Changing Irish morality

The recent Irish Times ‘Sex, Sin and Society‘ survey wasn’t that surprising in that it confirmed well established trends in changing Irish attitudes to moral issues.

One thing that jumps out to me from the findings below is how Christian ethics regarding sex and marriage are likely seen by most Irish people, not as liberating and ‘good for society’, but as limiting, intolerant and judgemental.  ‘Sin’ is a marginalised concept of little relevance. Ireland is fast moving into a fully post-Christendom culture.

A question: what challenges do these findings pose for Christians in Ireland?

Q. How would you define your sexuality?
96 % Hetrosexual, 4 % Homosexual, bisexual, asexual or declined to say.

Q. Do you admire those who choose long-term celibacy for religious or moral reasons?
48% Yes 35% No 17% Don’t know

Q. Do you regard sex outside marriage as immoral?
15% Yes 79 % No 6% Don’t know

Q. Would you think less of a person if he/she revealed to you that he/she is gay or lesbian?
5% Yes 91% No 4% Don’t know

Q. Do you think gay couples should be allowed adopt children?
46% Yes 38% No 16% Don’t know

Q. Do you believe the recently enacted civil partnership legislation undermines the institution of marriage?
23% Yes, 60% No, 18% Don’t know

Q. Is virginity a quality you would value in a potential partner?
50% Yes, 36% No, 13% Don’t know

Q. At what age to you believe it is appropriate for young people to begin having sex?
Less than 18 – 28%, Aged 18 – 18%, 19 years and over – 14%, Not until married – 5%, Don’t know – 12%

Q. In banning underage sex, the law now provides that boys can be prosecuted for having sex with girls under
17, even if consensually. Girls cannot however be prosecuted for having sex with underage boys. Do you believe
this law is correct or incorrect?
7% Yes, 87% No, 6% Don’t Know

Q. Couples in Ireland increasingly live together before marriage. Is this trend more or less likely to result in
stable marriages?
57% More likely, 25% Less likely, 18% Don’t know

Q. Do you think gay couples should be allowed to marry?
67% Yes, 25% No, 8% Don’t know

Q. Should people who have changed their gender be allowed to change their birth certificates to reflect their
new sex?
48% Yes, 39% No, 13% Don’t know

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