US & Canada

Most US women won't dine alone with opposite sex, survey suggests

Mike Pence and his wife Karen wave for the cameras Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Mike Pence has said he would not dine alone with any woman who was not his wife, Karen (pictured)

Many eyebrows were raised when it emerged US Vice-President Mike Pence would not dine alone with a woman who was not his wife.

How old fashioned, the internet cried.

Only, now it seems he is not alone.

A surprise poll for the New York Times has discovered more than half of women agree with him - as well as 45% of men.

And as for a drink? Forget about it. Just 29% of women think that would be appropriate in a one-on-one situation.

However, the poll - conducted by Morning Consult, surveying almost 5,300 people - found the numbers shift considerably according to your politics: the more liberal your views, the more likely you were to mix with a member of the opposite sex, one on one.

Just 62% of Republicans found it acceptable, compared to 71% of Democrats.

Similar divides can also be seen according to religion - the more devout you are, the less appropriate you view it - and to education: 24% of male respondents of who did not reach college think it is inappropriate to have a one-on-one working meeting with a woman, compared with 18% who got a bachelor's degree or higher.


So - do BBC readers agree?

Image copyright Getty Images

Michael, US: Simply ask yourself: would you want your partner to go out for dinner alone with someone else? Most likely the answer is no. Hence, then why should you? It's simply being wise and not naive.

Sandra, US: Not entirely sure why people don't understand that you can have a platonic, working or otherwise relationship with a member of the opposite sex without sexual overtones. To my way of thinking it demeans woman in terms of woman thinking men are only interested in their bodies... If you can't trust your partner or yourself out of sight the problem is you.

Stephen, Australia: I totally agree with Mike Pence. He's protecting his marriage and his reputation. It is not sexist, it is wise. In an era where people look to the Kardashians for their moral standards Mike Pence's policy, in this area at least, is commendable.

Emily, US: These archaic views are just another example of why we shouldn't have been surprised at a Trump/Pence victory last November.

Mario, South Africa: Men who are not sure about their self-control should indeed dine and drink alone. Perhaps dinner and a drink with their mothers should be permitted, but I am not so sure about sisters and daughters after reading some comments uttered by Donald Trump.

Vince, UK: Really? How very Victorian of them. Are they scared they might end up doing something they shouldn't. I can't believe in the 21st century some people think this is an issue.

Sarah, US: I'm a 52-year-old, white, college educated, atheist, left-wing, married woman ... and there's no way I would have a one-on-one meal/drink with a man who was not my husband. Not even a Starbucks.

M.H., Canada: I would definitely lunch or have dinner alone with a man whom I knew and trusted and with whom I had a lot in common. I am also a year away from being 90 and find it hard to believe that there is anything wrong with this.

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