Cohabitation is and has been a norm in almost all societies in the world. It has been perceived as the stepping stone to marriage by the modern generation. In Whitman, (2003), cohabitation has grown so widely that there is one cohabiting couple out of 7 marriages in 2010 as compared to 1 out of 90 marriages in 1960. According to her, the attitude towards the whole of marriage institution has changed drastically over time. In the same article, currently in the US, of 3 single women, 1 chooses to live with their partners before marriage as compared to the 1950’s where only 1 out of 10 chooses so. Another statistics reveal that, the number of cohabitating partners have increased exponentially from 430,000 in 1960 to 5.4 million couples in 2005 (Fowler, R, 2008). From this shocking statistics, we ought to find out the advantages and disadvantages of cohabiting.
Firstly, the meaning of cohabitation and marriage must be clearly defined before more research is done. From the Concise English Dictionary (9th Edition), cohabitation come from the word ‘cohabit’ which is defined as “live together, [especially] as husband and wife without being married to one another” while marriage is defined as “the legal union of a man and woman in order to live together and often to have children”. In today’s terms, long-term cohabitation is more known as an alternative to marriage. Couples now prefer cohabitation because of the ‘freedom’ and the ‘guarantee of compatibility’ that it allegedly offers.
However, the issue about cohabitation that is questioned is the stability of the relationship. We know that cohabitation is recognized by any country in the world as a legal union of a man and woman. The question arises, ‘Will cohabitation be as stable as marriage and should it continue to be practiced in this day and age?’
As usual, there are two sides to a story. Parties in support of cohabitation cling on strongly to their view that cohabitation is a good platform for testing out for marriage and training the couples to be better spouses. However, the opposition insists that cohabitation should not be continued in this era because of the instability of the relationship and the outcomes of cohabitation are often undesirable.
After much research and findings, the latter proved to be more correct. Cohabiting should not be encouraged simply because studies reveal that marriages that are preceded by cohabitation are more prone to divorce, are disadvantaged economically and produces negative outcomes in children in terms of emotional and cognitive development as well as in terms of education compared to children from normal families.
This report covers the opposing views on whether should cohabitation continued to be practiced in the modern society. This research report is based on statistics provided by professionals from all over the world and assumes that the statistics provided are accurate and applicable to the situation.
2.0 Body of Report