[lit-ideas] some polls

  • From: Eric Yost <eyost1132@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: Lit-Ideas <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 12 Nov 2006 14:39:36 -0500

While posting a query to PEW Research Center about the polls-driving-polls thesis, I found two polls that may amuse people.


*Cheating on your taxes is almost as bad as cheating on your spouse.

*Drinking excessively is worse than smoking marijuana.

*Engaging in homosexual behavior and having an abortion are equally fraught.

*Telling a lie to spare someone's feelings is worse than gambling.

*Sex between unmarried adults is more objectionable than overeating (but not by much).

Those edicts aren't drawn from some new millennium user's guide to morality. Rather, they represent the collective judgment of the American public when asked in a Pew Research Center survey to assess the moral dimensions of different kinds of behaviors.

Profile of Pet Owners

Nearly six-in-ten (57%) of all adults in this country own a pet or pets of one kind or another, with dog owners (39% of all adults) outnumbering cat owners (23%) – and owners of all other pets trailing far behind, the Pew survey finds.

More whites (64%) than blacks (30%) or Hispanics (39%) have a pet. There is also an income skew to pet ownership: nearly seven-in-ten (69%) adults with an annual family income of $100,000 or more has a pet, compared with fewer than half (45%) of adults with an income below $30,000. Also, rural residents (65%) are more likely than suburbanites (57%) or city folks (51%) to have a pet -- though, as noted above, they're a bit less likely to consider their dogs or cats a member of the family.

Dogs edge cats by a nose in the human intimacy sweepstakes. Not only are dog owners slightly more likely to think of their pet as family, so too are they more inclined to describe their relationship with their pet as "close" rather than "distant." Some 94% of dog owners say this, compared with 84% of cat owners.

It turns out when you ask adults about their parents, 87% say they feel close to mom and 74% say they feel close to dad.

So for anyone keeping score, the family intimacy standings look like this: dog 94%; mom 87%; cat 84%; dad 74%.

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