The Risks of Premarital Cohabitation

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Introduction 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... ... middle of paper ... ...riage and Family, 71(2), 298-317. Retrieved from http://p3333-onlinelibrary.wiley.com.linkingservices.exlibrisgroup.com.proxytest.sdsu.edu/doi/10.1111/j.1741-3737.2009.00600.x/pdf Thornton, A. Department of Health and Human Services, (1995, p. 201-215). Attitudes, values and norms related to nonmarital fertility. Retrieved from website: http://books.google.com/books? Unmarried Equality. (2013). Statistics. Unmarried Equality Home, Retrieved from http://www.unmarried.org/statistics/ Welsh, J. M. (2000). Is a north american generation emerging?. ISUMA/ printemps, 86-92. Retrieved from http://dspace.cigilibrary.org/jspui/bitstream/123456789/700/1/Is a North American Generation Emerging.pdf?1 Wilcox, W. (2012). The state of our unions 2012 marriage in America : the President's marriage agenda. Charlottesville, VA: National Marriage Project, University of Virginia.

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