Bruce Anderson

Bruce Anderson

Our latest nationwide survey included questions on what people consider to be morally acceptable or morally wrong. See our earlier release here.

Here’s a look at gender differences:

Women and men largely agree (within five points of each other) on the morality of:

• Abortion, birth control, divorce, unmarried sex, babies out of wedlock
• Gambling and recreational marijuana use
• Doctor assisted dying, and suicide

Where difference are more profound between the genders:

Women are more likely than men to say that gay and lesbian relations (84% vs. 77%) are morally acceptable.

Men are more likely than women to say each of the following is morally acceptable:

• Married men and women having an affair (23%-9%)
• Pornography (62%-37%)
• Clothing made of fur (54%-35%)
• Medical testing on animals (51%-28%)
• Cloning animals (38%-20%)
• Cloning humans (18%-11%)

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Bruce Anderson: There’s a lot that men and women agree about when it comes to defining morality, including some of the issues that otherwise could create important public policy cleavage: abortion, gambling, marijuana legalization, and medically assisted death.

The gap on same sex marriage is modest; in fact women and men are more prone to disagree on matters of pornography and adultery, than about homosexuality. Women are clearly more likely to be leading the pressure on animal rights issues, in Canadian society.


Our survey was conducted online with 1,500 Canadians aged 18 and over from June 14 to 16, 2016. A random sample of panelists was invited to complete the survey from a large representative panel of over 500,000 Canadians.

The Marketing Research and Intelligence Association policy limits statements about margins of sampling error for most online surveys.

The margin of error for a comparable probability-based random sample of 1,500 is +/- 2.6%, 19 times out of 20.

The data were weighted according to census data to ensure that the sample matched Canada’s population according to age, gender, educational attainment, and region. Totals may not add up to 100 due to rounding.

Abacus Data Inc.

We offer global research capacity with a strong focus on customer service, attention to detail and value added insight. Our team combines the experience of our Chairman Bruce Anderson, one of Canada’s leading research executives for two decades, with the energy, creativity and research expertise of CEO David Coletto, PhD.

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