Conservatives Take Dating, Marriage, and Child Rearing More Seriously


@EmbraceThePain recently asked a question here Do you think conservative men have better family values, take dating, marriage, and having children more seriously as opposed to non-conservative men? to which I wrote a rather long response so I figured I’d just turn it into a MyTake too.

Conservatives Take Dating, Marriage, and Child Rearing More Seriously

I’m not aware of any particular study ie demographic research that broaches the subject so I’m purely guessing here, but I think that there could be something to the idea that more conservative men (on average) take dating, marriage, and child rearing more seriously than their more liberal peers. I think this because of several reasons of which I’ll briefly list a few.
1) Conservatives tend to espouse a desire to “conserve” traditional norms in regards to dating and marriage. Is the belief that dating is for the purpose of finding a spouse and marriage should be between one man and woman “till death do we part”.
2) Conservatism is correlated with higher rates of religiosity and inversely liberalism is correlated with irreligiosity. This would understandably lead to a gap in certain norms as the largest religions have explicit regulations against divorce.
3) Conservatives have long been against the invention and promulgation of contraceptives and other birth control methods ie abortifacents. Most recently many conservatives have loosened their animus towards these birth control methods due to a shift in focus towards abortion itself. That said the vast majority of the anti-birth control movement finds itself on the conservative side. Ie Catholics still believe birth control is a sin and the famed mother Theresa spent much of her life fighting against the spread of reproductive control to places like Calcutta, India, Ireland, etc. In contrast liberals have fairly steadily been in favor of reproductive planning. I suppose the question of “do conservatives take having children more seriously” is then a matter of perspective. As a more liberal pro-family planning guy I consider my position to take having children more seriously in that you shouldn’t have children simply because you can’t withhold your sex drive, but rather you should carefully plan out when and how you want kids. A more conservative fellow may think that because these methods (barrier contraceptives and abortifacents) prevent the birth of a baby it’s taking our duty to propagate less seriously (or something to that effect help clarify if you’ve got a better version of the conservative argument here).

As for the broader question of “family values” in general I’d need more specifics on which values. If it’s on the relative value of ones family I struggle with seeing any reason for a notable difference between conservatives and liberals. If it’s on the value of siring kids and having a family (ie getting married) then there’s probably a notable distinction.

Conservatives Take Dating, Marriage, and Child Rearing More Seriously
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  • dantetheexplorer
    This is a very American-centric view of looking at things.
    Conservatives are like x, y, z.
    Liberals are like a, b, c.
    As if everyone fits into these little boxes neatly, cleanly.

    Real life - at least real life outside the United States - is rarely that neat, rarely that clean.

    For example, you want to talk about family and hard work and religion.
    I can point you to many parts of East Asia, where people just aren't religious at all - they're more spiritual, if anything.
    And yet, family is considered the number one priority for many East Asian families - no matter how bad your father is, no matter how they treat you, he is still your father, you are still his son or daughter. No matter how harsh your mother treats you, she is still the person who gave birth to you, she is still the person who brought you into this world.

    You want to talk about hard work?
    Children in that part of the world study like mad just to get into a good school.
    I know this because I remember all the times I fell asleep in after-school classes and I check my watch and see that it's 11.30 pm, and I had another 30 minutes to go before I could finish my class and go home to sleep.
    And yet, ours wasn't a religious family at all.

    Our parents sacrificed time and money on us, making sure that we attend after-school private classes, piano and violin lessons, get on swim teams, go for extra "social" classes, learn 5 different languages with our future in mind...
    Tiger Mother isn't fiction for many people.
    And yet, with all that, not very religious at all.

    People rarely fit neatly, cleanly into the little boxes like we imagine they do.
    People aren't items, people aren't products.
    Labels count for little when it comes to humans.
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • ladsin

      I tried to use the terms as broadly as possible ie “conservatives like to conserve traditional norms about dating and marriage.”

      Many of those eastern countries while not highly religious can still be really conservative in the “desire to conserve tradition” sense.

    • Girther10

      @dantetheexplorer-there are some who might say the example of yourself is the exception, rather than the rule. Or cherry picking for examples to counter the argument. The point is, generally speaking, over the long haul, from a seat in the balcony, conservatives are more likely to have traditional family values.

  • SkipStop
    You are correct. Conservatives pay more attention to preserving family values and the importance of family. Conservative men are the most masculine who strive for success and survival of their family. And women play their own role such as supporting the husband and filling in that gap he does not have time to do. It's a team effort. Yes, most conservatives are more religious. They find it peaceful, it raises their hopes and dreams which makes them happier. It's the best lifestyle. Liberals are pretty much the opposite. They don't care much about family. They just want to do whatever they want regardless if it's good for others or society overall. And they don't realize that they are actually setting themselves up for unhappiness later in life.
    LikeDisagree 5 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • ladsin

      Meh thanks for the response but I find it rather silly, or at least presumptuous. I see no good reason to believe that liberals by-and-large value their families less than their conservative counterparts. They may differ in their desire to produce offspring, but that doesn’t seem to be the same thing to me.

Most Helpful Girl

  • GigiMary
    I agree. As a conservative engaged to a conservative, we both have already talked over raising our future children religiously, morally, empathetically, with an emphasis on the value of hard work and persistence, facilitated by yours truly, their housewife mother.

    Also, to both of us dating was definitely about finding someone to marry. That certainly holds true. As for contraceptives? I disagree, they can play an important role in preventing abortion, which plays into the next part: We both strongly support the Right to Life. You have a right to live from conception until natural death.

    A lot of liberals I know tell their kids that they are uniquely special and that everything will come to them if they just follow their passion. What kind of parenting is that? Your kid isn't special unless they put in the work to stand out - in any field.
    LikeDisagree 10 People
    Is this still revelant?
    • ladsin


    • NyfikenSyd

      As a liberals, to both of us dating was definitely about finding someone to marry. We both have already talked over raising our future children non-religiously, morally, empathetically, with an emphasis on the value of hard work and persistence, facilitated equally by both parents.

      Honestly this article is bullshit. Liberalism isn't about not caring or less serious, the same way as conservatism isn't about being strict or more demanding.

      You will equally find great, and horrible, parents in both groups as well as dating partners and spouses.

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What Girls & Guys Said

  • TheWaterisFine
    I feel as most conservative men are DRAWN toward family, children, careers, dating, etc because it's the "right thing to do" But are the first ones to stray or betray family units. This isn't always the case though.
    LikeDisagree 17 People
    • ladsin

      Why do you think that?

    • Hypnos0929

      I mean it makes sense. They want the family to make them feel like a man but they don't actually want the family.

    • Sadly, I've been with my fair share of married men 🤷🏾‍♀️

    • Show All
  • coralee
    Completely disagree.
    1. What makes you think liberals don't use dating as a way to find a partner? Some people date for fun but I don't see why that is negative. Two people who care about each other wanting to spend time together is A OKAY in my mind. Very few people conservative or otherwise are with one partner their entire lives. Also I don't get what the one man, one woman part has to do with anything. Plenty of gay people get married and stay together.

    2. Plenty of religious people get divorced. Henry the 8th was far more religious then anyone you know and look how many times he got divorced. Statistically speaking people who get married young are much more likely to get divorced then people who wait. Also statistically speaking religious people tend to get married earlier. A+B=C

    3. This is your worst point. What does disagreement with birth control have to do with taking child rearing seriously? Not using birth control and popping out more kids then you can financially, or emotionally care for is the epitome of bad parenting. Quality over quantity any day of the week.
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    • ladsin

      Thanks for the response. I’ll tackle your objections, but I think the most important thing to clarify is that this isn’t a condemnation of liberals or a celebration of conservatives. It’s just my observation about possibly differing values between two groups of people. I’ve not stated or implied whether I think it’s a good or bad thing with the exception of my position on family planning. That said let’s discuss it.

      1) it’s true that few people make the life long “till death do us part” monogamy work, but my contention here was that it may be the case (and some recent evidence I found seems to bear this out) the proportion of those who do stick through “till death do us part” are more likely to be conservative than liberal (~55-45% if I recall correctly which is statistically significant).

      2) Again this is a question of proportionality. The biggest case against my position that I can see here is that because religious/ conservative persons get married far more frequently than their liberal/ non-religious counterparts they’re also more likely to get divorced. But once the phenomenon is looked into more the non-religious divorce rate is higher, they just don’t get divorced as often because they’re not married as often.

      3) I’m pretty sure you severely misread me here. I explicitly stated that I’m in favor of contraceptives as a form of family planning, and I view my position to take child rearing more seriously than people who just have kids because they can’t wrap it up and want sex (ie Catholics).

  • LoU_Hades
    It's matter of personal responsibility and less of political affiliation. I must admit that I don't understand the division in conservatives and liberals according to US standards. I don't think I could add something useful to this specific discussion
    Like 1 Person
    • ladsin

      I’m trying to use the terms in the most generalized way that I can. I think even in Europe it’s still the case that “conservatives” are more likely to hold onto traditional values in regards to marriage, dating, religion, etc. The only major difference to my knowledge is that European conservatives, by-and-large are far more liberal than their American counterparts.

    • LoU_Hades

      Yes it's true, but our liberals are more conservative. A liberal woman doesn't want to become a single mother and a conservative man puts his dick sometimes in another woman than his wife.
      It's matter of general nihilism and individual hedonism of people, not political views like I mentioned before.
      You're picking the wrong ingredients for this take, it's lack of moral compass and social isolation of people that destroys families and makes dating to never ending pump and dump show.

    • ladsin

      Oh, well by nature women tend to be more conservative leaning. The trend of women being more liberal is a relatively modern phenomena.

  • RegularTK421
    Generally speaking, I think they do. We can cherry pick individual examples that prove otherwise all day long, but social conservatives, ( not necessarily political conservatives,) do prioritize decency, family, morals and their religious values above even their own desires. Contemporaries or secularists are more independent minded. Being independent minded can also mean being more self centered in general, and living a life that caters to their own desires rather than that of others.
    Like 1 Person
    • ladsin

      Thanks, always good when somebody realizes I’m not making sweeping generalizations.

  • cth96190
    Yes, conservative men do take such things more seriously.
    Conservative men and women do not put on vagina hats and/or screech that abortion is a wonderful thing and that they kill thrir babies.
    Those who have not seen it, would find it instructive to watch the video that Alex Jones (infowars. com) has shot of pro-abortion counter protestors who disrupted pro-life events.
    Like 2 People
    • ladsin

      Sure there are cooky leftists and I’d concede that the left as a whole is getting cookier (just look at who they’ve got for presidential candidates). That said I find it disengenuous to paint the whole left with that broad a brush when the same is what the left so often does to the right.

  • genericname85
    i happen to have done a small scale study on political spectrum affiliation and life satisfaction and i also happen to know a bit about family sociology.

    i can tell you that the number of children you have, the age at which you choose to have children and the individual financial and social setting the parents are in is far greater in impact than political spectrum affiliation.
    this is a highly complex topic too. for example we know that people who are more left on the spectrum are less satisfied with their lifes overall. people who are less satisfied with their life do have less children but people that do have less children are more concerned with their childrens rearing. however all that does still not help at all defining ghe issue that you opened with how do you define "good" child rearing, cause obviously that is normatively subjective.

    you may for example personally not like patchwork families as a conservative but they will perform much better than single parents when it comes to noted behavioral issues with their children.

    it can be said that children are most likely to have a similar lifestyle their parents have so children from patchwork families will likely have a patchwork family down the line. however slappig the label "good" or "bad" on this is highly problematic. it's just opinion.

    you see i have some experience with actually scientifically trying to answer similar questions to this. so i can tell you from my personal experience why political affiliation is not important in this field.

    so you would go ahead and define your measure of "quality" of child rearing. you could do that multiple ways. you could for example take fertility rates, establishing that families having more children are better and then you see what correlates with the number of children.

    or you say you wanna look at the probability of children having behavioral issues in their school life at a later age.

    or you could go by the childrens income or educational level and so ond so forth. as log as you stay bivariate and correlate that with their political spectrum affiliation, you may get some highly significant correlations however once you take the known determinants of success or wellbeing into accout that i first mentioned: parental income, parental education level, parental marital status, number of children and so on, you'll notice how the significance level of the political spectrum slowly vanishes, meaning it doesn't explain the variance in the indicator of quality that you chose to use. that's why this is classically not done in social science. cause we already know the variance in your indicating variable is caused by and large by other things.

    that becomes slightly different, when you look at religion. we know for example that children from religious backrounds don't perform well when it comes to educational level and income later down the line compared to nonreligiously raised children. however there's no correlation between religiousness and political spectrum affiliation.
    Like 1 Person
    • ugh it's a very hard topic cause there's lots of normative shit that you have to break into terms that you can actually research. anyway:

      TL;DR: political affiliation has so little significance in this regard, that we usually don't even use it as a controll variable... and that says quite a lot.

  • Wewladdy
    Studies show right leaning men are more masculine, make more money on average, and just live better more productive lives. Plus they don't sleep around with anyone, do drugs, etc... they're conservative. They're grown up mentally and emotionally so don't vote nor live 100% based on emotion.
    Like 2 People
    • ladsin

      I’m aware of some of those issues although I find them largely debatable and dependent on demographic. For example, most gays are democrat/ lib. Gays tend to make more money than their straight counterparts. So in part though it may be the case that R’s make more money as a whole than D’s it’s not painting a full picture as Dems happen to cater to lower SES groups at least in principle.

  • AlienParasite
    I don't find that necessarily true. I still remember that in my country right wing party used to oppose to divorce whenever was possible. In 2005 they made a change in the divorce law to simplify the process, and of course right wing party claimed that was wrong and that they were against making divorce of easy access. I remember seeing how that same year someone on TV analized marital status of each member of both parties and how there were more divorced politicians in the conservative party than in the socialist party.

    In the end one thing is what people say and another is what people do.

    Maybe I would agree that in general right wingers would give more importance to marriage specially if they are religious, in spite of the anecdote with right wing in my country. However, I believe taking fully seriously a relationship or taking seriously raising your kids has to do with values that don't belong exclusively to right wingers or left wingers.
    LikeDisagree 4 People
    • ladsin

      Thanks for the response. That makes sense. Which country?

    • The country is Spain

    • ladsin

      Very cool. Thanks

  • Oram52
    From statistics conservative states had higher divorce rates. Suppose it could be true or likely true because of adhering to traditions that they still have traditional mindset on dating, marriage and kids.

    However millennials are hardly conservative, not to mention every poll suggesting millennials are not socially conservative. So I don't see it holding true. Hooking up is not uncommon in many conservative states now.

    Liberals and conservatives may have different views on marriage, sex and child rearing. It doesn't mean though kids grow up any different. Students from conservative states are going to universities and demanding safe spaces sooo.

    I do think though conservatives emphasizing personal responsibility is good thing.
    Like 2 People
    • ladsin

      It’s true that at the state level that bears out, but when you look at the county or individual level it doesn’t. My presumption is that D states tend to be more affluent and affluent people tend to be less likely to divorce and more likely to marry.

  • talloak
    All of your examples are theoretical. They may well be true (likewise, I've seen no studies about this). However, when it comes to legislators, the record is public: Conservative leaders are very much against family values in actual practice. They oppose every bill that Democrats have proposed to benefit families that I'm aware of. They oppose paid maternity and paternity leave. They oppose access to healthcare for poor and middle-class families. They oppose Headstart, school lunch programs and most every other federal programs aimed at promoting children. They cut food stamps. They constantly push for tax cuts that benefit the wealthiest with little or no benefit to others. They opposed payroll tax cuts because these don't benefit the wealthy. What family practices do Conservatives support? Separating children and babies from illegal immigrants and putting them in cages! Conservatives are very much ANTI-family values.
    Like 1 Person
    • ladsin

      Mm. Well since then I’ve been pointed to some research which appears to bolster some of my hypotheses. Namely individual republicans are more likely to remain married than their democrat counterparts. That said some research may negate this, but I don’t think so. That’s namely that democrat states have lower levels of divorce.

    • talloak

      You are probably right that individual Republicans are probably more serious about these things than individual Democrats. And I admire that because I take all those things seriously too. But the Republican party leadership more exploits this by focusing exclusively on issues that require no sacrifice (or taxes) such as abortion, immigration and LGBT rights.

    • ladsin

      Well I’m not a republican, but due to the massive shift in the Democratic Party I’ve gone from being a left leaning libertarian to a moderately right leaning libertarian in the past few years. I’m a bisexual atheist and as such don’t buy into much of republican politics and rhetoric.

  • hellionthesagereborn
    Well statistically conservatives are more likely to be married (and happily so) and statistically have more kids. So that would indicate they are more family prone.
    Like 2 People
  • Sweatyotterr
    It’s cause they are more religious and value family so it makes sense not really a surprise
    Like 1 Person
    • ladsin

      Explain what that last portion about “valuing family” means to you.

  • Rangers
    Fascism is much closer to the liberal side historically, but I agree with what you said otherwise.
    LikeDisagree 3 People
    • goaded

      No, it isn't. Fascism (dictatorial power, forcible suppression of opposition, and strong regimentation of society and of the economy) is all about the authoritarian mindset, which is the opposite of liberalism (liberty, consent of the governed, and equality before the law.).

    • ladsin

      @goaded that’s certainly true if we’re talking old school classical liberalism

    • goaded

      How does modern liberalism differ?

    • Show All
  • Massageman
    Yes. They are more likely to take responsibility for maintaining and improving their lives ( whether you are talking about jobs, procreation, families, etc) rather than whine that the government should be giving them everything on the proverbial golden platter.
  • ronaldo75
    This is a huge oversimplification as many conservative men are notorious cheats and womanizers but there is some truth to this. Literally EVERY single leftist/liberal and even Marxist woman I've been with is a total mess in her views on relationships, family and dating. They're a mess. If you want a family with a liberal woman get ready for 10 years of indecisiveness before they decide to get pregnant. I find left-leaning American tend to worry about what the "leftist feminist hive-mind" will think of their life choices before deciding. Conservative women don't do this as much where as leftist women need social approval on a life decision before making it,
    Like 1 Person
    • ladsin

      It would certainly be an oversimplification if my case was that all conservatives think/ do X, and all liberals think/do Y. But that’s not the case. I’m talking about the possibility of their being statistically noticeable differences in some values and behaviors between two groups of people and an exploration of possibly explanations. Completely different from the straw man many people seem to think I’ve made. My guess is that many had their perspectives about myTake set by the title and that colored their perception of the rest of myTake and prevented them for just reading and taking it objectively.

  • Cherokeehp
    Conservatives and their traditional values are hindering progress. Just cause you do something the same exact way for a really long time, does not make it the best way.
    • Girther10

      But what it does mean is that it is a very dependable way, and so doing otherwise is a risk many would rather not take.

    • Girther10

      Yes, conservative are hindering progressives, not necessarily progress. Progress is subjective on many levels.
      I find that many times they take a good idea, that seems to be working, like #metoo, and push push push until they have overreached, and the outcome is the Kavanaugh attempted public lynching. ”Believe All Women” is the overreach in that case.

    • Cherokeehp


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  • Girther10
    The question, or take, is American centric because most gag users are American, as is the author, I think.
    • ladsin

      I am American and I’m not entirely sure of the political positions in other countries, but my presumption would be (based on headlines) that the trend is rather stable. We can say that these beliefs are not good, but I think it’d be highly strange to say that progressives are advocating for the importance of marriage in most any context.

    • Girther10

      Yes of coarse you are right

    • ladsin


  • Philyouup
    This is kind of bullshit. I am not a conservative Ans intake my family 110% serious. To say that because I’m not conservative makes me less serious about it is pompous bullshit. Really. It’s bull shit on a paper plate
    • ladsin

      I’m not conservative either. Did you read the take, or just get angry about the title?

    • Philyouup

      It was late at night. I will re read. But we’ll see

    • ladsin


  • orangecherry
    I date conservative guys sometime. They have a lot of qualities I like, just different ones than other types of guys
    Like 3 People
  • Pegases
    Let me guess, you're a conservative? lol this is one hell of a reach if I've ever seen one. I nearly spit up my water reading this
    • ladsin

      No. As stated in the myTake I’m liberal leaning. More libertarian than anything, but that’s neither here nor there. You sure you read it?

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