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Times had change. The idea of commitment between the couples is also affected by the sudden shift in trend of marriage. In other developing countries, the introduction of cohabitation as a new alternative in the union of male and female creates a great impact in fashioning the traditional way of courtship. Throughout the history, the issue of cohabitation became part of legality and society.
Cohabitation – Its Essence
The cohabitation attracts the couples and became the alternative on the marriages. In the involvement of long relationship and the awareness of the risks that may involved in married life, the couples are searching for a better way to avoid the damages that may destroy both parties and the future of their children. Based on the increasing number of divorcees, the children are the most affected people, but there is no assurance that cohabitation will be effective and not forming new kind of problems between the couples.
By definition cohabitation are "two unmarried people of the opposite-sex living together." In the past, cohabitation has been referred to as "living together," "shacking up," "serial monogamy" or "living in sin”. The tendency to move in the direction of cohabitation and away from marriage is unique. It acceptable for the unmarried couple but is rejected by the societal and legal aspects. However, the approach in cohabiting is continuously rising and problems that are associated with are obviously continuously rising. Based on the outlook of the youths and young couple, this is a good idea to measure and weigh the attitudes of both sides before settling down. Living together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along. One of the reasons for this type of relationship is the focus of young adults and their interest in having and making money than being focused on establishing lasting relationships that lead to marriage and raising a family. The young people are, therefore, in favor of living together as a try-out for marriage or as an alternative to marriage. Although, strangely enough, most expect to someday meet and marry someone who can satisfy their emotional and spiritual needs.
Societal and Legal Changes
The cohabitation evolved to be part of the premarital strategy and now to the present acceptable and progressive way of living. Cohabitation started out illegal in all states, as seen in the history of America. And later became a common law which means that there should be recognized requirements which proposes that the cohabiters should marry in the next coming years. In the process of control of the state in the cohabitation, the sexual acts and family planning should be also addressed. In the society, cohabitation has been criticized because of its link in the fertility and child bearing. The women are the most common affected person in the relationship because they are identified to play the major role as a partner and a mother. When the couples are living in a different structure of family or arrangement, there is a great incidence of break-up or misunderstanding between the couple. As compared the reproductive behavior of married, single, and cohabiting women there is an increase in the fertility rate.
Cohabitation may increase the fertility of unmarried women in a number of ways: by providing a suitable alternative to marriage for childbearing, by increasing sexual contact, or by selecting on individuals most likely to marry. Studies of fertility intentions show that cohabiters have higher rates of intended births than their single counterparts, lending some support to the notion that cohabitation provides a suitable context for childbearing. However, like most analyses of non-marital childbearing, prior work on the fertility intentions of cohabiters focuses on differential rates of fertility among unmarried women without addressing differences in who marries. Because the processes of marriage, cohabitation, and fertility are so closely related, failing to account for who marries may bias estimates of cohabitation on fertility.
If cohabiters may be more likely to plan births than their single counterparts not because they see cohabitation as an acceptable alternative to marriage, but because they have some underlying (unobserved) higher propensity to marry, then maybe, the society can have a better understanding in this kind of couple arrangement. Because of the unmeasured factors correlated with cohabitation, there is a strong encouragement towards marriage and, in turn, intended fertility. Without controlling for these factors, we would observe a positive association between cohabitation and fertility, but one that exists only via cohabitation’s link to marriage.
Heuline, P., & Timberlake, J.M., (2004) The Role of Cohabitation in Family Formation: the United States in Comparative Perspective, Journal of Marriage and Family, 66(5):1214+
Musick, K., (2007) Cohabitation, Non-marital Childbearing and the Marriage Process, Demographic Research, 16:249+
Mynarska, M., & Bernardi, L., (2007) Meanings and Attitudes Attached to Cohabitation in Poland: Qualitative Analyses of the Slow Diffusion of Cohabitation among the Young Generation, Demographic Research, 16:519+
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