Evangelicals have the highest divorce rates - Atheists the lowest

Odd… I would have thought committed evangelicals would have substantially lower divorce rates.

Evangelicals: Why Do We Have the Highest Divorce Rate?

This is not really surprising to me. Conservative Christianity not only declares that the only proper place for sex is within marriage, which results in people getting married who really only want to have sex, but also holds marriage up as an ideal in itself, strongly promoting the idea that a healthy, normal adult gets married and raises a family. In that sort of culture, it’s not a surprise that many people would get married who aren’t suited to it, or to the particular person they are marrying.

You learn alot about someone when you live with them. “Living together” is discouraged so you never get the chance to find out she snores like a Sopwith Camel or he tosses and turns for 3 hours before finally settling into sleep.

Its also impossible to avoid the bad days. When you live separately and have to work overtime, deal with annoying family issues, or just feeling pissy, you can avoid your S/O for a few hours till its handled sparing them the drama. Once you are married you get it all from both sides. Someone is always getting married/pregnant/dead/divored/whatever.

This issue is highly debated. Here’s one take on it:


This says that divorce is primarily related to income, age at marriage, and geographical region. The poorer you are and the younger you marry, the more likely you are to get divorced. Certain geographical regions have higher rates of divorce than other regions. Evangelicals tend to be poorer than average and to get married younger. They also live in certain regions. Also, the studies claiming that Evangelicals get divorced more are using nothing for their measure of whether the person surveyed is Evangelical but their claim on a survey form to belong to a denomination and not how often they go to church, In reply to this, there are claims that in fact if you chose people with similar incomes, marriage ages, and geographical location, those who go to church more often are less likely to get divorced. There is other research claiming just the opposite.

Look, I know you want a definitive answer to this question, but can you accept that there isn’t one at the moment? There are a huge number of factors affecting the divorce rate. It’s not clear which of those factors affects the others. Nobody knows the complete story on this issue.

True, but the counterpoint that would need to be considered in a serious analysis of the topic is that breaking up after living together without marriage, possibly buying a house and/or having a kid, is a disruption not so different from divorce. Unstable couples who marry due to their faith result in a divorce, unstable couples who live together don’t get divorced, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t unpleasantness associated with the separation.

Why is anyone surprised that a holier-than-thou group of people who glory in finding fault in others and calling others sinful have a rough time in maintaining successful relationships.

Is this a fault that you find in them? Would do deem their behavior to be wrongful?

There is a killer joke just waiting to bust out of this, but I’ll be damned if I can come up with it!

heh heh heh… my response to my (evangelical) parents’ complaints about my cohabitation resulting in divorce was that: if the goal here is to reduce divorce to lowest possible risk, then I shouldn’t be marrying an evangelical. They never had a good answer to that.

(BTW: first time cohabitators that marry their partner have a lower divorce rate than never-cohabitators.)

The evangelical community puts marriage waaaay up on a pedestal and presents it as something sacred/blissful/whatever, especially to women. With that much pressure to marry regardless of whether your personality is suited to it or not, and with no opportunity to truly to get to know your partner in an intimate context, it’s no surprise to me they have a much higher divorce rate. It’s made all the worse that women are pressurized to marry young and have babies young.

Throwing stones and all that…

Well, one question is how many Evangelicals are actually “committed Evangelicals” - and how many of them are involved in their church but don’t really walk the walk? There are lots of reasons to join a church other than belief. You may join a church because of the social opportunities it affords - because in your community, everyone goes to New Life Evangelical. Or because your parents belong. Because you want to give your children a religious foundation. Or maybe you are a shitty human being and belong to a church because you hope (or believe) it will make you a better human being - or allow God to overlook your daily transgressions.

And that tends towards misogyny. I’d expect the men to be much more likely than average to neglect, harass or abuse their wives, and much more likely to simply discard her when a younger one comes along.

I don’t follow your logic here re judging sinful behavior > misogyny. While I’m not an evangelical by any means the evangelicals I do know are generally very respectful and deferential toward their wives, which is why I was surprised at the divorce rate, and partially why I asked the question…

astro, notice that in the link you give that mainline Protestants have a divorce rate only a little above that of agnostics and atheists. The noticeably higher divorce rate is actually true only for those that belong to “non-denominational” churches. These are the people who (supposedly) attend churches not affiliated with the best-known denominations. These churches are the ones that tend to think of themselves as Evangelical.

Note, though, that all that was apparently asked of people was what church they considered themselves to be part of. They did not ask them if they actually attended the church regularly. What denomination most Americans (claim to) belong to is very heavily correlated with what region of the country they live in, how much money they make, and how educated they are. These factors are in turn correlated with the rate of divorce. So is it people’s religion that influences their divorce rate or is it their location, income, and education? Nobody knows. Some studies claim that if you hold location, income, region, and education constant, church attendance actually decreases the rate of divorce. Some studies claim the opposite.

In any case, you’re not going to get an unbiased answer here. Notice that most posters aren’t even trying to cite sociological studies. They’re answering from their own feelings about Evangelicals. This is one of the issues where people have problems separating their personal feelings from an objective answer to the question.

No not wrongful at all and not a fault. It is just with such behavior, I would not be surprised if they would tend towards things like divorce.

I always thought that denominations like Southern Baptists, Evangelical Free, Missionary Alliance, Sovereign Grace, and most Charismatic and Pentacostal Churches would also be evangelical?

Trust me, evangelicals are just like everyone else. They just hide impulses in secret.

My very evangelical, non-denominational church that I grew up in had problems with a member who was a boy molester. The elders went to a lawyer specifically for the purpose of making sure they weren’t obliged to tattle him to the law. They prayed with him and that was it (until he did his molesting again a few years later and got caught publicly).

Religion creates pressures on people to be something they aren’t, and that has to have an outlet somewhere. Sure, upbringing might result in a marginally better behaved person–but that is balanced by extreme pressures in other directions. Something like 98% of the Internet traffic in my conservative Christian campus was porn, and my relative who supposedly had no sex until marriage had a huge problem with porn to the extent that it was interfering with his life and schoolwork.

The higher divorce rate can be simply explained by people who are both pressurized to marry the wrong person, and people who are themselves pressurized to put on the squeaky-clean mask of someone who they aren’t.

So, the evangelicals you know, just -seem- clean and nice people.

All of you have it wrong. You see, because atheists are already going to hell, Satan doesn’t have to corrupt them. Evangelicals, being good Christians, are tempted by Satan much more frequently than other groups, hence the higher divorce rate.

yeah, probably.

Because God hates all the bickering whining couples stuck together complaining in Heaven.
Best to nip it in the bud.