Over the weekend, the New York Times caused an uproar of anger on social media after they published an op-ed showcasing a report that detailed the happiest of American wives identify as religious conservatives.
“It turns out that the happiest of all wives in America are religious conservatives, followed by their religious progressive counterparts,” the New York Times Opinion wrote in a tweet.
The study was conducted by three professors, W. Bradford Wilcox professor of sociology at the University of Virginia, Jason S. Carroll a professor of marriage and family studies at Brigham Young University, and Laurie DeRose an adjunct lecturer in the sociology department at Georgetown University.
The report, titled ‘The Ties That Bind: Is Faith a Global Force for Good or Ill in the Family?’ was from the Institute for Family Studies and the Wheatley Institution. The results were detailed in the New York Times Op-Ed by the three researchers, Wilcox, Carroll, and DeRose.
What did the study find?
The report found that 73% of wives “who hold conservative gender values and attend religious services regularly with their husbands have high-quality marriages.”
“When it comes to relationship quality, there is a J-curve in women’s marital happiness, with women on the left and the right enjoying higher quality marriages than those in the middle — but especially wives on the right,” the op-ed continued.
The report also found that women in “highly religious relationships are about 50% more likely to report that they are strongly satisfied with their sexual relationship than their secular and less religious counterparts.”
On the other hand, only 55% of secular progressive wives in the United States say that they have high-quality marriages.
The op-ed also noted, “fewer than 46 percent of wives in the religious middle — who attend only infrequently or don’t share regular religious attendance with their husbands — and only 33 percent of secular conservative wives — who think men should take the lead on bread-winning and women on child-rearing but don’t attend church — have such marriages.”
Social media did not take kindly to the tweet from the New York Times Op-Ed account.
User ‘Atheist Scott’ responded “This is hilarious. They all asked their spouses if it was ok to answer the survey in the first place. Then they made it a dinner table conversation to make sure they answered the questions correctly.”
“I know evangelicals,” he added. “Women do not have separate lives.”
Another user, Stephanie McClown, tweeted back, “can confirm what all the other Ex-vangelicals are saying.”
“Self-reporting on this is not a reflection of reality. Conservative women are taught that being anything other than happy is a spiritual and moral failure.”
It’s quite interesting that critics refuse to accept the answers and instead want to tell someone else whether or not they are really happy.
One user even said “You know absolutely about the repression of religious conservative women, huh? I would have reported that I was ‘so happy’ while I went back and forth planning my suicide. This is irresponsible reporting.”
She added in another tweet, “To all the people in my mentions saying ‘that’s wrong doctrine’ or ‘that’s not Christianity,’ It is Christianity. And saying otherwise is not only wrong, but invalidates us more than helps us. I know you probably mean well.”
While many professed their anger at the study and the tweet provided by the New York Times, there were positive responses as well.
Allie Stuckey, a professed evangelical and conservative pundit, also chimed in saying “the replies to this are so ignorant and bitter.” She later added, “I truly don’t think anyone replying to this has ever met a Christian.”
Another user wrote: “Totally agree..my wife & I have a God-centered focus, and it has made all the difference.”
“Do we have bad days? Of course we do…everyone does, that’s just marriage. The key is to have faith and work through it instead of just giving up!”