Sunday, October 05, 2008

Married conservatives are happier than married liberals


In my previous post, a reader named Jewish Atheist claims that conservatives have lower divorce rates than liberals due to the fact that conservatives stay in unhappy marriages because their religions say they shouldn't get a divorce. He asserts this with no evidence, so let me help him out.

The chart above shows how happy people are with their marriage by political orientation. If JA is right, unhappy marriages among conservatives should be more common than among liberals (who supposedly break up if they are dissatisfied). It turns out that just the opposite is true: conservaties have happier marriages. To be precise, 62.4% of liberals are very happily married, while 67.9% of conservatives are (shown in red).

Jewish Atheist, being the logically consistent commenter that he is, will retort that the religions of conservatives will insist they always tell the truth, which means the happiness gap with liberals is actually even larger since conservatives will not give the socially desirable answer of being happy when they really aren't like irreligious liberals will sometimes do. Uhm, oops, I guess that doesn't work out for him.

4 comments:

Jewish Atheist said...

In my previous post, a reader named Jewish Atheist claims that conservatives have lower divorce rates than liberals due to the fact that conservatives stay in unhappy marriages because their religions say they shouldn't get a divorce. He asserts this with no evidence, so let me help him out.

I asserted only that they are "probably more likely" to stay in unhappy marriages. Your chart does seem to show I was wrong. I'm fine admitting that. I've long accepted the fact that conservatives are slightly happier in general.

SFG said...

No offense dude, but 62 versus 67 percent does not strike me as a resounding argument for the superiority of conservatism.

SFG said...

Did you try restricting it to smart people? You checked marital status of smart people and marital happiness of all people. Do the other two graphs, I'm really curious as to what we'll find. Really.

Jewish Atheist said...

80% to 20% wouldn't make conservativism right either. Most people should probably try to live like conservatives. That doesn't mean conservative POLICY is any good.