The Pew Research Center’s 2013 Global Attitudes survey asked 40,117 respondents in 40 countries what they thought about eight topics often discussed as moral issues: extramarital affairs, gambling, homosexuality, abortion, premarital sex, alcohol consumption, divorce, and the use of contraceptives.1 For each issue, respondents were asked whether this is morally acceptable, morally unacceptable, or not a moral issue. The chart below displays the median responses for each question across the 40 countries.

Median percentages of each issue based on 40 countries

  • Unacceptable
  • Acceptable
  • Not a moral issue
Extramarital Affairs
78%
7%
10%
Gambling
62
11
19
Homosexuality
59
20
13
Abortion
56
15
12
Premarital Sex
46
24
16
Alcohol Use
42
22
24
Divorce
24
36
22
Contraception Use
14
54
21

As you can see, there is a great deal of variation across these issues. Generally, affairs, gambling, homosexuality, and abortion are deemed unacceptable by the largest number of respondents. Many also consider premarital sex and alcohol use unacceptable. Meanwhile, contraceptives and divorce are seen as acceptable by the greatest number of people. However, by clicking on each issue, you can explore public opinion in each individual country, and you will find there is much diversity across nations. Generally, African and predominantly Muslim countries tend to find most of these activities morally unacceptable, while in advanced economies, such as those in Western Europe, Japan, and North America, people tend to be more accepting or to not consider these moral issues at all.

Begin with opinions of extramarital affairs...

Explore the individual country responses for all these values on the following pages. You can sort by country, region, or response category. Click on a country name to display how people in that nation view all eight issues. Find where your country falls on the morality spectrum.

Click here for topline results and detailed survey methodology.

1. Surveys were conducted from March 2 to May 1, 2013 in 39 countries and December 7, 2013 to January 12, 2014 in India.