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Paper Topic:

Unmarried as opposed to married cohabitation

Unmarried Cohabitation

04 .16 .2007


Until a couple of decades ago unmarried cohabitation was seen as a deviant behavior and one that was characteristically associated with college students and people who have undergone divorce or bereavement For rest of the society , cohabitation was deemed normal only under legal married framework . However the idea of viewing cohabitation necessarily within married setup has turned obsolete and out of phase with postmodern social trends , preferences as well as necessity . Today life encompasses various elements such as work hours , money , social relational

bindings , leisure time and sex roles that spawn a set of new factors making cohabitation a option than marriage (Clarkberg 1995 . It is important to state here that any attempt to identify cohabitation as a sexual deviation or desire of wantonness would be essentially misleading and ignoring the new economic , social , cultural and behavioral realities that are instrumental in defining emerging social environment . Under the compulsions , demands and pressures of life to move fast and stay composed , cohabitation has become norm rather than an exception

Cohabitation and changing social attitude

Before 1970 although cohabitation was not entirely absent , but it was a silent issue that made many families uncomfortable and unwilling to face it . Further , as the period from 1950-1970 was the golden of marriages with most of couples marrying young , cohabitation did not attract any attention due to its minor and supposedly insignificant presence as compared to greater number of married relations being consummated (Booth and Crouter , 2002

But in the last two decades the trends have heavily changed , in fact rather reversed and number of unmarried cohabitation has risen almost by phenomenal levels to threaten the age-old pattern of marriage and family setup . The percentage of cohabitation rose from 10 percent in 1960s to 50 percent in 1990-1994 before the couples decided to marry . Moreover by 1995 almost 60 percent of first relations /unions started in the form of cohabitation which shows cohabitation becoming widely accepted way of living , or at least starting a relation (Smock , 2000

Reasons behind rise in cohabitation

Various studies and researches , as cited by Clarkberg (1995 ) drive home the point that nature of goals pursued and their success rate vary considerably in married and cohabitation relationships . There are significant differences in the amount of time spent on work , leisure time pursued , financial gains obtained , and even goals conceived and pursued in married and cohabitation relations . Reports suggest that married women spend major proportion of their time in household activities than single women , thus raising the standards of living and wealth accumulation capacity of a couple living in cohabitation by several notches

Increase in cohabitation is also a reflection in changing social attitudes , cultural change and rise of individual pursuance of goals . In this scheme , marriage exerts a regressive pull and slows down the potential of growth that men and women could obtain working and living independently

Sexual revolution is another major cause behind revolution in cohabitation relationships , as suggested by Smock (2000 . Earlier...

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