Red Sex, Blue Sex
Relationship Norms in a Divided America
This chapter discusses how political culture is reflected in young Americans’ sexual choices. For liberal or “blue” young adults, preparing for their careers takes precedence. While more sexually permissive in perspective than conservative or “red” young adults, their actual sexual behavior is slower to develop, and when it does is disconnected — often for several years — from marriage and fertility. Among reds, sex is often experienced earlier than among blues, and is more closely connected to religion, marriage, childbearing, and family. While premarital sex is common among reds, it remains associated with the institution of marriage. Reds that take their religion and education seriously are among the least sexually active of Americans, however. Ramifications of conservative and liberal behavior patterns for the emergence of the Second Demographic Transition in America are discussed.
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