Red vs Blue on Marriage
Lexington complicates things:
It may be that preaching about family values forces people into premature or shotgun weddings which then fall apart. But it seems equally plausible that this story could be, in large measure, about class. Americans in poor red states are surrounded by family breakdown, so they fear it more, and make it into a political issue. The college-educated classes, who trend blue, have low rates of divorce and single parenthood. They are also better equipped, financially at least, to cope with the consequences of family breakdown should it occur. So they don’t worry about it as much, and are repelled by politicians who wax sanctimonious about it.
Six of the seven states with the lowest divorce rates in 2007, and all seven with the lowest teen birthrates in 2006, voted blue in both elections. Six of the seven states with the highest divorce rates in 2007, and five of the seven with the highest teen birthrates, voted red. It’s as if family strictures undermine family structures.
His main point:
Blue norms are well adapted to the Information Age. They encourage late family formation and advanced education. They produce prosperous parents with graduate degrees, low divorce rates, and one or two over-protected children.
Red norms, on the other hand, create a quandary. They shun abortion (which is blue America’s ultimate weapon against premature parenthood) and emphasize abstinence over contraception. But deferring sex in today’s cultural environment, with its wide acceptance of premarital sex, is hard. Deferring sex and marriage until you get a college or graduate degree — until age 23 or 25 or beyond — is harder still. "Even the most devout overwhelmingly do not abstain until marriage," Cahn and Carbone write…
The result of this red quandary, Cahn and Carbone argue, is a self-defeating backlash. Moral traditionalism fails to prevent premarital sex and early childbirth. Births precipitate more early marriages and unwed parenthood. That, in turn, increases family breakdown while reducing education and earnings.
I wonder: as Hispanics become a larger percentage of US population, will we see more Duggar families with the hope of protecting white supremacy?