Wednesday, November 09, 2005

DovBear: Exposed

[NOTE: I'm not outing DovBear, so anyone who came from JRants hoping for that can skip this. I don't even know his name. I'm not really even discussing DB; I'm focusing on the Boston Globe op-ed he used to make a point. The title is gratuitous.]

[NOTE 2: Sorry this is choppy. It's taken from comments, not written as a straight piece; I'm also working on an accounting assignment, and using a school computer, not my own.]

DovBear made a point in his elections roundup about Texas that I thought was unfair:
BUT THOSE OBNOXIOUS HATS ARE STILL LEGAL? Texas approved a ban on same-sex marriages. Supporters are crowing that this new measure will do much preserve the sanctity of marriage in Texas, a place where the divorce rate hovers at 4.1 per 1000 population. (In Massachusetts, where same sex marriage is legal, the divorce rate is 2.4, proving once again that Texans are idiots) (Sorry Mirty. You should move. You're much too smart for that state.)
But the op-ed that notes Texas' divorce rate in relation to Massachusetts' is skewed. It fails to take into account many factors, which I mentioned to DovBear:
The article also manages to ignore the fact that liberals are less likely to care about getting married in the first place. If the statistics were "how many sexual partners one is no longer with" it would be interesting to see where the rates were highest.

Notice the statistic: "per thousand people". Not per thousand marriages, or some other measure. There are likely more gays and lesbians in the New England states than Texas or the Bible Belt; which would reduce (save Mass. regarding the gay/lesbian crowd) the number of people who can possibly get divorced, because they're NOT MARRIED.
And before I get jumped on for, "liberals are less likely to care about getting married in the first place", let me quote another point I made there:
Think about it - if religion doesn't matter (more common among liberals than cons.), or if someone's homosexual (usually lib. not cons.), then why would marriage matter?

Marriage is more important to conservatives than liberals, and therefore they are more likely to get married. By definition, the reverse (liberals are less likely to care about marriage) is true.
Divorces are more common among people who get married. (Duh.) The divorce rate per thousand people is a misguided measure. It should be measured per marriage, or some other way. The higher divorce rates per thousand among religious conservatives is due to the fact that a higher percentage of them are getting married. If you don't get married, a la liberal New Englanders, then you can't get divorced.

As a note, I originally misunderstood Dovie's mention of the Texas divorce rate. I thought he was implying that Texas' rate was high, and that they had little to talk about in terms of "preserving marriages" - that's not what his focus was, but it's interesting to note that Texas' divorce rate is below the national average.

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