Liberals are less likely to be married or have children. This is, without a doubt, a real phenomenon. The 2005 Pew study (blogged about previously) shows that only 27% of Liberals are in the category “parent, child living at home,” while the rate for all respondents was 37%. Similarly, 44% of Liberals are married while 54% of the entire sample is married.
Furthermore, Steve Sailer has done some great analysis showing that a state’s white fertility rate is highly correlated with Bush’s share of the vote in that state in the 2004 election.
But no one has a good explanation for why this phenomenon is happening. I have five suggestions, and I don’t know which might be correct:
(1) Because liberals are so disagreeable and/or ugly, people don’t want to have sex with them or marry them.
(2) Because liberals have no qualms about pre-marital sex, they have their sexual urges fully satisfied without getting married. If a liberal woman accidentally gets pregnant, she has no problem with getting an abortion. But square conservative Christian types feel guilty about pre-marital sex so they get married. (This is sort of the opposite of the previous explanation. I don’t like this explanation because it vastly oversimplifies the connection between Christianity and people’s political views.)
(3) Something about being liberal is correlated with not wanting to be married or have children. (I think this has some merit and bears further investigation.)
(4) Liberals do want to have children, but because they live in blue states where the cost of living is so high, they can’t afford to have any. (I find this reasoning to be an example of incorrect analysis of cause and effect. Liberal policies cause the cost of living to be high [I previously explained why], not the other way around. However this explanation seems to be part of the basis for Steve Sailer’s most recent column.)
(5) Liberals do get married and have children with the same frequency as everyone else, but what happens is that after they have children their politics change. Perhaps this is because they are responding to a strong biological urge to give their own children more resources and advantages. So they become greedy and self-interested and stop being concerned about the plight of the less fortunate, and they change their voting behavior and political attitudes accordingly.