South Africans are very conservative Pew finds

South Africans are very conservative according to findings by an independent American fact tank Pew Research Centre.

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Speaking on the poll, former Constitutional Court Justice Zak Yacoob said there was a “huge disconnect” between societal values and the constitution.

Pew released its Global Views on Morality survey earlier this month.

South Africa fared the most tolerant of the African countries polled – including Ghana, Nigeria and Kenya – but less so than its international counterparts.

The study, which covered 40 countries, focused on eight moral issues ranging from premarital sex to contraceptive use and divorce.

The following percentage of South Africans found these practices morally unacceptable:

Extramarital affairs: 65%
Homosexuality: 62%
Abortion: 61%
Premarital sex: 48%
Gambling: 40%
Divorce: 40%
Alcohol use: 36%
Contraception use: 15%

Ninety eight percent of Ghanaians believe same-sex relationships are immoral. At 93%, the figure is slightly lower in Uganda. This is in stark contrast to European countries like Spain, Germany, Britain and Italy, where less than 20% rate homosexuality as unacceptable.

For South Africa, the findings could explain why violent attacks on members of the lesbian and gay community are common.

Justice Yacoob suspected that the true picture of South Africans’ views on moral issues was in fact “much worse”.

South Africans are not interested in most of the “liberating” issues foisted upon them by a small and too vocal minority, often isolated voices from a foreign and too powewrful transnational media hoping to thus gain influence in the country.

Experts questioned the items polled, and said South Africans should be concerned with “real moral issues”.