Thursday, December 03, 2009

Black men, church, and cheating

All the noise about Tiger Woods reminded me of a question I wanted to look into: Are married, churchgoing black men less likely to cheat? 

The table (GSS data) shows the percent of married black guys who have ever cheated by church attendance. The variable ATTEND produced cells with very small sample sizes, so I collapsed them into three categories: rarely (never attends to once a year); occasionally (several times a year to 2-3 times a month); and often (nearly every week to more than weekly). This strategy puts roughly one-third of men into each category.

While men who attend occasionally are not significantly less likely to cheat than those who attend rarely, frequent churchgoers have significantly lower rates. Rare attenders are almost 1 1/2 times more likely to be unfaithful.

This sort of analysis cannot identify cause and effect, but there is evidence here that if you're married to a black man who goes to church all the time, you've got better odds that he's not fooling around. I'm particularly impressed with this fact, given that one meets many fine women at church.  

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