Highly visible gay families . . . may be changing the way Americans view the world. And a new report by the Pew Research Center seems to bear this out. Its nationally representative survey of 2,691 people found that Americans are more accepting of families led by gay and lesbian parents than of single moms.
The survey found that when it comes to opinions overall on non-traditional families, such as those with gay and lesbian parents, single mothers, and unmarried parents, the country is split three ways: a third of Americans (dubbed Acceptors by Pew) are comfortable with a wide variety of family situations, a third (Rejectors) consider non-traditional arrangements to be damaging to the country’s social fabric, while the final third (Skeptics) are mixed in their views — approving of some arrangements, but not others.
When it comes to [gay] families . . . the news is all good. The vast majority of Acceptors and Skeptics believe gay and lesbian families are at least OK — and might even bring something positive to society.
But single mothers are less accepted, the poll found. That’s where Acceptors and Skeptics differ the most, says Paul Taylor, executive vice president of the Pew Research Center.
“If you took out the question about single mothers, there would be only two groups: Acceptors and Rejectors,” Taylor says.
While 98 percent of Acceptors think there’s nothing wrong with women raising their children alone, 99 percent of Skeptics and 98 percent of Rejectors believe that’s bad for society. (The survey only asked about single mothers, not single fathers.)
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