It is often stated that the divorce rate in America is on the rise, though some of the available research shows that divorce rates have not been rising over the last twenty years (New York Times, 2014). Those who provide evidence that divorce is on the decline still agree that remarriage statistics are rising. According to PEW’s research, 15% of children are living with two parents who are living in remarriage. Along with that, American’s who are at the age of traditional marriage are getting married later in life, or even forgoing marriage altogether. 34% of children today are living with an unmarried parent, 4% of which are living with cohabiting parents and 30% living with a single parent (PEW, 2014). With the rise of younger pregnancies and financial problems from the recent recession, 5% children are not living with either parent, most of which live with their grandparents. Families that are made up of two parents
Divorce is “the ending of a marriage by a legal process”, (Merriam-Webster.com, 2012). Divorce is sadly commonplace in our society today. Over time, much like erosion in nature, a sequence of events or constant conflict eats away at the fabric of marriage. “In many cases it is preceded by a lengthy period of conflict between spouses. It is reasonable to expect that when this predisposition conflict, and the corresponding emotional upset on the part of the parents, may cause problems for children” (Furstenberg & Cherlin, 1991, p. 63)
Marriage and cohabitation play a central role in how family life is carried out. The way in which society views marriage and cohabitation is changing as individualism becomes an increasingly mainstream ideal. Marriage rates have decreased significantly on average over the past 60 years, but different groups show different rates of change. While certain sects each have their views, the general trends are showing decreasing marriage rates in lower income individuals, and increasing marriage rates in higher income educated individuals. These rates are directly connected to racial-ethnic groups, leading to larger gaps in socioeconomic status.
In her essay “I Wish They’d Do It Right”, Jane Doe highlights her ideology that marriage is honorable and legitimate, yet cohabitation is unacceptable and “socially awkward” (222). Doe illustrates her disagreement with her son’s decision of living in cohabitation, and tries to persuade him into marriage based on what the whole family will say or on society’s judgment. Doe argues that a marriage will create economical benefits between her son and his “girlfriend”, and provide a sense of stability for her soon-to-be grandson. However, it is noticeable that Doe’s views on marriage are based on her family and societies negative judgment on cohabitation, and the social acceptance of a traditional marriage. Based on my parents’ divorce, I disagree with Doe’s argument that marriage is always beneficial, real, and can guarantee a “happily ever after” (223); however, cohabitation can be as sincere, genuine, and exclusive as a marriage. I believe marriage should be based on the couple’s feelings and their readiness on taking the next step, instead of it being based on family and society’s opinion.
According to Clarkberg, Stolzenberg and Waite, from the University of Chicago, cohabitation is preferred over marriage by a specific group of people defined through their preferences in certain attitudes and values. According to this study, people chose to enter into either marriage or cohabitation depending on their views on procreation and relationships. However, the article also includes a study of peoples choice relying on views towards leisure time allotment, household labor division, employment, economic resources and relationships with immediate and extended family as well as with religion.
Lee, Gary R. and Krista K. Payne. 2010. "Changing Marriage Patterns since 1970: What's Going on, and Why?". Journal of Comparative Family Studies 41(4):537-55.
Cohabitation plays a huge part in Canadian society, 1 in 7 families are a cohabitating union (Zheng & Pollard 2000). The laws regarding cohabitation depend on the province (ibid). The years of union ranges from one year to three years (Zheng & Pollard 2000). Quebec has the largest proportion of cohabitating couples out of all the provinces (ibid). Majority of cohabitating couples found in this study were never married (ibid). Economic circumstances will determine how the couple decides to dissolve the union: either by separation or marriage (Zheng & Pollard 2000). The amount of economic resources a cohabitating couple have is less than that of married couples (ibid). Zhang and Pollard (2000) suggests that economic circumstances cohabitating
Jayson, Sharon. “Census reports more unmarried couples living together.” USA Today. 28 Jul. 2008. Web. 14 Sept. 2011. .
Cornelius, Tara L., and Sullivan T. Kieran. “Marriage, Transition to.” Encyclopedia of Human Relationships. Ed. Harry T. Reis and Susan Sprecher. Vol. 2. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE Publications, 2009. 1052-1055. Gale Virtual Reference Library. Web. 9 Mar. 2014.
It is very common for research groups to set up a "bottled water taste test". The results are always the same: without a label, there is no obvious difference among any kind of bottled water or even tap water. Yet millions of Americans routinely buy bottled water and re-filter their tap water. The Clean Water Act of 1972 was supposed to ensure all water sources were pure and safe for drinking or swimming. Enforcement simply did not go far enough, and public information on contaminants grew much faster than purification programs did. A series of laws followed the 1972 Act in an attempt to stem the general aversion to tap water, including the 1974 and 1996 Safe Drinking Water Acts (SDWA). These laws are a step in the right direction, but bottled water still maintains an advantage founded not in superior quality but in more effective marketing.
The debate between bottled water and tap water has been lasting for years. Proponents of tap water claim the negative environmental impact from bottled water companies should be enough to effectively end the large companies. Plastic bottles account for about 10% of waste in landfills across the country (Hasselberger). Bottled water companies damage the environment in another way too, they draw large amounts of water from aquifers which can cause massive sinkholes in unsuspecting places. The general public is led to believe that bottled water is safe and microbe free, but companies are not required by federal law to release their testing information to the public. With all the negative aspects of bottle water it is common sense to eliminate
Municipal water is considered second to bottled water so the stereotype about the environmental health viability of municipal water needs to be removed. The existence of these stereotypes increases the revenue of the bottled water companies because consumers who have adequate municipal water will still purchase bottled water. This hurts consumers’ ability to use their money for other, more necessary purposes. This problem has occurred since municipal water achieved quality standards equal to bottled water with the advent of chl...
It is not a new thought that today’s young Americans are facing issues, problems and difficult decisions that past generations never had to question. In a world of technology, media, and a rough economy, many young adults in America are influenced by a tidal wave of opinions and life choices without much relevant advice from older generations. The Generation Y, or Millennial, group are coming of age in a confusing and mixed-message society. One of these messages that bombard young Americans is the choice of premarital cohabitation. Premarital cohabitation, or living together without being married (Jose, O’Leary & Moyer, 2010), has increased significantly in the past couple of decades and is now a “natural” life choice before taking the plunge into marriage. Kennedy and Bumpass (2008) state that, “The increase in cohabitation is well documented,such that nearly two thirds of newlyweds have cohabited prior to their ﬁrst marriage”(as cited in Harvey, 2011, p. 10), this is a striking contrast compared with statistics of our grandparents, or even parents, generations. It is such an increasing social behavior that people in society consider cohabitation “necessary” before entering into marriage. Even more, young Americans who choose not to cohabitate, for many different reasons, are looked upon as being “old-fashioned”, “naive”, or “unintelligent”. This pressure for young people to cohabitate before marriage is a serious “modern-day” challenge; especially when given research that states, “... most empirical studies ﬁnd that couples who cohabited prior to marriage experience signiﬁcantly higher odds of marital dissolution than their counterparts who did not cohabit before marriage”, stated by Jose (2010) and colleagues (as c...