to have an affair (91 percent) is identical to the number saying polygamy is wrong. (So, don’t think you can escape opprobrium by turning an illicit lover into an extra spouse.) Respondents were more permissive about unmarried people having sexual relations: 60 percent said it’s acceptable and 36 percent said it’s not. A sizable minority (26 percent) condemned divorce as immoral. Elsewhere in the poll, 28 percent said the death penalty is morally wrong—slightly less than the number who believe it’s wrong to buy and wear clothes made of animal fur. No capital punishment for fuzzy creatures!