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Cohabitation is Socially Acceptable, But is it Socially Beneficial?

The American College of Pediatricians has something to say about that.
1 ¼ min

In case you hadn’t noticed, acceptance of cohabitation has seen a rapid increase in recent years. According to NPR, “more than 65 percent of first marriages start out” in cohabitation, and “young adults born after 1980 are more likely to cohabit than any previous generation was at the same stage of life.”

But while cohabitation has grown in social acceptability, it has also grown in legal headaches. A recent PR Newswire alert reports:

“According to 45% of members in a recent survey of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers (AAML), legal disputes between unmarried couples who had previously lived together are on the rise during the past three years. …

‘Even without an engagement ring or marriage license, a live-in relationship can often produce a number of legal complexities and tangled disputes that could require the involvement of legal counsel,’ said Joslin Davis, president of the AAML.” 

Legal headaches aside, the practice of cohabitation has been found to have many other negative side effects. According to the American College of Pediatricians, those who cohabit are more likely to experience:

  • Lower marital satisfaction
  • Greater possibility of divorce
  • More likelihood of cheating
  • Increase of depression for women
  • Greater violence against women
  • Less employment for men

Especially important to the American College of Pediatricians is the negative influence cohabitation can have on children. Some of the negative effects of cohabitation on children include physical and mental diseases, lower socio-economic and academic success, and greater incidence of relationship problems as they become adults themselves.

Given these serious warnings by medical experts, should we be reconsidering our increasing acceptance of cohabitation?

Image Credit: Ed Yourdon via Flickr

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist

Annie Holmquist is the editor of Intellectual Takeout. When not writing or editing, she enjoys reading, gardening, and time with family and friends.

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