If someone were to ask you whether the divorce rate is higher in traditionally "red" states or traditionally "blue" states, what would you say? My initial thought was that the divorce rate would be higher in blue states, which generally have more liberal views on marriage and divorce. According to a recent study, I'm wrong. "Red" States Have Higher Divorce Rates Than "Blue" States, And Here's Why, huffingtonpost.com, January 21, 2014.
A new study titled "Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates," found that divorce rates were higher in religious states, but lower in liberal states. The study found that, rather than safeguarding marriages by discouraging divorce, "the conservative religious culture is in fact a major contributing factor thanks to 'the social institutions they create' that 'decrease marital stability.'" This culture of pressuring young people to marry early and frowning upon cohabitation and sexual relations before marriage results in less solid marriages from the outset. A greater incidence of unhappy marriages translates into a higher rate of divorce.