Culture

Red vs. Blue — Data Shows the Value of Right Households

Given the prominence of sex in culture, three stories provide an interesting opportunity for discourse about intercourse.

Robin Smith · Jun. 26, 2017

Sex has always been a part of the human experience, and it’s always played an important role in culture — for better or, usually, worse. Three recent stories provide an interesting opportunity for discourse about intercourse.

First, partisan affiliation impacts habits in the bedroom, says the Institute for Family Studies. Citing the “public imagination” as one reason for the research, let’s see if some of the findings satisfy your fancy or if the logic found behind party association provides some of the answers. While sex certainly has a pervasive presence in our culture, the role of the worldview — the set of guiding principles that include faith, politics and overall application of virtues daily — has a greater influence on one’s approach to sex, fidelity and marriage.

In his recent analysis, Professor Nicholas Wolfinger of the University of Utah explains how the original work of W. Bradford Wilcox spurred his curiosity about politics and sex. In “Sex in Red and Blue America,” Wolfinger builds on Wilcox’s studies recording that “more conservative counties across the country have more marriage, less nonmarital childbearing, and more family stability for their children than do more liberal counties.”

Over a four-year window from 2010 through 2014, a General Social Survey conducted documented that 40% of participants 20-60 years old who identified as Democrats were currently married, contrasted to 57% of Republicans of the same age. Of Democrats who had ever been married in the poll, the divorce rate was 47% compared to 41% of identically sampled Republicans.

The conclusion of the Wilcox work added to the pool of research that shows church attendance and religious observance were identifiable contributors to the trend showing Republicans in happier relationships and marriages.

Building on this research, Wolfinger wanted to tease out the data to see if sexual behavior or differences in the Red versus Blue bedrooms might contribute to marital bliss in the overall marriage statistics.

Returning to the General Social Survey, but using 25 years of recorded information dating back to 1972, Wolfinger assures that his study controlled for factors such as age, race, ethnicity and calendar year of the data compared. Wolfinger says that compared directly to Democrats, individuals who identify as political independents have 22% more sex and Republicans have 11% more intercourse. What might interest the reader is that one explanation of the variance is attributed to educational status with those surveyed who had at least a four-year college degree having fewer sexual encounters.

In a perpendicular finding, Democrats and Independents cheat on their spouses more than Republicans. Using the same head-to-head comparisons and controls, Republicans cheated 25% less than Democrats in their relationships while Independents showed no statistical difference in the rates of extramarital sex. As one might deduce, church attendance and religious affiliations where key.

So now you know.

Second, let’s extrapolate this information to teens. The Washington Post just published a finding that fewer than 50% of surveyed adolescents have sex during their teen years. This data certainly saddens the folks at “Planned Parenthood” — winner of the most fraudulent moniker of an organization — and the “free birth control for all” crowd. Whether the Red versus Blue households are diametrically linked, it is obvious that the beliefs of parents in a household will impact the children of said household.

In a Heritage Foundation report published 10 years ago, teens who are sexually active were shown to have higher rates of negative behavioral issues and consequences. Dr. Robert Rector noted that teens who abstained from sex were 50% less likely to drop out of school, 60% less likely to be expelled from school, and almost twice as likely to graduate from college. Rector, looking at the health of sexually active teens versus those who abstained, noted higher rates of depression, suicide attempts, sexually transmitted diseases and complications of unplanned pregnancies in the more active ones.

In 2008, Rector’s Heritage colleague Christine Kim echoed many of these same findings and tied these data together regarding Red versus Blue parent households. Kim wrote, “Parents, as teens themselves reveal, are the ones who have the most influence on their children’s decisions about sex. Indeed, two-thirds of all teens share their parents’ values on this topic.” The conclusion, as her piece notes, is that teen sex is greatly influenced by the parental factor.

Clearly, abstinence among teens has a proven value. Parents who talk with their children about their self-worth, personal value and abstinence have a greater likelihood of having children who abstain.

So, foundationally, the beliefs of a family, hence individuals of a society that comprise these families, clearly impact the value assigned to one’s sexual relationship as monogamous and within the vows of a marriage.

Third and finally, an attempt to incorporate monogamous sex and marriage within the homosexual community hasn’t taken hold following the 2015 Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage nationwide.

After two years of legal same-sex marriages, how has that practice fared? Before the Court’s ruling, 7.9% of LGBT Americans were married to their same-sex partner. Gallup reports, as of June 22, that figure has risen only to 10.2%. Yet over that same period, the national tracking poll finds a dramatic drop in same-sex domestic partners from 12.8% to 6.6%.

Despite the magnitude of LGBTQ activism through TV shows, media propaganda and Hollywood hissy-fits, the demand for same-sex marriage was not overwhelming and, as the data show, same-sex partnerships appear in the decline.

So what’s the lesson from these three strands of information about one of our most basic human functions? Conservative parents should remember what great influence they have within society. Study after study proves that when adults are present and active in the home, their behavior is modeled — in sex, in marriages, in religious decisions and choices and, eventually, in political leanings. Keep calm and parent to the Right.

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