May 7, 2007

See AIDs as God’s Punishment for Immorality

23%

That’s the proportion of the public that now agrees with the statement that “AIDS might be God’s punishment for immoral sexual behavior.” When this question was first asked in 1987, public opinion was divided, with 43% agreeing and 47% disagreeing.

Just 23% of the public now agree with the statement that “AIDS might be God’s punishment for immoral sexual behavior,” while 72% disagree; when this question was first asked in 1987, public opinion was divided on the question, with 43% agreeing and 47% disagreeing. Responses to this question have become less conservative across the board: significant change has occurred in the views of conservatives and liberals, Democrats and Republicans, and religious and nonreligious people. For example, in 1987, 60% of white evangelicals believed that AIDS might be a punishment for immoral sexual behavior; today just 38% believe this. Similar changes have been seen among other religious groups as well. The changes on longitudinal measures about homosexuality reflect a major shift away from highly negative attitudes toward gays and support for punitive actions against gays. Read More