According to the Pew Research Center, the majority of people who are open to open marriages include young adults, the Democrats, LGBTQ+ persons, and those who live with a partner. Open marriage is defined as “a marriage where each spouse agrees that their spouse can date or engage in sexual activity with other people.”
The poll, which was done with 5,073 people between April 10 and 16 and released in September, discovered that over half of younger adults ages 18 to 29 say open relationships are “acceptable.” Young adults are most likely to agree with this, while older adults become less likely to agree as they get older.
“Notably, just 41% of respondents aged 30 to 49, 26% of respondents aged 50 to 64, and 15% of respondents aged 65 and above believe that these marriages are appropriate.” According to the study report, “70% of people 65 and older say that these marriages are not acceptable.”
In general, Americans are less tolerant of open marriages; just 33% of respondents think they are “acceptable,” while 50% think they are “unacceptable.” Sixteen percent of those who answered say that open marriage is “neither” good nor bad.
Adults who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, or bisexual are more likely to support open marriages than heterosexual people are; among them, 75% of them deem them “acceptable.” Only 29% of heterosexual people share this sentiment.
People who live with their partner but aren’t married are also more likely to be okay with open marriages (56%), as compared to individuals who have never tied the knot (47%). On the other hand, 57% of adults who are married and 61% of adults who are divorced, split, or widowed say that open weddings are “unacceptable.”
Among political affiliations, Democrats approve open marriages at a higher rate (47%) than Republicans (20%).
“Democrats have a more mixed opinion, with 47% saying these kinds of marriages are okay and 36% saying they are not. It is not surprising that the majority of respondents in the survey report conservative Republicans (74%) believe these marriages are inappropriate, while liberal Democrats (63%) agree they are fine.