Despite what the media claims, those who believe in family values show it by their behavior.
The media and Democrats are using allegations about Roy Moore to despise family values. They also act like voting for Donald Trump was hypocritical.
But the plural of “anecdote” is not “data.” The fact is that Republicans are a distinct culture that tries to live (with some success) according to the values they espouse.
Bradford Wilcox and Vijay Menon write at Politico Magazine, “No, Republicans Aren’t Hypocrites on Family Values.”
Indeed, when we look not at states but at counties in the United States, we see that counties that lean Republican across the country as a whole have more marriage, less nonmarital childbearing, and more family stability than counties that lean Democratic. In fact, an Institute for Family Studies report I authored found, “teens in red counties are more likely to be living with their biological parents, compared to children living in bluer counties.” So, even at the community level, the story about marriage and family instability looks a lot different depending on whether or not one is looking at state or county trends. At the county level, then, the argument that Red America is doing worse than Blue America isn’t true.
Finally, when we turn to the individual level, the conservatives-are-family-values-hypocrites thesis really falls apart. Republicans are more likely to be married, and happily married, than independents and Democrats, as Nicholas Wolfinger and I recently showed in a research brief for the Institute for Family Studies. They are also less likely to cheat on their spouses and less likely to be divorced, compared with independents and Democrats.
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