No, Democrats don’t have superior family values

Along with a lot of other people, I’ve noticed that the so-called red states—states that usually go Republican— have higher rates of divorce, children born out-of-wedlock, violent crime and other bad things than the so-called blue states.

That fact has led to sweeping generalizations that liberals on average have better family values than conservatives, but it turns out that those generalizations are wrong.  In fact, as the articles linked below indicate, it’s probably the other way around.

I myself don’t believe in making sweeping derogatory generalizations about large groups of people or judging individuals based on their group identity.   And I don’t think these things have anything to do with who’s right about economic and foreign policy anyhow.

Nor do I think that there is any hypocrisy in preaching “family values” even if you yourself have trouble living up to those values.  As Jesus said, it is the sick, not the healthy, who need a physician.

That’s what I thought when I thought conservatives on average were more dysfunctional than liberals and progressives on average.  As it turns out, though, the shoe is on the other foot.

The good news, and maybe the more important news, is that the number of American teen pregnancies and out-of-wedlock births is declining overall.


No, Republicans Aren’t Hypocrites on Family Values by W. Bradford Wilcox and Vijay Menon for POLITICO magazine.

Blue American More Virtuous Than Red? Nope by Rod Dreher for The American Conservative.

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4 Responses to “No, Democrats don’t have superior family values”

  1. Anne Tanner Says:

    I may just be having a foggy day, but I don’t understand that chart at all. Is anything missing that should be there?


  2. philebersole Says:

    The chart is about what percentage of parents of children are (1) married and (2) in their first marriage, broken down by race and political affiliation.

    It indicates that 62 percent of non-Hispanic white Republican parentss who were surveyed are married and never divorced, compared to only 54 percent of Democrats and 44 percent (!) of independents.

    The same survey indicates that 34 percent of non-Hispanic black Democratic parents are married and never divorced, compared to 29 percent each for Republicans and independents.

    I don’t think these figures are greatly significant or greatly differenct. The reason I cite them is that I fell into the error of generalizing about red states, conservatives and Republicans based on limited information, and I feel an obligation to note the more complete facts.

    The POLITICO article has more detail.


  3. silverapplequeen Says:

    Gimme a break. If you think conservatives/Republicans have better “family values” than liberals/Democrats, then you haven’t been paying attention. Look at the stupid tax “reform” bill & how they are going to “have” to slash Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, HEAP, & every other social service to keep rich people happy. If you call those “family values”, you have a very skewed idea of what values are & what keeps a family together.


  4. silverapplequeen Says:

    Also, it isn’t just about MARRIAGE, or a FIRST MARRIAGE. There is SO MUCH MORE that goes into having a good family.


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