An important piece that will make plenty of people I know squirm (or worse), but truth is often like that.

As we watch Roy Moore thumping his Bible to defend himself from accusations of child molestation, let me toss out a verbal hand grenade: To some degree, liberals practice the values that conservatives preach.

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According to the Youth Risk Behavior Survey of 32 states, those with the highest percentage of high school students who say they have had sex are Mississippi, Delaware, West Virginia, Alabama and Arkansas. All but Delaware voted Republican in the last presidential election.

Meanwhile, the five states with the lowest proportion of high school students who have had sex were New York, California, Maryland, Nebraska and Connecticut. All but Nebraska voted Democratic.

When evangelical kids have sex, they’re less likely to use birth control — and that may be a reason (along with lower abortion rates) that red states have high teen birthrates.

Nine of the 10 states with the highest teen birthrates voted Republican in 2016. And nine of the 10 states with the lowest teen birthrates voted Democratic.

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Divorce rates show a similar pattern: They tend to be higher in red states than in blue states, with Arkansas highest of all. “Individual religious conservatism is positively related to individual divorce risk,” according to a 50-state study reported in the American Journal of Sociology.

Then there’s adultery and prostitution. One large international survey found that the largest group of customers on Ashley Madison, the dating website for married people, were evangelical Christians. And a major 2013 study found that men in the Houston and Kansas City metro areas were the most likely to call sex ads, while men in San Francisco and Baltimore were the least likely to.

 

There's a lot more nuance and details in the piece, which I encourage you to read before dismissing the it or start gloating. There's good and bad on both sides of this debate, for sure. But the important point to me is this: Believing in a set of principles, no matter how worthy, will not do anybody any good if you model behaviour that you don't want to see your children imitate. Virtue signaling is at best useless. Adults showing with the actions what desirable outcomes look like works a lot better. Kids learn by watching us act, not by listening to our words. In matters of sex as in anything else.