Portraits of American Life Study
Hosted by The ARDA
The PALS seeks to understand the impact of religion in everyday life, and ultimately the connections between religious change and other forms of change among diverse individuals and families over the course of their lives.
Results & Summaries

Moral and Political Attitudes

  All frequencies weighted by LOWEIGHT


The next questions are about your opinions on social and political issues. For each statement, please indicate whether you strongly disagree, somewhat disagree, neither agree nor disagree, somewhat agree, or strongly agree. The only legal marriage should be a marriage between one man and one woman. (AMA1W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused131
-4) Dont know2.2
1) Strongly disagree30923.5
2) Somewhat disagree957.2
3) Neither agree nor disagree15611.9
4) Somewhat agree806.1
5) Strongly agree65950.2
TOTAL1314100.0
The only legal marriage should be a marriage between one man and one woman (AMA1) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree33426
2) Somewhat disagree896.9
3) Neither disagree nor agree17013.2
4) Somewhat agree957.4
5) Strongly agree59946.5
Missing27 
TOTAL1287100.0
Immigrants coming into the U.S. are taking too many jobs away from other American citizens. (AMA2W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused12.9
-4) Dont know5.4
1) Strongly disagree27320.8
2) Somewhat disagree21416.3
3) Neither agree nor disagree28121.4
4) Somewhat agree28521.7
5) Strongly agree24518.6
TOTAL1315100.0
Immigrants coming into the US are taking too many jobs away from other American citizens (AMA2) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree28422.2
2) Somewhat disagree20215.8
3) Neither disagree nor agree22517.6
4) Somewhat agree32125.1
5) Strongly agree24719.3
Missing36 
TOTAL1279100.0
Sexual intercourse before marriage is wrong. (AMA3W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused131
-4) Dont know3.2
1) Strongly disagree37928.8
2) Somewhat disagree23618
3) Neither agree nor disagree29322.3
4) Somewhat agree1299.8
5) Strongly agree26119.9
TOTAL1314100.0
It is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before marriage. (AMA4W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused10.8
-4) Dont know4.3
1) Strongly disagree35527
2) Somewhat disagree15511.8
3) Neither agree nor disagree34426.2
4) Somewhat agree25619.5
5) Strongly agree19014.5
TOTAL1314100.0
Its okay to have a country where the races are basically separate from one another, as long as they have equal opportunity. (AMA5W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused131
-4) Dont know5.4
1) Strongly disagree53040.4
2) Somewhat disagree20215.4
3) Neither agree nor disagree34426.2
4) Somewhat agree1168.8
5) Strongly agree1037.8
TOTAL1313100.0
Its OK to have a country where the races are basically separate from one another, as long as they have equal opportunity (AMA5) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree48437.9
2) Somewhat disagree21917.2
3) Neither disagree nor agree26720.9
4) Somewhat agree14711.5
5) Strongly agree15912.5
Missing37 
TOTAL1276100.0
Government should do more to help minorities increase their standard of living. (AMA6W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused141.1
-4) Dont know6.5
1) Strongly disagree20715.8
2) Somewhat disagree17513.3
3) Neither agree nor disagree34726.4
4) Somewhat agree28421.6
5) Strongly agree27921.3
TOTAL1312100.0
Government should do more to help minorities increase their standard of living (AMA6) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree25019.6
2) Somewhat disagree21717
3) Neither disagree nor agree31024.3
4) Somewhat agree21717
5) Strongly agree28122
Missing39 
TOTAL1275100.0
One of the most effective ways to improve race relations in the U.S. is to stop talking about race. (AMA7W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused141.1
-4) Dont know5.4
1) Strongly disagree25419.3
2) Somewhat disagree17713.5
3) Neither agree nor disagree30523.2
4) Somewhat agree30022.8
5) Strongly agree25919.7
TOTAL1314100.0
One of the most effective ways to improve race relations in the U.S. is to stop talking about race (AMA7) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree19515.2
2) Somewhat disagree14611.4
3) Neither disagree nor agree22117.2
4) Somewhat agree31224.3
5) Strongly agree40931.9
Missing31 
TOTAL1283100.0
The government should financially compensate black Americans who are descendants of slaves. (AMA8W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused161.2
-4) Dont know141.1
1) Strongly disagree75357.3
2) Somewhat disagree1239.4
3) Neither agree nor disagree24518.6
4) Somewhat agree977.4
5) Strongly agree665
TOTAL1314100.0
If we want to create a society where people get along, we must recognize that each ethnic group has the right to maintain its own unique traditions. (AMA10W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused12.9
-4) Dont know3.2
1) Strongly disagree1118.4
2) Somewhat disagree725.5
3) Neither agree nor disagree16112.3
4) Somewhat agree42432.3
5) Strongly agree53140.4
TOTAL1314100.0
In the U.S., street signs and other public signs should only be written in English. (AMA11W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused11.8
-4) Dont know5.4
1) Strongly disagree17313.2
2) Somewhat disagree14911.3
3) Neither agree nor disagree20715.8
4) Somewhat agree21916.7
5) Strongly agree55041.9
TOTAL1314100.0
Do you believe that each of the following is morally wrong or not a moral issue? Having an abortion when the fetus is old enough to survive on its own outside the mothers womb. Would you say that is always morally wrong, usually morally wrong, sometimes morally wrong, never morally wrong, or not a moral issue? (MA_1W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused161.2
-4) Dont know9.7
1) Always morally wrong73555.9
2) Usually morally wrong23918.2
3) Sometimes morally wrong19114.5
4) Never morally wrong191.4
5) Not a moral issue856.5
6) Decide on case-by-case basis (Vol.)201.5
TOTAL1314100.0
Do you believe that each of the following is morally wrong or not a moral issue? Having an abortion when the fetus is old enough to survive on its own outside the mothers womb (MA_1) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Always morally wrong68053.3
2) Usually morally wrong26620.8
3) Sometimes morally wrong19615.4
4) Never morally wrong10.8
5) Not a moral issue866.7
6) (VOL) Decide on case by case basis3.2
7) Other352.7
Missing38 
TOTAL1276100.0
Destroying human embryos if doing so helps scientists find cures for diseases. (MA_2W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused8.6
-4) Dont know413.1
1) Always morally wrong40430.7
2) Usually morally wrong16212.3
3) Sometimes morally wrong26320
4) Never morally wrong18814.3
5) Not a moral issue22016.7
6) Decide on case-by-case basis (Vol.)292.2
TOTAL1315100.0
Creating a baby that is a clone of another person. (MA_3W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused11.8
-4) Dont know352.7
1) Always morally wrong85164.7
2) Usually morally wrong1289.7
3) Sometimes morally wrong1239.4
4) Never morally wrong282.1
5) Not a moral issue1229.3
6) Decide on case-by-case basis (Vol.)171.3
TOTAL1315100.0
Using genetic engineering, that is changing a persons DNA or genes, to create a baby that is smarter, stronger, or better looking. (MA_4W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused3.2
-4) Dont know282.1
1) Always morally wrong88066.9
2) Usually morally wrong15411.7
3) Sometimes morally wrong1229.3
4) Never morally wrong211.6
5) Not a moral issue977.4
6) Decide on case-by-case basis (Vol.)10.8
TOTAL1315100.0
Using genetic engineering, that is, changing a persons DNA or genes, to create a baby that is smarter, stronger or better looking (MA_4) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Always morally wrong75959.3
2) Usually morally wrong17213.4
3) Sometimes morally wrong15211.9
4) Never morally wrong211.6
5) Not a moral issue15111.8
6) (VOL) Decide on case by case basis1.1
7) Other231.8
Missing35 
TOTAL1279100.0
Viewing pornography. (MA_5W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused2.2
-4) Dont know3.2
1) Always morally wrong73956.2
2) Usually morally wrong17413.2
3) Sometimes morally wrong20815.8
4) Never morally wrong332.5
5) Not a moral issue14611.1
6) Decide on case-by-case basis (Vol.)9.7
TOTAL1314100.0
Do you believe that each of the following should be legal or should not be legal? Destroying human embryos if doing so helps scientists find cures for diseases. (MA_6W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused161.2
-4) Dont know433.3
1) Legal54241.2
2) Not legal57743.9
3) Legal in most cases (Vol.)251.9
4) Legal in a few cases (Vol.)272.1
5) Must be decided on a case-by-case basis (Vol.)846.4
TOTAL1314100.0
Do you believe that each of the following should be legal or should not be legal? Creating a baby that is a clone of another person. (MA_7W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused12.9
-4) Dont know211.6
1) Legal17012.9
2) Not legal106380.9
3) Legal in most cases (Vol.)4.3
4) Legal in a few cases (Vol.)8.6
5) Must be decided on a case-by-case basis (Vol.)362.7
TOTAL1314100.0
Do you believe that each of the following should be legal or should not be legal? Using genetic engineering, that is changing a persons DNA or genes, to create a baby that is smarter, stronger, or better looking. (MA_8W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused131
-4) Dont know302.3
1) Legal21016
2) Not legal101977.5
3) Legal in most cases (Vol.)6.5
4) Legal in a few cases (Vol.)7.5
5) Must be decided on a case-by-case basis (Vol.)292.2
TOTAL1314100.0
Do you personally believe that abortion should be legal under . . . (MA_9W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused6.5
-4) Dont know3.2
1) Almost all circumstances15211.6
2) Most circumstances16712.7
3) Some circumstances33625.6
4) Only extreme circumstances37228.3
5) Under no circumstances20215.4
6) Must decide on case-by-case basis/cant say755.7
TOTAL1313100.0
Do you personally believe that abortion should be legal under...? (MA_9) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Almost all circumstances17413.5
2) Most circumstances15111.7
3) Some circumstances33025.7
4) Only extreme circumstances38529.9
5) Under no circumstances20115.6
6) (VOL) Decide on case by case basis131
7) Other322.5
Missing28 
TOTAL1286100.0
How legally restricted do you think pornography should be in our society? (MA_10W1) -- Wave 1 (2006)
TOTAL%
-7) Refused5.4
-4) Dont know9.7
1) Much more restricted than it is now73355.8
2) Somewhat more than it is now23417.8
3) The same as it is now23718
4) Somewhat less than it is now302.3
5) Much less than it is now352.7
6) Cant answer because I dont know the current restrictions (Vol.)312.4
TOTAL1314100.0
For you personally, do you believe that what is morally right or wrong should be . . . (MA_11W1) -- Wave 1 (2006) [See Wave 2 version below]
TOTAL%
-7) Refused1.1
-4) Dont know191.4
1) Based on Gods law58944.9
2) Decided by society1138.6
3) A matter of personal conscience59145
TOTAL1313100.0
For you personally, do you believe that what is morally right or wrong should be:? (MA_11) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Based on Gods law57644.9
2) Decided by society755.8
3) A matter of personal conscience63249.3
Missing31 
TOTAL1283100.0
Do you believe that each of the following is morally wrong or not a moral issue? Having an abortion when the fetus is old enough to survive on its own outside the mothers womb (MA_1) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Always morally wrong68053.3
2) Usually morally wrong26620.8
3) Sometimes morally wrong19615.4
4) Never morally wrong10.8
5) Not a moral issue866.7
6) (VOL) Decide on case by case basis3.2
7) Other352.7
Missing38 
TOTAL1276100.0
Using genetic engineering, that is, changing a persons DNA or genes, to create a baby that is smarter, stronger or better looking (MA_4) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Always morally wrong75959.3
2) Usually morally wrong17213.4
3) Sometimes morally wrong15211.9
4) Never morally wrong211.6
5) Not a moral issue15111.8
6) (VOL) Decide on case by case basis1.1
7) Other231.8
Missing35 
TOTAL1279100.0
Government has a responsibility to help reduce the inequalities between rich and poor in America (AMA12) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree26220.5
2) Somewhat disagree15712.3
3) Neither disagree nor agree17814
4) Somewhat agree30624
5) Strongly agree37229.2
Missing40 
TOTAL1275100.0
Discrimination against ethnic minorities is no longer a serious problem in the U.S. today (AMA13) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Strongly disagree42132.9
2) Somewhat disagree39831.1
3) Neither disagree nor agree17914
4) Somewhat agree19515.2
5) Strongly agree866.7
Missing35 
TOTAL1279100.0
To some peoples surprise, research shows that, on the average, black Americans have worse jobs, incomes, and housing than white Americans. I will read you a list of five reasons people give for this difference. Tell me with which of the following you agree. Do you think the differences are: mainly due to discrimination? (AMA14_1) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes52241.6
2) No73458.4
Missing58 
TOTAL1256100.0
Do you think the differences are: because most blacks have less in-born ability to learn? (AMA14_2) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes836.5
2) No118993.5
Missing42 
TOTAL1272100.0
Do you think the differences are: because most blacks dont have access to a quality education? (AMA14_3) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes52541.6
2) No73758.4
Missing52 
TOTAL1262100.0
Do you think the differences are: because most blacks just dont have the motivation or will power? (AMA14_4) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes45336
2) No80564
Missing56 
TOTAL1258100.0
Do you think the differences are: due to cultural and language differences between blacks and whites? (AMA14_5) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes53642.2
2) No73357.8
Missing44 
TOTAL1269100.0
Should most illegal immigrants working in the United States be offered a chance to apply for legal status, be sent back to the country they came from, or be allowed to stay in the U.S. and remain illegally? (AMA15) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Chance to apply for legal status42068.2
2) Deported to the country they came from17328.1
3) Remain in U.S. illegally233.7
Missing698 
TOTAL616100.0
Should most undocumented immigrants working in the United States be offered a chance to apply for legal status, be sent back to the country they came from, or be allowed to stay in the U.S. and remain without documentation? (AMA16) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Chance to apply for legal status43266.7
2) Deported to the country they came from19630.2
3) Remain in US without documentation203.1
Missing666 
TOTAL648100.0
Do you think that most poor people in the U.S. today are poor because they dont work hard enough or because of circumstances they cant control? Or is it both equally or some other reason? (AMA17) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Because they dont work hard enough907.1
2) Because of circumstances they cant control45335.5
3) Both equally57645.2
4) Other reasons15612.2
Missing39 
TOTAL1275100.0
To some peoples surprise, research shows that, on the average, Asian Americans have worse jobs, incomes, and housing than white Americans. I will read you a list of five reasons people give for this difference. Tell me with which of the following you agree. Do you think the differences are: mainly due to discrimination? (AMA18_1) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes46737
2) No79463
Missing53 
TOTAL1261100.0
Do you think the differences are: because most Asians have less in-born ability to learn? (AMA18_2) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes413.2
2) No122596.8
Missing47 
TOTAL1266100.0
Do you think the differences are: because most Asians dont have access to a quality education? (AMA18_3) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes19615.4
2) No107484.6
Missing44 
TOTAL1270100.0
Do you think the differences are: because most Asians just dont have the motivation or will power? (AMA18_4) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes866.8
2) No117693.2
Missing53 
TOTAL1262100.0
Do you think the differences are: due to cultural and language differences between Asians and whites? (AMA18_5) -- Wave 2 (2012)
TOTAL%
1) Yes88169.5
2) No38630.5
Missing46 
TOTAL1267100.0


Instructions
View each question on our survey and how our respondents answered to the left.

To perform an auto-analysis of how an item relates to key demographics such as gender, education, religion and more, click on the "Analyze results" link below a variable.
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