Sex before marriage
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Sex before marriage (Demographic Patterns)

There's been a lot of discussion about the way morals and attitudes about sex are changing in this country. If a man and woman have sex relations before marriage, do you think it is always wrong, almost always wrong, wrong only sometimes, or not wrong at all? Results weighted by WTCOMBNR (General Social Survey 2010 Cross-Section and Panel Combined)


Sex before marriage by Sex


MaleFemaleTOTAL
Always wrong17.2%
261
23.9%
426
20.8%
687
Almost always wrong5.7%
86
9.1%
163
7.5%
249
Sometimes wrong18.8%
285
16.8%
300
17.7%
585
Not wrong at all56.1%
849
48.3%
862
51.8%
1711
Dont know1.7%
26
1.5%
27
1.6%
53
No answer0.5%
7
0.4%
8
0.5%
15
Missing7438571600
TOTAL 100.0%
1514
100.0%
1786

3300



Sex before marriage by Political ideology


Extremely liberal or liberalSlightly liberalModerateSlightly conservativeConservativeExtremely conservativeMissingTOTAL
Always wrong9.4%
49
10.0%
42
16.6%
190
25.1%
122
38.1%
196
45.8%
60

29
20.5%
659
Almost always wrong5.0%
26
5.7%
24
6.7%
76
11.5%
56
8.9%
46
13.0%
17

5
7.6%
245
Sometimes wrong16.0%
83
20.4%
86
18.3%
209
17.7%
86
18.1%
93
11.5%
15

12
17.8%
572
Not wrong at all67.8%
352
62.0%
261
55.9%
638
43.2%
210
33.9%
174
29.8%
39

38
52.1%
1674
Dont know1.7%
9
1.7%
7
1.8%
20
2.1%
10
0.6%
3
0.0%
0

4
1.5%
49
No answer0.0%
0
0.2%
1
0.8%
9
0.4%
2
0.4%
2
0.0%
0

2
0.4%
14
Missing2591775821842806201544
TOTAL 100.0%
519
100.0%
421
100.0%
1142
100.0%
486
100.0%
514
100.0%
131

90

3213



Sex before marriage by Age


18 to 29 years old30 to 44 years old45 to 59 years old60 to 74 years old75 years or olderMissingTOTAL
Always wrong12.1%
80
18.0%
156
21.8%
203
28.6%
166
29.3%
63

19
20.5%
668
Almost always wrong6.0%
40
6.7%
58
6.4%
60
8.8%
51
17.7%
38

2
7.6%
247
Sometimes wrong23.3%
154
15.4%
133
17.4%
162
16.7%
97
17.7%
38

2
17.9%
584
Not wrong at all56.6%
375
58.6%
507
52.7%
491
44.4%
258
28.4%
61

19
52.0%
1692
Dont know2.0%
13
1.0%
9
1.0%
9
0.9%
5
6.0%
13

3
1.5%
49
No answer0.0%
0
0.2%
2
0.8%
7
0.7%
4
0.9%
2

0
0.5%
15
Missing30443947824612901596
TOTAL 100.0%
662
100.0%
865
100.0%
932
100.0%
581
100.0%
215

45

3255



Sex before marriage by Region


NortheastMidwestSouthWestTOTAL
Always wrong11.0%
64
20.8%
149
27.4%
347
17.2%
127
20.8%
687
Almost always wrong6.7%
39
6.6%
47
8.8%
112
6.9%
51
7.5%
249
Sometimes wrong17.2%
100
19.2%
137
16.7%
211
18.7%
138
17.8%
586
Not wrong at all62.7%
364
51.7%
370
44.6%
565
55.7%
411
51.8%
1710
Dont know2.1%
12
1.4%
10
1.7%
22
1.4%
10
1.6%
54
No answer0.3%
2
0.3%
2
0.8%
10
0.1%
1
0.5%
15
Missing2633386103881599
TOTAL 100.0%
581
100.0%
715
100.0%
1267
100.0%
738

3301



Sex before marriage by Religion


ProtestantCatholicJewishNoneOtherMissingTOTAL
Always wrong30.8%
480
13.4%
112
10.0%
6
5.1%
29
21.4%
55

4
20.8%
682
Almost always wrong9.9%
154
5.9%
49
3.3%
2
2.7%
15
10.1%
26

2
7.5%
246
Sometimes wrong16.8%
262
23.3%
194
20.0%
12
13.7%
77
14.4%
37

4
17.8%
582
Not wrong at all40.1%
624
56.4%
470
66.7%
40
77.1%
435
51.0%
131

11
52.0%
1700
Dont know1.7%
27
0.8%
7
0.0%
0
1.4%
8
1.9%
5

6
1.4%
47
No answer0.7%
11
0.1%
1
0.0%
0
0.0%
0
1.2%
3

0
0.5%
15
Missing7784103324612601593
TOTAL 100.0%
1558
100.0%
833
100.0%
60
100.0%
564
100.0%
257

27

3272



Sex before marriage by Race


WhiteBlackOtherTOTAL
Always wrong20.3%
512
27.7%
125
15.2%
50
20.8%
687
Almost always wrong6.6%
167
12.2%
55
7.9%
26
7.5%
248
Sometimes wrong18.0%
452
10.8%
49
25.8%
85
17.8%
586
Not wrong at all53.3%
1341
47.3%
214
47.1%
155
51.8%
1710
Dont know1.4%
34
1.5%
7
3.6%
12
1.6%
53
No answer0.5%
12
0.4%
2
0.3%
1
0.5%
15
Missing12092091831601
TOTAL 100.0%
2518
100.0%
452
100.0%
329

3299



Sex before marriage by Church attendance


Less than once a yearOnce a yearSeveral times a yearOne to three times a monthNearly every weekOnce a week or moreMissingTOTAL
Always wrong6.0%
58
7.5%
35
14.8%
46
20.7%
106
29.1%
43
38.0%
242

157
17.4%
530
Almost always wrong4.6%
45
4.9%
23
5.5%
17
8.2%
42
10.1%
15
13.2%
84

24
7.4%
226
Sometimes wrong15.3%
149
17.7%
83
21.5%
67
22.3%
114
26.4%
39
17.6%
112

22
18.5%
564
Not wrong at all71.9%
700
69.0%
323
57.2%
178
47.2%
241
30.4%
45
28.4%
181

43
54.7%
1668
Dont know1.8%
18
0.6%
3
0.3%
1
0.8%
4
2.7%
4
2.4%
15

8
1.5%
45
No answer0.4%
4
0.2%
1
0.6%
2
0.8%
4
1.4%
2
0.5%
3

0
0.5%
16
Missing4412151992746127801468
TOTAL 100.0%
974
100.0%
468
100.0%
311
100.0%
511
100.0%
148
100.0%
637

254

3049



Notes

The General Social Surveys (GSS) have been conducted by the National Opinion Research Center (NORC) annually since 1972, except for the years 1979, 1981, and 1992 (a supplement was added in 1992), and biennially beginning in 1994. The GSS are designed to be part of a program of social indicator research, replicating questionnaire items and wording in order to facilitate time-trend studies. This data file has all cases and variables asked on the 2010 GSS. There are a total of 4,901 cases in the data set but their initial sampling years vary because the GSS now contains panel cases. Sampling years can be identified with the variable SAMPTYPE.