Mary Margaret Olohan
Abortion affects dating decisions more than any other political issue, data from the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) show.
Almost one in four Americans, 24%, said that they would never date someone who did not share their views on abortion, according to AEI’s January 2020 American Perspectives Survey. Forty-four percent of Americans said that it would be difficult to date someone who did not agree with them on abortion, while 32% said it would not be very difficult.
“Women are more likely than men to say the abortion issue is a deal breaker,” AEI explains. “Twenty-nine percent of women say it would be impossible to date someone whose views did not align with their own, while 20 percent of men express this view. Notably, the issue is more of a deal breaker for Republican women than Democratic women (38 percent vs. 27 percent).”
The survey also discovered “Donald Trump as a Dating Deal Breaker:” 83% of Americans who dislike Trump said they would not date someone who felt differently.
These numbers compare to 59% of Americans with very favorable views of Trump who said they would not date someone with opposing views.
Religious freedom also holds weight with many Americans: one in five Americans said that it would be impossible to date someone who did not agree with them on religious freedom. One in four Americans surveyed also said that it would be impossible to date someone who did not believe in God.
Climate change proves less divisive for dating Americans, according to the survey: only 15% of Americans surveyed said it would be impossible to date someone who did not share their views on climate change.
Similarly, only 16% of Americans surveyed said it would be impossible to date someone who did not share their views on gun control and only 13% of Americans said it would be impossible to date someone who did not agree with them on immigration.
Nineteen percent of Americans said it would be impossible to date someone who did not agree with them on LGBTQ rights.
Americans prioritize having similar views on having children more than anything else when considering whether to date that person, the survey found.
AEI’s survey also notes that Americans prioritize whether a person smokes slightly less than they prioritize that person’s views on having children, followed by whether they share religious beliefs, then political views, then whether they share a racial or ethnic background, whether that person pays attention to politics, and then whether that person has at least a four year college education.
AEI conducted interviews in cooperation with YouGov among a sample of 2,629 adults (age 18 and older) living in the United States between January 13–15, 2020 with a margin of error of +/– 2 percentage points.
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