Thursday, May 26, 2011

Is Morality on the Rebound in America?

Each year, Gallup asks citizens to weigh in on the state of morality in America. Generally speaking, the results are pretty grim. But, 2011 is looking a bit more favorable.

Based on stats released earlier today, the public seems to think that the nation is on an increasingly more moral path. When asked to rate the “overall state of moral values in the country,“ 38 percent of the nation selected ”poor,” with only 23 percent claiming that the nation’s values are “excellent” or “good.”

Sure, these proportions are still discouraging, but when you look at previous years’ results, things seem to be looking up (if only slightly). Last year, a larger segment — 45 percent — of the nation claimed that America’s values were “poor.” Interestingly, Gallup claims that this decrease in negatively is directly matched with an increase of positivity regarding the nation’s moral fabric:

The seven-point decline in negative reviews of U.S. morals over the past year is roughly matched by an eight-point increase, from 15% to 23%, in those describing morals as “excellent” or “good.“ The percentage calling them ”only fair” is unchanged at 38%.

But, life isn’t static. Asking people where they think the nation currently stands is great, but what about looking into the future? Gallup has it covered:

Americans are also slightly more optimistic than they were a year ago about the direction in which the nation’s morals are headed… About 7 in 10 Americans (69%) now say moral values in the country as a whole are getting worse, down from 76% last year.

While these results show an improvement, an important question needs to be asked: Is morality truly improving or are Americans becoming more accepting of cultural changes that are often reinforced by the media?

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