Taken Captive By Culture (I)

The story ran nationwide with various iterations on a theme:  more divorces in the South, fewer in the Northeast. Living in the South and holding a high view of marriage, I bristled because this simplistic reportage leaves so much unsaid.

The Washington Post took an unusual angle, addressing singles in an opening paragraph I’ll summarize:  Hope to hear wedding bells? Then move to the South or West — but beware! Your chances of divorce will also increase. [Did I mention simplistic reportage?!]

The Post deemed the Census report a “first-of-its-kind analysis.” Similarly, USAToday ran a story by Sharon Jayson noting it “gives the clearest picture in 20 years ….” Jayson also stressed regional patterns. Her lead:

Where you live may influence your attitudes and actions toward marriage and divorce more than you think, suggests a federal report out today that gives the clearest picture in 20 years about the evolution of marriage and divorce across the USA.

(I’ll discuss the Census report later.) First, I must quibble with the USAToday piece. Jayson’s reference to ” … the evolution of marriage and divorce across the USA” insinuates marriage is a capricious, moving target! It is not. Continue reading “Taken Captive By Culture (I)”