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ninjadude

'Red' States Have Higher Divorce Rates Than

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'Red' States Have Higher Divorce Rates Than 'Blue' States, And Here's Why

It may seem counterintuitive, but divorce rates are higher in religiously conservative "red" states than "blue" states, despite a Bible-based culture that discourages divorce.

In a new study titled "Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates," which will be published later this month in the American Journal of Sociology, demographer and University of Texas at Austin professor Jennifer Glass set out to discover why divorce rates would be higher in religious states like Arkansas and Alabama -- which boast the second and third highest divorce rates, respectively -- but lower in more liberal states like New Jersey and Massachusetts.

It was previously thought that socioeconomic hardships in the South were largely to blame for high divorce rates, however Glass and her fellow researchers concluded that the conservative religious culture is in fact a major contributing factor thanks to "the social institutions they create" that "decrease marital stability."

Specifically, putting pressure on young people to marry sooner, frowning upon cohabitation before marriage, teaching abstinence-only sex education and making access to resources like emergency contraception more difficult all result in earlier childbearing ages and less-solid marriages from the get-go, Glass writes in the paper.

“It’s surprising,” W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project, told The Los Angeles Times. “In some contexts in America today, religion is a buffer against divorce. But in the conservative Protestant context, this paper is showing us that it’s not.”

Glass and her colleagues also concluded that the religious culture of the area permeated into the divorce rates of even the non-religious people who lived there. In other words, simply by living in counties that were dominated by conservative Protestantism, people were at a higher risk for getting divorced.

As Glass told The Los Angeles Times, “If you live in a marriage market where everybody marries young, you postpone marriage at your own risk. The best catches … are going to go first.”

an interesting conclusion. I always assumed it was economic.

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Perhaps people in blue states simply choose to 'live in sin' rather than marry in the first place?

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from my experiences religious people get married faster. Could be people rush to get married then later realize they picked the wrong person?

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Perhaps people in blue states simply choose to 'live in sin' rather than marry in the first place?

Per capita are they're more married 'couples' in red states than blue states? I don't know. I'd have to look into the demographics.

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Lilly stole my comment. The democrats are the party of the single mom, the broken family and promiscuity. It's way more beneficial in a blue state to be un-married and downtrodden. Only when it pertains to LGBT is marriage treated as an important issue. Otherwise it's old fashioned, biblical and the antithesis of the modern strong liberal feminist.

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I have to disagree, F3SS. You have single Moms not on welfare with good-paying careers and some chose to be single Moms by choice. I'm a Democrat who isn't in favor of promiscuity and believe in helping out single parents or divorced parents raising a child alone, not act like a moralist condemning them. Democrats strongly oppose domestic violence, adultery and neglect of marital vows as much the Republicans do...grounds of divorce. I like for all churches to get more involved in speaking out against abusive marriages and be more supportive of divorcees, as well single mothers. The Republican party has to drop the "puritan/ victorian/1950s-era" moralism that doesn't apply anymore in the early 21st century.

True it used to be a "sin" or "taboo" to divorce in American society, esp. to people belonged to certain churches in the past: Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and Latter-day-Saints, for example (from my personal family background, I had parents and relatives in those churches). These churches today are more accepting of divorce and in situations when a spouse (usually the wife) in danger of domestic abuse and if marital vows were seriously broken, then a divorce can be granted and accepted in the church body. Catch up with the times and churches will appear more progressive in addressing social issues if the church wants to, but grounds for divorce are legitimate causes for dissolvement of bad marriages.

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Lilly stole my comment. The democrats are the party of the single mom, the broken family and promiscuity. It's way more beneficial in a blue state to be un-married and downtrodden. Only when it pertains to LGBT is marriage treated as an important issue. Otherwise it's old fashioned, biblical and the antithesis of the modern strong liberal feminist.

I don't think that Lilly said anything like that.

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I see nothing wrong with divorce. What is wrong is getting married for the wrong reasons.

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I don't think that Lilly said anything like that.

I said she stole my comment. The rest was all me. :)

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I have to disagree, F3SS. You have single Moms not on welfare with good-paying careers and some chose to be single Moms by choice. I'm a Democrat who isn't in favor of promiscuity and believe in helping out single parents or divorced parents raising a child alone, not act like a moralist condemning them. Democrats strongly oppose domestic violence, adultery and neglect of marital vows as much the Republicans do...grounds of divorce. I like for all churches to get more involved in speaking out against abusive marriages and be more supportive of divorcees, as well single mothers. The Republican party has to drop the "puritan/ victorian/1950s-era" moralism that doesn't apply anymore in the early 21st century.

True it used to be a "sin" or "taboo" to divorce in American society, esp. to people belonged to certain churches in the past: Roman Catholic, Southern Baptist and Latter-day-Saints, for example (from my personal family background, I had parents and relatives in those churches). These churches today are more accepting of divorce and in situations when a spouse (usually the wife) in danger of domestic abuse and if marital vows were seriously broken, then a divorce can be granted and accepted in the church body. Catch up with the times and churches will appear more progressive in addressing social issues if the church wants to, but grounds for divorce are legitimate causes for dissolvement of bad marriages.

I didn't say all democrats fit that bill or all single moms are welfare snagging and out of work. All of what I said is true though and is the soul of the progressive left. I don't really think the Republican Party is full of puritans, maybe one here or there but that's a bit far out. But middle to right leaning people are more likely to get married, right or wrong, than a modern young democrat voter. In direct reply to the op title: no kidding, you can't have a divorce rate if nobody is getting married.

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I don't think that Lilly said anything like that.

Right, that was not what I was implying in the least.

What I was trying to say was that perhaps in the blue states people postpone marriage (try living with one another to see if it works) and then get married if the relationship works well.

Edited by Lilly
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Don't worry Lilly, I didn't even think you shared my views. We just had the same initial reaction but different ideas behind it.

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Don't worry Lilly, I didn't even think you shared my views. We just had the same initial reaction but different ideas behind it.

Well, I may share some of your views, but not all. For example, I'm not an advocate of promiscuity or having children without both parents involved in their upbringing. However, I'm also not an advocate of people marrying at a very young age.

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Well, I may share some of your views, but not all. For example, I'm not an advocate of promiscuity or having children without both parents involved in their upbringing. However, I'm also not an advocate of people marrying at a very young age.

Hey, preaching to the choir. I'm 34 and took seven years to propose to my lady and getting hitched in May this year. So I'm not exactly a bible thumping Puritan advocate myself.

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I don't think there is any reliable evidence that single parent children do better or worse that when both are present, once differences in economic status are adjusted for.

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