For decades now, young couples have been warned about “playing house” and “shacking up” before marriage. Who would buy the cow when they can have the milk for free?
Critics of premarital cohabitation (or rather, couples living together before marriage) have long since pointed to a wealth of studies that associated cohabitation with elevated risks of divorce.
Well, new research claims that cohabitation no longer predicts divorce. In fact, there is a possibility that it never did in the first place. Arielle Kuperberg, a sociologist at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro, co-authored the study titled “Does Premarital Cohabitation Increase Your Risk for Divorce?”
Kuperberg argues that while there is no correlation between divorce and cohabiting before marriage, what might predict divorce in those couples that cohabit before marriage is the age at which they decide to do so. Previous studies, she reports, consistently over-stated the risk of divorce because they did not factor in this crucial element.
“What leads to divorce is when people move in with someone–with or without a marriage license–before they have the maturity and experience to choose compatible partners and to conduct themselves in ways that can sustain a long-term relationship,” said Kuperberg.
“Early entry into marriage or cohabitation, especially prior to age 23, is the critical risk factor for divorce.”
Despite the social stigma around premarital cohabitation, 70 percent of women aged 30 to 34 have cohabited with a male partner, and two-thirds of new marriages take place between couples who have already lived together for an average of 31 months.
Another premarital cohabitation study released in 2013 showed that the numbers are growing across racial and ethnic groups, except for Asian women. Between 1995 and 2006-2010, premarital cohabitations as a first union increased by 57% for Hispanic women, 43% for white women, and 39% for black women.
“Generations that were cohabitating less are now being replaced by a group of women and men that find cohabitation to be quite normal,” said demographer Casey Copen, the study’s lead author.
“Overall, these unions are lasting longer, they’re more stable and the highest proportion of them transition to marriage.”
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Celebs Tweet Their Thoughts About #JusticeForSandraBland
1. Jesse Williams
#SandraBland's treatment while attempting to travel freely on HER public roadways has been acknowledged as unlawful. She is already dead.
2. Taraji P. Henson
"SAY HER NAME #SandraBland"
3. Ava DuVernay
"'Why are you arresting me?' Because you know your rights. Because I can. Because no one'll believe you. #SandraBland"
4. Kim Kardashian
#WhatHappenedToSandraBland We need answers!!!! This is NOT ok! This is all shady! They need to own up to this & tell the truth!
5. Jussie Smollet
"A loss 4 words. #SandraBlandMatters #BlackLivesMatter 👈🏿tell me this should change once the nation shows that we do. "
6. Snoop Dogg
🙏🌹. Sandra. Rip. 🌹🌹
7. K. Michelle
R.I.P to this queen. This could've been any of us. My prayers go out to her family. #sandrabland https://instagram.com/p/5fvlO_AhCf/
8. Gabrielle Union
SAY HER NAME!!! #SandraBland #SandraBland #SandraBland #SayHerName
"We must get to the cause of #sandrabland death because this CANNOT happen again #deathorfreedom"
10. David Banner
"When will we fight back. A man's duty on earth is to protect women and children. Where are the gangsters? Preachers? We need you. Please."
11. Nicki Minaj
"Rest In Peace #SandraBland"
12. Talib Kweli
"We the people ask @LorettaLynch to investigate #SandraBland #KimberleeRandleKing RETWEET "
Signs. Signs. Signs all around us. The Message is Here. #SandraBland
14. Missy Elliot
"When I look at the #SandraBland traffic video it brings so many emotions😳😢😡😡😤!"
15. Jessie J
"God bless your soul Sandra | #sandrabland | Change needs to come |Justice needs to be served | Heart… https://instagram.com/p/5fV79mQ0aw/ "
16. Jackee Harry
"It's time y'all, it's time.." #SandraBland #BlackLivesMatter
"In memory of #SandraBland these things don't make no kinda sense "
18. Holly Robinson Peete
I really don't look forward to having ANOTHER difficult conversation w my kids tonight...but here we go again😧💔 #SandraBland #SayHerName 😢
19. Jeffrey White
Sadly, doesn't matter by whose hand she died. Unjustified arrested set the outcome in motion. The state murdered her. #JusticeForSandraBland
Sandra could have been your mother, sister, aunt, friend or if she wasn't killed the community outreach advisor A&M. #SandraBland
21. Joan Smalls
"My heart is broken. Sending my deepest condolence to her family and friends. May you find Strength, Peace and Justice. When will this stop? #EqualityForAll #RIP #Why #SayHerName
22. Gladys Knight
Sandra Bland.... #SayHerName #SandraBland
23. Cara Delevigne
Things need to change NOW #SANDRABLAND #Justice #Equality
24. Meek Mill
"Rip to that young lady that lost her life about a traffic stop! 🙏 ima make sure I pray for her and her family! 🙏😄😄😄"