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Most Brits ok with dishonesty, cheating and drug-taking

January 26, 2012 - London

Having an affair, lying, buying stolen goods, drug-taking and having underage sex have all become more acceptable in the UK than they were a decade ago, a new study has revealed.

Scientists at the University of Essex believe that levels of dishonesty could get worse because the young seem more tolerant of it, the Daily Mail reported.

They are so worried about its future impact on society that they have even set up a Centre for the Study of Integrity dedicated to the subject.

In the year 2000, 70 per cent of people said that an extra-marital affair could never be justified, but now it is just 50 per cent, according to the survey.

The proportion of people who said that picking up money found in the street is never justified fell from 40 per cent to 20 per cent over the same period.

Not reporting damage to a parked car and breaking speed limits have apparently become a tolerable part of life - with only a minority condemning them.

The participants were more critical about not paying a train or bus fare - one of the few activities that are seen as less acceptable - than having an extra marital affair.

Accepting bribes and drink-driving have fallen a bit, but are still mostly condemned, but smoking cannabis or having underage sex are considered to be more acceptable.

"It is apparent that large changes have occurred in sexual mores, attitudes to keeping money found in the street and smoking cannabis. These activities are much more sanctioned than they were 11 years ago," Professor Paul Whiteley, who led the study, said.


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