I met a man in Nashville when I was 20 years old and fell in love immediately. By the second date, I knew I’d marry him if he asked me.  Within a few short weeks, he did just that — so spontaneously he didn’t even have a ring. Three months later, we were in France, buying flowers off the street from a vendor and getting married in the upstairs room of a restaurant.  We barely knew each other, and some of the ceremony was in French. We either got married or agreed to be Amway sales reps.

Our spontaneity, of course, was a recipe for disaster.  And, according to a new report from the U.S. Census Bureau, I fit the mold. Southerners tend to get married — and divorced — more than their Northeastern counterparts. I even dropped out of college after getting married, which pretty much makes me a walking stereotype (though I am currently wearing shoes and not pregnant).

So, what is it about Southerners that makes us more likely to say both “I do” and “I quit”?

Christianity, of course.  At least that’s what Naomi Cahn, law professor at the George Washington University Law School, believes. Her reasoning goes like this: Christians stigmatize losing one’s virginity outside of marriage, which means people marry early before they succumb to pre-marital sex, attain a college education, and benefit from a good salary.

“There’s a moral crisis in red states that’s produced by higher divorce rates and the disparity between parental values and behavior of young adults. There is enormous tension between moral values and actual practices,” she told CNN.

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