Cohabitation is rapidly increasing over the years, in the last ten years the office for National Statistics found that the number of cohabiting couples and families have increased by 65%. Cohabitation is the act of living together and having a sexual relationship without being married. A study that researched into cohabiting couples also found that cohabiting couples and families have increased from 1.4million to 2.3million in a decade; they also found that the number of married couples and families fell to 12.1 million. A reason for this is that there has been a growth in secularisation, which means that society is becoming more acceptable of sex outside of marriage and therefore people are more likely to move in together without being married. Another reason would be that in today’s economy many people are put off marriage because of how expensive it costs, so they would rather move in with each other as it is cheaper. Women’s roles are also changing as they are growing to be more economically independent and they are putting their careers before family. In the rest of this essay I will be looking at what the positive and negative consequences/impacts are of this rise in cohabitation.
The increase in cohabitation can have positive impacts on an individual, one being that as house prices are on the increase it may seem economically beneficial for a couple to live together and share rental/house costs. In the long run this would benefit the individual because they would be saving money, rather than spending a large sum of money on a wedding as the average price for a wedding is £18,000. An individual may also see cohabitation as a ‘test run’ before marriage because if the relationship breaks down and the couple isn’t married then there would be less legal problems. However, cohabiting can also cause negative consequences for an individual. A cohabiting couple’s relationship may not be taken as seriously as they are not married. This is likely to have a...
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