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Russians find homosexuality more immoral than drinking, infidelity or abortion

Reuters/Maxim Shemetov
But drink all you want.
By Rachel Feltman
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

A staggering 72% of Russians find homosexuality morally unacceptable, 2013 Pew Research Center data shows. In fact, it was one of only three “behaviors” that the majority of surveyed Russians found to be immoral—extramarital affairs and gambling were deemed unacceptable by 69% and 62% of responders, respectively. Forty-four percent of responders found abortion to be morally unacceptable.

We’ll know how these responses compare to other countries when Pew releases the rest of its report on global attitudes towards morality (it released the data on Russia today). But a 2013 Gallup poll of Americans found opinions quite reversed: 91% of Americans surveyed found extramarital affairs immoral, and only 38% took issue with homosexuality.

While 13% of Russians said that drinking alcohol is “not a moral issue,” as many might argue, they apparently don’t think it’s a health issue, either. A recent study in The Lancet (paywall) found that a quarter of Russian men die before the age of 55, and usually because of alcoholism—mostly liver disease and alcohol poisoning, but also accidents and fights while intoxicated. Women drank less, and their mortality rates were much lower.

Sure enough, Russian women surveyed were more likely to say that drinking was morally unacceptable (over half of women, compared to just over a third of men). But for both genders, older individuals were more likely to take issue with alcohol. No wonder, since the less you drink in Russia, apparently the longer you live.

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