If someone were to ask how one has a successful dinner party in this day and age, the response might be to avoid talking about religion and politics. They are two hot-button subjects that tend to spark debate when individual opinions vary. Avoiding them and “talking about the weather” is a way to minimize the risk that tension will arise or that tempers will flare.

Although avoiding these subjects might make for a more amenable dinner party, they are subjects that are inextricably linked to our personal lives. If you are on the nurture side of the argument, you might say that these subjects help shape who we are. According to one divorce analyst, they also help shape the divorce picture across the United States.

The analyst is Professor Jennifer Glass, a demographer that conducted a study that will be published in the American Journal of Sociology. The study is titled “Red States, Blue States, and Divorce: Understanding the Impact of Conservative Protestantism on Regional Variation in Divorce Rates.”

Data showing that divorce rates were higher in red states than in blue states prompted her to ask the question “why?” Glass noted that conservative Protestantism tends to be higher in red states, and used this as the basis for her research.

Her study concluded that it is the doctrines practiced prior to marriage that are causing the spike in divorce numbers. These include abstinence-only training, avoiding cohabitation prior to marriage, limited contraception and a culture of marrying young, all of which Glass claims “decrease marital stability.”

The conclusion may be interesting to note, but the truth is that it is one analyst’s take on a narrow set of data. There may be many more factors driving divorce rates that weren’t included in this study.

No matter what drives someone to seek divorce, Ohio state divorce laws don’t change depending on your political affiliation or whether you believe that abstinence is the best policy. Although all Ohio divorces are conducted under the same set of laws, the unique circumstances of each individualized situation make finding the right divorce attorney something a spouse shouldn’t avoid.

Source: The Huffington Post, “‘Red’ States Have Higher Divorce Rates Than ‘Blue’ States, And Here’s Why,” Jan. 21, 2014