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“Belief that People Try to Take Advantage of Others” by Family Structure and Religious Practice

Family Structure: According to the General Social Survey (GSS), 31.6 percent of always-intact married adults believed that, given the opportunity, most people would try to take advantage of others, followed by 39.7 percent of married, previously-divorced adults, 44 percent of single, never-married adults, and 44.3 percent of single, divorced or separated adults.[1]   

Religious Practice: According to the General Social Survey (GSS), 43.7 percent of adults who never attended religious services believed that, given the opportunity, most people would try to take advantage of others, followed by 38.9 percent of those who attended religious services less than once a month, 38.6 percent of those who worshiped between one and three times a month, and 30 percent of those who worshiped at least weekly.

Family Structure and Religious Practice Combined: According to the General Social Survey (GSS), 25.2 percent of adults in always-intact marriages who attended religious services at least weekly believed that, given the opportunity, most people try to take advantage of others, followed by 38.4 percent of all other adults who worshiped at least weekly, 39 percent of adults in always-intact marriages who never attended worship, and 46.8 percent of all other adults who never attended religious services.

[1]These charts draw on data collected by the General Social Survey, 1972-2006. From 1972 to 1993, the sample size averaged 1,500 each year. No GSS was conducted in 1979, 1981, or 1992. Since 1994, the GSS has been conducted only in even-numbered years and uses two samples per GSS that total approximately 3,000. In 2006, a third sample was added for a total sample size of 4,510.