Three times as many New Zealanders think it is morally acceptable for a single person to view pornography on the internet than to download copyrighted video, according to a new poll.

The survey also indicates gender differences in what is morally acceptable behaviour, with women being overall less approving of viewing pornography, using dating services, downloading copyrighted material and flirting with others on the internet.

The results are the second in a series of UMR polls on morality. One thousand New Zealanders were surveyed online in November.

The poll indicated 41 per cent of New Zealanders think it is morally acceptable for a single person to view pornography, compared with 13 per cent who see downloading copyrighted video as acceptable and 18 per cent who consider downloading copyrighted music acceptable.

Twenty one per cent thought it was morally acceptable for a married person to view pornography online without the knowledge of the person's spouse.

Although 69 per cent thought it was acceptable for a single person to flirt with another internet user, just 6 per cent thought it was morally acceptable for a married person to flirt with another internet user without their spouse's knowledge.

The survey showed up substantial gender differences. Fifty-six per cent of men thought that it was acceptable for a single person to view pornography online, compared with 26 per cent of women.

Similarly, 31 per cent of men were comfortable with married people viewing pornography online without the knowledge of their spouses, compared with just 10 per cent of women.

The survey also showed that seeing music and video downloads as morally unacceptable did not necessarily prevent people from making such downloads, with substantial proportions of those who have downloaded music or video from unofficial sites nonetheless saying that such activity is morally unacceptable.

The margin of error for the survey was plus or minus 3 per cent.

- NZPA