Christian Divorce on the Rise
As reported by the Daily Texan from the University of Texas at Austin, Jennifer Glass, a sociology professor from the University of Iowa, presented some surprising findings when she revealed the results of her recent study on rising divorce rates in areas of the country populated mostly with conservative Christians. Glass was quoted in the Texan saying “Politically and religiously conservative states, especially in the Deep South, exhibit higher divorce rates than politically and religiously liberal states in the Northeast and Midwest.”
It is a fact that many young conservative Christians get married early in life. The trend is reinforced by other factors like the prohibition of sex before marriage and indoctrination against abortion and birth control. The pressures can lead to more quickie, shotgun weddings at earlier ages and, according to Glass, more divorces. The average age of marriage for all American women is around 27, and the Christian couples who marry earlier than that are at risk of experiencing financial problems due to less education and increased unemployment, increasing the risk factors for divorce at the same time.
Glass also pointed out that Christian couples are less likely to cohabit before marriage and people who live in less religious and more liberal areas are more likely to live together for extended periods of time. Despite any debate on the morality of cohabitation prior to marriage, it has been shown that cohabitation can actually reduce the risk factors for divorce later in a relationship.
Certain segments of the U.S. population have divorce rates that are much lower than average. It has been shown that married women with college degrees and household incomes over $70,000 do not get as many divorces as the rest of the nation. In light of Professor Glass’ study it seems conservative Christians will have to re-examine their beliefs if they want to address their higher-than-average and rising divorce rate.