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The end of marrige inthe blue states.

Jcecil posts this article on his blog yesterday that on the surface looks like the blue states have lower divorce rates than the red states do.

He goes on to opine that perhaps that is because the blue states have higher Catholic populations, and Catholics frown on divorce, that is why the rate is lower. As statistically Catholics divorce at the same rate as the rest of the population, just with more angst, I don't think that's it. He ends by saying he thinks the economy is better in the blues and that's why there is less divorce.

I'm wondering if perhaps the state of marriage in the blue states is going the way of Scandinavia, where there is so much cohabitation that the marriage and divorce statistics are now meaningless in this part of the country.

Earlier this year I did a multipart blogging on the article, The End of Marriage in Scandinavia. This is listed in the "Must Read" section on my side bar. That article said:

Yet the half-page statistical analysis of heterosexual marriage in Darren Spedale's unpublished paper doesn't begin to get at the truth about the decline of marriage in Scandinavia during the nineties. Scandinavian marriage is now so weak that statistics on marriage and divorce no longer mean what they used to.

Take divorce. It's true that in Denmark, as elsewhere in Scandinavia, divorce numbers looked better in the nineties. But that's because the pool of married people has been shrinking for some time. You can't divorce without first getting married. Moreover, a closer look at Danish divorce in the post-gay marriage decade reveals disturbing trends. Many Danes have stopped holding off divorce until their kids are grown. And Denmark in the nineties saw a 25 percent increase in cohabiting couples with children. With fewer parents marrying, what used to show up in statistical tables as early divorce is now the unrecorded breakup of a cohabiting couple with children.

JCecil further opined:
No matter which theory you buy, the more important lesson is that opposition to gay marriage, which is popular in red states and unpopular in blue states, has little to no impact on saving heterosexual marriages

Actually the End of Marriage in Scandinavia said this:

MARRIAGE IS SLOWLY DYING IN SCANDINAVIA. A majority of children in Sweden and Norway are born out of wedlock. Sixty percent of first-born children in Denmark have unmarried parents. Not coincidentally, these countries have had something close to full gay marriage for a decade or more. Same-sex marriage has locked in and reinforced an existing Scandinavian trend toward the separation of marriage and parenthood. The Nordic family pattern--including gay marriage--is spreading across Europe. And by looking closely at it we can answer the key empirical question underlying the gay marriage debate. Will same-sex marriage undermine the institution of marriage? It already has.

More precisely, it has further undermined the institution. The separation of marriage from parenthood was increasing; gay marriage has widened the separation. Out-of-wedlock birthrates were rising; gay marriage has added to the factors pushing those rates higher. Instead of encouraging a society-wide return to marriage, Scandinavian gay marriage has driven home the message that marriage itself is outdated, and that virtually any family form, including out-of-wedlock parenthood, is acceptable.

I'm wondering if maybe the difference in values in the blue states regarding cohabitation and the acceptance of same sex marriage is already changing the meaning of their divorce statistics to the point that they are meaningless when compared to the rest of the country.

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