Living near Evangelicals is bad for your marriage.
More religiously conservative Protestants? More divorce, study finds - latimes.com
Researchers discovered that higher divorce rates among conservative Protestants were tied to earlier marriages and childbearing – factors known to ramp up divorce. Starting families earlier tends to stop young adults from pursuing more education and depresses their wages, putting more strain on marriages, University of Texas at Austin professor Jennifer Glass said.
But the study went a step further: Glass and another researcher also discovered that people living in areas with lots of conservative Protestants were at higher risk of getting divorced, even if they weren’t conservative Protestants themselves.
County by county, for every 1% increase in the share of conservative Protestants compared with mainline Protestants, the divorce rate increased 0.02%, the study found. Glass argued that community institutions in such areas might encourage early marriage, affecting divorce rates for everyone who lives there.
“Pharmacies might not give out emergency contraception. Schools might only teach abstinence education,” Glass added. On top of that, “if you live in a marriage market where everybody marries young, you postpone marriage at your own risk. The best catches … are going to go first.”
The study also found that it was not poverty nor higher rates of marriage, on the whole, that were driving up divorce in “red” counties, as others had theorized.