« Do Cats Have Elbows? | Main | Pockets are Sexist. And iPhones. Also, Bicycles »

October 02, 2014

Correlation, Causation, and the Marriage Gap

Interesting stats on the correlation between voting patterns and marital status:

The storied election gender gap that for years has shown a broad political division between men and women is morphing into a marriage gap where married men and women are the Republican side of the new divide and unmarried men and women are Democrats.

The latest proof was revealed in a new Economist/YouGov poll that overall showed women back Democrats over Republicans, 48 percent to 30 percent. But when the population is divided, the poll finds that married women favor Republicans over Democrats 41 percent to 34 percent, unmarrieds prefer Democrats 52 percent to 22 percent.

“Democrats don’t get the support of all kinds of women,” said the poll analysis.

“There is also a marriage gap among men. Married men favor the GOP by more than two to one. Unmarried men support Democrats,” said Economist/YouGov.

So, does being married "cause" people of both sexes to lean right politically? And how about the pet theory of so many bloggers that women are somehow hard wired to vote for Democrats because... LADYPARTS!!!?

Analysts offer a number of theories about the marriage gap: married women are more financially stable and therefore less reliant on government assistance; they care less about reproductive issues than about their pocketbooks and security; when they marry, they adopt their husbands’ political preferences. But the obvious reason for the marriage gap is that for several decades now, married women have become likelier to be white, educated, affluent, and older—demographic groups that leaned Republican in this election. Romney lost the black, Hispanic, and Asian vote, while he won the college-educated vote (though not post-grads), the votes of those making over $50,000 a year, and the votes of older Generation X-ers, Baby Boomers, and voters over 65. In other words, married women voted less as part of a sisterhood than as part of a cohort of white people holding college diplomas, earning more than $50,000 a year, and wearing reading glasses.

Similarly, unmarried women voted just the way you’d expect them to, considering their age, income, education, race, and ethnicity. A large number of unmarried women are single mothers—and minorities are disproportionately represented among that population. More than 30 percent of single mothers are Hispanic, and 28 percent are black, even though Hispanics are just 17 percent of the population and blacks 12 percent. Single mothers are also likely to be younger, less educated, and poorer than married women are. Sure enough, all these groups went Democratic in this election. The category “single women” also includes childless women in their twenties and thirties. These are by definition part of the “youth vote,” which went heavily for Obama, regardless of gender.

Men, too, have a marriage gap, though it’s a less dramatic one. Sixty-two percent of married men voted Republican, while 55 percent of single men voted Democratic. No surprise: single men, like single women, are more likely to have lower incomes, to be young, and to be black or Hispanic. The question is whether younger voters are only temporary Democrats. If long-term trends continue, the large majority of Millennials will marry eventually. At that point, they may change their political habits and vote the way previous cohorts of married men and married women have. Or they may remain Democrats, representing a permanent generational shift. It’s an open question—but one in which gender plays only a tangential role.

All of this reminds the Editorial Staff of Obama's surety that old, white ladies clutching their purses in elevators is proof positive of racism. It couldn't possibly be that women in large cities are nervous anytime they're alone in an elevator with a man. Or that a black woman would probably react the same way.

Black men in large cities are afraid of other black men, and crime statistics show they're right to feel that way:

...there's also this false narrative being pushed out there by folks like Michael Eric Dyson and [Al] Sharpton and the rest of the hustlers is that black men live in fear of being shot by cops in these neighborhoods. That too is nonsense. I know something about growing up black and male in the inner city and it's not that hard to avoid getting shot by a cop. They pull you over, you answer their questions, you are on your way.

The real difficulty is not getting shot by other black people if you are a young black man in these neighborhoods and again that is something we need to talk more about. Cops are not the problem. Cops are not producing these black bodies in the morgues every weekend in Chicago, in New York and Detroit and so forth. That's not cops. Those other black people shooting black people.

We love to construct elaborate stories to make the world line up with our preconceived biases: white women uniquely fear black men because... racism! Women belonging to demographic groups that already vote Democrat do so because feminists have programmed them to reject men and replace husbands with the welfare state. Or because women are just wired that way.

There couldn't possibly be any other explanation.

Posted by Cassandra at October 2, 2014 07:42 AM

Trackback Pings

TrackBack URL for this entry: