Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Liberals and family

A reader claimed in the comments of the last post that liberals live very traditional lifestyles. This is simply not true.

From the General Social Survey (years 2000-2010):

Percent Married

Extremely liberal 29.5
Liberal 36.5
Slightly liberal 43.0
Moderate 46.2
Slightly conservative 50.6
Conservative 58.1
Extremely conservative 57.1

And even though there are fewer liberals who have ever been married and who therefore can get divorced, their rate of divorce is higher:

Percent Divorced

Extremely liberal 17.6
Liberal 17.1
Slightly liberal 15.5
Moderate 14.8
Slightly conservative 14.2
Conservative 12.2
Extremely conservative 12.8

Liberals are also more likely to be unfaithful:

Percent ever cheated on spouse

Extremely liberal 26.1
Liberal 23.6
Slightly liberal 19.7
Moderate 18.2
Slightly conservative 17.9
Conservative 14.0
Extremely conservative 14.0

Percent who cohabited before marriage (1994--most recent year)

Extremely liberal 53.3
Liberal 43.3
Slightly liberal 35.4
Moderate 29.1
Slightly conservative 23.5
Conservative 23.1
Extremely conservative 5.9

Percent of married who have no children

Extremely liberal 23.1
Liberal 19.3
Slightly liberal 17.9
Moderate 13.2
Slightly conservative 12.4
Conservative 10.8
Extremely conservative 7.0


  1. Yeah, that'll leave a mark.

  2. Can you control for class? There seems to be a large subset of upper-middle-class professionals who follow all the old rules but vote Democrat.

  3. "There seems to be a large subset of upper-middle-class professionals who follow all the old rules but vote Democrat."

    Numerically this is not an enormous number. They are just the elite of the Democratic party.

  4. I found much the same in my analysis. Liberal women are less likely to marry in the first place and more likely to divorce. They also have far fewer children on average (i.e., liberals are breeding themselves out).

    In general, liberals are not as marriage- and child-oriented as are conservatives. Indeed, it seems that liberals (and perhaps, high-IQ people in general) are very choosy about their marriage partners, and are less likely to stick it out if things go awry. But, as I explained in my post, this is result of liberals being predominantly slow-breeders, and are less singly focused on the things that favor reproduction.

  5. So, liberals are depraved and delusional. Is this news?

    At least their depravity is self-regulating and subject to Darwinian extinction.

  6. "Numerically this is not an enormous number. They are just the elite of the Democratic party."

    Then they probably don't show up on the GSS. Cool. Thanks!

  7. @SFG, @Dan

    Read up on Andrew Gelman and Charles Murray. They generally support the idea that there is a "Large subset of upper-middle-class professionals who follow all the old rules but vote Democrat.

    Gelman has found that most of the ideological divide is in the upper class between red and blue states. Specfically, the rich in Republican states are very Republican, whereas the rich in blue states are moderately Democratic. The lower classes in all states are moderately Democratic.

    Murray has found that the upper classes still tend to be the ones who get married, stay married, go to church, take part in civics, etc. So the commenter who thought that liberals live conservative lifestyles probably lives in a blue state and spends most of his time with upper-middle class people, which is a biased sample of liberals as a whole.

  8. "Can you control for class? There seems to be a large subset of upper-middle-class professionals who follow all the old rules but vote Democrat."

    Then, if you control for class, the non-traditional lifestlye of liberals wil be even more visible

  9. van Rooinek3:18 PM

    the upper classes still tend to be the ones who get married, stay married, go to church, take part in civics, etc.

    Causal arrow?

    Are the upper classes really more monogamous, religious, and civic-minded?

    Or, does being religous, monogamous, and civic minded, make you more likely to become (or remain) upper class?

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