Republicans Say They Are Happier With Their Marriages, AUG. 17, 2015 By David LeonhardtThe VDARE headline on one of my analyses of the 2012 presidential election results was:
W. Bradford Wilcox, a sociologist, has written two recent papers noting that children in conservative parts of the country are more likely to grow up with both parents than in liberal ones. In both articles, he challenged the view that blue states are more conducive to stable family life than red states.
Now Mr. Wilcox, a professor at the University of Virginia, has published an analysis of data about individual families rather than geographical areas. And he argues this data continues to support his case that the so-called blue-state family model is overrated.
Self-identified Republicans are more likely to be married and less likely to be divorced than self-identified Democrats, write he and Nicholas H. Wolfinger, based on an analysis of the General Social Survey, an oft-studied national poll. Republicans also report being more satisfied with their marriages on average than Democrats.
Among married people between the ages of 20 and 60, 67 percent of Republicans report being “very happy” with their marriages. Among Democrats, the share was 60, as it is among independents, write Mr. Wilcox and Mr. Wolfinger, a professor at the University of Utah.
That gap shrank when the researchers factored in demographic differences between parties. Whites and the religiously observant are both more likely to be Republicans and more likely to report having happy marriages.
But the gap did not disappear. Even among people with the same demographic profile, Republicans are slightly more likely than Democrats to say they are happily married. The seven-percentage-point gap that exists between Republicans and Democrats without any demographic controls shrinks to three percentage points with those controls.
The findings are broadly consistent with previous work, also based on national surveys, finding that Republicans are happier with their lives than Democrats on average and also more likely to be married.