Sunday, June 05, 2016

Cohabitation is not good for children

Cohabitation is not marriage. Children do about as well as they do in single parent households even adjusting for income and education. Access to two adults is not the same as parents.  If you remove sex from the justification for cohabitation, it will not happen, regardless of what the couple (usually the woman) uses.  Some countries have institutionalized cohabitation--don't live with your girlfriend in Canada--the state will come after you after you've moved back to the U.S. unless you've agreed to a contract that denies your commitment.

"For most of the latter-half of the twentieth century, divorce posed the greatest threat to child well-being and the institution of marriage. Today, that is not the case. New research—made available for the first time in Why Marriage Matters—shows that the rise of cohabiting households with children is the largest unrecognized threat to the quality and stability of children's lives in today's families."
"Cohabitation is playing a growing role in children's lives. Children are now more likely to be exposed to a cohabiting union than to a parental divorce. The report indicates that 24% of kids born to married parents will see their parents divorce or separate by age 12, while 42% of kids will experience a parental cohabitation by age 12."


Paula said...

That makes sense. I was damaged by my parents' frequent screaming fights, but they did stay together and I didn't have to deal with other characters appearing and disappearing. My own marriage broke up when my kids were in their late teens, but I've never lived with another man. It only makes sense that when you commit for life to another person you both work harder toward solving problems, taking good care of the kids, and keeping things stable rather than jumping ship at the first sign of a storm. Obviously there will be exceptions, but we're talking about the population as a whole, and how children will benefit.

Norma said...

I would imagine in co-habitation households children would either be fearful of a coming break-up or would be over protective of their remaining parent for some sense of stability.

Norma said...

I recall working as a temp in 1977 when my husband was out of work. I'd have one or two week assignments and meet people outside my usual circle. Like women who lived with men and weren't married. What's so common now seemed very strange then--and I remember one woman being cautioned by another because she had young children and hardly knew the boyfriend who had moved in. I've often thought of those nameless children over the years. Probably now about 50 and passing on mom's values to their grandchildren.