The Daily Beast's "15 Ways to Predict Divorce" is a prime example of why the new fad for statistical explorations of marriage and divorce is so appealing — and so depressing.
According to Anneli Rufus's list, factors that raise your chance of divorce include living in a red state, having twins, contracting cervical or testicular cancer, being of "below average intelligence," and, if you're a woman, being two or more years older than your husband (this last also ups your risk of death). Some things that make you less likely to split: having parents who are still married, and being an evangelical Christian (at least "according to the evangelically affiliated Barna Research Group"). Some of these are depressing in themselves (especially the cancer one), but it's when taken together that the list achieves its full morbidity. There's something fatalistic about the idea that you can "predict divorce" based on a list of external factors, many as mundane as where a couple lives. Distilling this idea down to its number-crunching essence is hippest-economist-ever Betsey Stevenson's "divorce calculator," linked from Rufus's piece. For women, the tool calculates divorce risk based on just six questions (men answer five), which makes it even more chilling.