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Interesting study on Gender, Divorce & Political Affiliation

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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-04 02:27 PM
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Interesting study on Gender, Divorce & Political Affiliation
This article got me thinking about the GOP's motives for this promotion of marriage hooey...

http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/02_10/c377...

Divorce and Women Voters

If there's one long-term electoral trend worrying Republicans, it's the widening gender gap in voting behavior. In the early postwar period, a majority of women favored Republican candidates, while men were more inclined toward Democrats. In recent decades, however, voting patterns have reversed sharply, with far more women supporting Democrats and men voting Republican.

Recent elections highlight the shift. The support of women was a big factor in Bill Clinton's victories, and if women's votes alone had been counted in 2000, Al Gore would have won by a landslide. While polls suggest that George W. Bush has at least temporarily closed the gender gap after September 11, it still exists at the Congressional level.

The crucial question for political strategists of both parties, of course, is just why this has occurred. Conventional explanations center on such developments as the sharp increase in the ranks of working women, the rise of feminism, and women's concern over social issues such as abortion rights.

In a new study, however, economists Lena C. Edlund and Rohini Pande of Columbia University conclude that the major cause is the differing impact of the decline in marriage on the economic well-being of men and women. Since the early 1960s, as the proportion of marriages ending in divorce has risen to nearly 50% and as more people have chosen to defer marriage or remain single, the unmarried share of the adult population has surged to 44%. In the study, which will appear in The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Edlund and Pande relate this trend to the reversal in men's and women's party allegiances and the subsequent widening of the political gender gap.
...

Me: The trouble about the study is that it doesn't offer stats on the political affiliations of married couples, and it gives no real indication that promoting marriage would bring more women into the GOP. Also, completely ignoring the very high rate of divorce among evangelical Christians - which is I'm sure the primary motivating factor. But I do believe that income is one motivation for the latest decision.

So how do we approach it? It's a silly wedge issue, but if we oppose it head on, it could be turned around on us that we don't support economic equality for women....or that our opposition is recklessly political, because Democrats stand to gain from high divorce rates.

Ironically, the only way to take issue with it is to go on a classic conservative diatribe about fiscal responsibility and smaller government that stays out of social programs. Strange.
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-04 02:46 PM
Response to Original message
1. I disagree, rucky
:kick:
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cally Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-04 03:13 PM
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2. Fascinating analysis
Basically, if you are well off than you vote Republican. I would like to see further evidence of this, but it is an interesting theory. From the article:

"In sum, the decline in marriage, and especially its effect on the relative economic fortunes of a majority of women, seems to be pushing them to the left. And that suggests that Republicans may face an uphill battle with female voters unless marriage stages a comeback"
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-04 03:18 PM
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3. More Information Please
Could you please tell me a little more about this:

" ...the very high rate of divorce among evangelical Christians"

If you have any numbers I'd be very interested.

Thom
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Logansquare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-04 03:30 PM
Response to Reply #3
4. Baptists have the highest divorce rate
The Associated Press 12/30/99 1:31 AM Eastern

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) -- Baptists have the highest divorce rate of any
Christian denomination, and are more likely to get a divorce than
atheists and agnostics, according to a national survey.

The survey conducted by Barna Research Group in Ventura, Calif., found
that 29 percent of all adult Baptists have been through a divorce. Among
Christian groups, only those who attend non-denominational Protestant
churches were more likely to be divorced, with a 34 percent divorce rate.<snip>
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ThomWV Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-04 03:39 PM
Response to Reply #4
6. I Don't Know Why ...
But the moment I saw your answer I wondered what the rate would be were gay marriages legal. I don't know why but I suspect the rate would be about the same as the general populace. By the way, isn't that around 40% or so? Because if that's the case I think it means that you're saying that the divorce rate among non-fundamentalist christians (check the box that says everyone else) must be about 11%. Is that correct?

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Logansquare Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-04 03:35 PM
Response to Reply #3
5. Born Again Less Likely to Co-Habit, Just as Likely to Divorce

http://www.barna.org/cgi-bin/PagePressRelease.asp?Press...

"Born again Christians are just as likely to get divorced as are non-born again adults. Overall, 33% of all born again individuals who have been married have gone through a divorce, which is statistically identical to the 34% incidence among non-born again adults."
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rucky Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jan-14-04 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #3
7. Article
http://www.adherents.com/largecom/baptist_divorce.html

Dumbfounded by divorce
Survey inspires debate over why faith isn't a bigger factor in marriage
By Christine Wicker
Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

The Barna Research Group's national study showed that members of nondenominational churches divorce 34 percent of the time in contrast to 25 percent for the general population. Nondenominational churches would include large numbers of Bible churches and other conservative evangelicals. Baptists had the highest rate of the major denominations: 29 percent. Born-again Christians' rate was 27 percent. To make matters even more distressing for believers, atheists/agnostics had the lowest rate of divorce 21 percent.
...
Mr. Barna explained that his study shows a 25 percent overall divorce rate rather than the commonly cited 50 percent, because the 50 percent rate is derived by dividing the number of marriages by the number of divorces each year. Dr. Popenoe says an individual's chances of divorce over a lifetime are 40 to 50 percent, but 25 percent would be about the number of people who are now or have ever been divorced.

also...
Per the study: Jews have the highest - 30%.
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