Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Who's Harming Marriage? Gays ... Or Southern Baptists? Another Christian Right Meme Bites The Dust.

The Christian Right's chief meme against same-sex marriage is that it will "harm" traditional marriage. Exactly HOW it will harm traditional marriage, however, they don't seem to know ... or care. Is it possible that they're shielding their own harmful attitudes on marriage? A new study put out by the University of Texas at Austin points to a higher rate of divorce among social conservatives with a few new perspectives (surprises).

     "Divorce is higher among religiously conservative Protestants – and even drives up divorce rates for other people living around them, a new study finds.
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."
And now a segue to the Christian Right's latest icon, Phil Robertson:


"They got to where they're getting hard to find, mainly because these boys are waiting 'til they get to be about 20 years old before they marry 'em," Robertson says in a video clip that resurfaced Monday. "Look, you wait 'til they get to be 20 years old, the only picking that's going to take place is your pocket. You got to marry these girls when they are about 15 or 16. They'll pick your ducks."
Second-Hand Divorce
"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."
Kinda like second-hand smoke and cancer. Unfortunately, there is still no data to show that when gays move into the neighborhood, the divorce rates rise. Wonder why? Interestingly, the state with the greatest number of years of same-sex marriage has the LOWEST divorce rate in the country: Massachusetts. Iowa and New York were also low. And states like Tennessee, West Virginia, Arkansas, North Carolina, Mississippi? Clustered around the top of the divorce rate charts.

The UTA study may be on to something.

From The American Psychological Association:

"Scientists have found that the psychological and social aspects of committed relationships between same-sex partners largely resemble those of heterosexual partnerships. Like heterosexual couples, same-sex couples form deep emotional attachments and commitments. Same-sex and heterosexual couples alike face similar issues concerning intimacy, love, loyalty and stability, and they go through similar processes to address those issues. Empirical research also shows that lesbian and gay couples have levels of relationship satisfaction similar to or higher than those of heterosexual couples."  
"...or higher." Very interesting.

This author's personal take on the "harming traditional marriage" idea: I could see that some Fundamentalist wives might find out marriage can be more equitable than they had thought and become disgusted with their situation: in the extreme, they could see two handsome, considerate, loving men, then turn to look at the inconsiderate, misogynistic slobs on the couches and say to themselves "what was I thinking?" On the distaff side, those same slobs might feel threatened, thinking that they might be forced to spruce up those qualities the wife thought were once (but no longer) attractive.

One disheartened woman put it this way: "I long for the good old days when the good men were either married or gay. Now they're both."

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