Skip to comments.Divorce Rate Higher in Counties With More Conservative Protestants, Study Says
Posted on 01/30/2014 5:17:18 AM PST by xzins
Divorce rate is higher among religiously conservative Protestants, and even among those living around them, finds a new study that examined all counties in the United States where divorces occurred and looked at what the characteristics of those counties were.
Demographers Jennifer Glass at the University of Texas and Philip Levchak at the University of Iowa looked at the entire map of the United States, and found that a key factor predicting divorce rates is the concentration of conservative Protestants in a county.
To be published in the American Journal of Sociology next month, the study notes that religiously conservative states Alabama and Arkansas have the second and third highest divorce rates in the U.S., at 13 per 1000 people per year while New Jersey and Massachusetts, more liberal states, are two of the lowest at 6 and 7 per 1000 people annually.
The researchers attribute it to the earlier ages at first marriage and first birth, and the lower educational attainment and lower incomes among conservative Protestant youth.
"Restricting sexual activity to marriage and encouraging large families seem to make young people start families earlier in life, even though that may not be best for the long-term survival of those marriages," the non-profit Council on Contemporary Families, where Glass is a senior scholar, quotes the researcher as saying.
In their study titled, "Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding Regional Variation in Divorce Rates," Glass and Levchak also say that people who simply live in counties with high proportions of religious conservatives are also more likely to divorce than their counterparts elsewhere.
The researchers say this is due to a cultural climate where most people expect to marry young and there is little support from schools or community institutions for young people to get more education and postpone marriage and children.
"Pharmacies might not give out emergency contraception. Schools might only teach abstinence education," Los Angeles Times quotes Glass as saying. "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."
W. Bradford Wilcox, director of the National Marriage Project at the University of Virginia is surprised. "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," he tells the Times, adding that the study also showed that more "secularism" was also linked to higher rates of divorce.
Alabama and Arkansas have the second and third highest divorce rates in the U.S., at 13 per 1000 people per year while New Jersey and Massachusetts, more liberal states, are two of the lowest at 6 and 7 per 1000 people annually.
Our tax dollars at work.
Could it possibly be because Conservative Protestants are the biggest group still getting married, while the ungodly are shacking up? I’m sure the Leftist researcher at ut in Austin never gave that a thought.
Divorce Rate Higher in Counties With More Conservative Protestants,
Maybe in other places, they just shack up. No marriage to get divorced from.
Another possible factor is that many people find the church after the divorce. I doubt that the researcher accounted for that either.
The touted methodology indicates that the base numbers were not corrected for any lack of marriage acts in less conservative areas. If baby-momma and baby-daddy hookup with no marriage license, they are excluded from the survey.
I also would like to see there criteria for data selection - as there are a number of ways the methods they selected their data from could be skewing the numbers.
If I'm reading this correctly, that is divorces per capita.
So, I'm calling BS on the whole study. If people don't get married, they can't get divorced. People in Alabama and Arkansas are simple more likely to get married, period. With a higher number of marriages you will naturally have a higher number of divorces. If you really want to look at the true state of marriage/divorce, the methodology needs to be divorces per marriage.
Since they’re comparing those already married to those already married, those who aren’t married aren’t an issue
Could it be that this is true because Conservative protestants are the ones who are still bothering to get married? Unlike the rest of young couples who are shacking up, no strings attached.
“Could it possibly be because Conservative Protestants are the biggest group still getting married, while the ungodly are shacking up?”
Definitely my first thought.
It would be an interesting study to look at the relationships of those who aren’t married but are living together.
However, if you take ONLY those who are married and compare them with each other, and one group is divorcing more than the other group, it’s not because of what non-marrieds are doing.
If I compare dogs in one area with dogs in another area, it doesn’t really matter what cats are doing.
That was my first thought also.
It is because the men expect to get away with demanding to be the boss and the women are supposed to submit. The men conveniently forget that they are directed to lay their lives down for their wives.
It’s hard to get divorced when one doesn’t bother to get married.
Makes sense. In liberal locales, people don’t bother getting married to begin with, so there’s less incidence of divorce. Plus, in liberal asylums ... er, I mean ... areas ... a lot of people are “marrying” their cats, their goldfish, their bongs ... And those unions can be broken without the benefit of a formal divorce.
I don’t think that’s it. They are comparing apples to apples. No matter what the shacking up are doing, the married in one group are divorcing more than the married in another group.
Your question would be an important different study, but when comparing those who are married with those who are married, it’s significant that one group is divorcing more than another group.
One thing your question does suggest is that the more committed are the ones getting married in the non-conservative Protestant groups. The uncommitted shack up instead.
In the conservative protestant groups they don’t shack up as much, so the uncommitted are getting married and those marriages are failing.
Statistics are interesting but conclusions are not science, but fueled by liberal leanings and hostility towards conservatives and Christians.
I don’t like divorce. To get divorced you have to married first.
As a pastor, if something is breaking conservative protestant marriages up, then I’d like to know what it is.
In my opinion, we don’t say “no” enough to marrying people. I don’t know some key indicator that says they’re truly committed to making their marriage work. All will say they love Jesus, love their intended, etc.