Check it out.
By William Harryman on May 10, 2010
A very interesting and illuminating article at National Journal Magazine reveals a heavy difference between “red states” and “blue states” in both divorce rate and teen parenting rates – and not in favor of those states that vote Republican and (this is huge generalization, of course) promote traditional family values. Here is the beginning of the article:
If you want to find stable two-parent families, bypass Palin country and go to Pelosi territory.
by Jonathan Rauch
Saturday, May 1, 2010
Can it be? One of the oddest paradoxes of modern cultural politics may at last be resolved.
The paradox is this: Cultural conservatives revel in condemning the loose moral values and louche lifestyles of “San Francisco liberals.” But if you want to find two-parent families with stable marriages and coddled kids, your best bet is to bypass Sarah Palin country and go to Nancy Pelosi territory: the liberal, bicoastal, predominantly Democratic places that cultural conservatives love to hate.
The country’s lowest divorce rate belongs to none other than Massachusetts, the original home of same-sex marriage. Palinites might wish that Massachusetts’s enviable marital stability were an anomaly, but it is not. The pattern is robust. States that voted for the Democratic presidential candidate in both 2004 and 2008 boast lower average rates of divorce and teenage childbirth than do states that voted for the Republican in both elections. (That is using family data for 2006 and 2007, the latest available.)
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.
Naomi Cahn and June Carbone — family law professors at George Washington University and the University of Missouri (Kansas City), respectively — suggest that the apparent paradox is no paradox at all. Rather, it is the natural consequence of a cultural divide that has opened wide over the past few decades and shows no sign of closing. To define the divide in a sentence: In red America, families form adults; in blue America, adults form families.
Cahn and Carbone’s important new book, Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture, from Oxford University Press, is too rich with nuance to be encompassed in a short space.
The rest of the article is very interesting and definitely worth your time in reading it – the book also sounds good.
However, I want to look at one key sentence from the quote above:
In red America, families form adults; in blue America, adults form families.
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Elephant Journal - Moral Traditionalism Fails to Prevent Early Childbirth and Divorce
Check out my latest post at Elephant Journal - it's a riff on a review of Naomi Cahn's and June Carbone's new book, Red Families v. Blue Families: Legal Polarization and the Creation of Culture, from Oxford University Press.