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Singlehood, Cohabitation, Civil Unions,

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Presentation on theme: "Singlehood, Cohabitation, Civil Unions,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Singlehood, Cohabitation, Civil Unions,
Chapter Nine Singlehood, Cohabitation, Civil Unions, and Other Options


3 Changes More are choosing never to get married, to raise children on their own, and to stay alone. Many young people feel that if you are not married by 30, something is wrong with you—it used to be 20.


5 Race and Ethnicity Of all the people who live alone, more than 80% are white. Racial and ethnic minorities are more likely to live in an extended family situation because of values that emphasize caring for family members. (collectivistic)


7 Demographic Variables
The sex ratio - proportion of men to women A ratio of 100 means there are equal numbers of men and women; a ratio of 110 means there are 110 men for every 100 women. Worldwide, the sex ratio of 107 In the U.S., the sex ratio is 105 at birth. In the 65 and over age group, the ratio is 75 because women tend to live longer than men.

8 Demographic Variables
The marriage squeeze—a sex imbalance in the ratio of available unmarried women and men.




12 African Americans Compared to other groups, African Americans are the most likely to be unmarried. Structural factor—the shortage of marriageable African American men. Values and attitudes—homogamy generally limits the pool of eligible mates across social classes.

13 Latinos Latinas are generally less likely than African American women to experience a shortage of marriageable partners. Structural factors—the Latino population is young and a higher percentage has not reached marriageable age. Recent immigrants are postponing marriage until they can support a family. It is difficult for undocumented or migrant workers to marry. Low wages and high unemployment can delay marriage or increase the number of singles because of divorce.

14 Asian Americans Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have some of the lowest singlehood rates. Structural factors—intermarriage decreases singlehood rates, especially among Asian American women. Values and attitudes—they see the family as the core of society.


16 Types of Cohabitation Dating cohabitation—a prelude to getting married. Premarital cohabitation—again a prelude to marriage but couples are usually engaged. Trial marriage—the partners in this relationship want to see what marriage might be like. Substitute marriage—a long-term commitment between two people who don’t plan to marry.

17 Who Cohabits? Age - 20% of all cohabiters are age 24 or younger.
A majority (56%) are between 25 and 44. Gender - by age 30,half of all U.S. women have cohabitated. Social class - more common among people of lower educational levels and lower income levels.


19 Cohabitation Facts In the United States, tends to be short-lived.
One-third of cohabiting couples live together for less than a year. Less that 1 out of 10 lasts 5 years. Cohabitation does not lead to greater marital satisfaction, but rather the majority of research has found that cohabitation is not good for a marriage.

20 Costs and Benefits of Cohabitation
Emotional security but can also maintain some independence. Partners can dissolve the relationship without legal paperwork. Couples who are older at marriage generally have lower rates of divorce.

21 Costs and Benefits of Cohabitation
Benefits (cont.) It can help people find out how much they really care about each other. Among the elderly it can increase family care.

22 Costs and Benefits of Cohabitation
Women in cohabitating relationships do more of the housework, especially when the man is not committed to the relationship. Cohabiting women experience an elevated risk of partner violence compared to married women.

23 Costs and Benefits of Cohabitation
Costs (cont.) Weaker commitment to their relationship than those who are married. Demonstrate more negative behaviors after marriage. Dilutes intergenerational ties. There are no legal protections in most states.

24 Does Cohabitation Lead to a Better Marriage?
No, it doesn’t. Selection effect suggests that people who cohabitate before marriage have different characteristics than those who do not. Cohabitation effect - the likelihood of divorce increases because the couple got used to the impermanent nature of the relationship.

25 How Does Cohabitation Affect Children?
Experience more domestic violence Are more likely to be poor Are in households in which the partners spend more on adult goods and less on children Have more academic problems

26 Same-Sex Marriage In 2004, Massachusetts became the first state to legalize same-sex marriage. Since then thirteen other states have followed suit.

27 Civil Unions Nine states now allow civil unions, which are a marriage alternative for gays. What is a civil union? They are California, Connecticut, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Washington, Nevada, New Jersey, and Oregon. About 22 countries around the world offer varying civil union benefits.

28 Supreme Court Decision
Striking down the Defense of Marriage Act “The federal statute is invalid, for no legitimate purpose overcomes the purpose and effect to disparage and injure those whom the state, by its marriage laws, sought to protect in personhood and dignity,” Justice Kennedy wrote. “By seeking to displace this protection and treating those persons as living in marriages less respected than others, the federal statute is in violation of the Fifth Amendment.”

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