Marriage and Cohabitation

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Title: Marriage and Cohabitation
Author: Thornton, Arland, Axinn, William G., Xie, Yu
Publication: In Population and Development. University of Chicago Press. 2007 Sources: Data from the Center for Disease Control, 2002

‘Throughout history, the family has been a central some would argue the central institution in human society.’(pg. 1 Marriage and Cohabitation) Although many accept marriage as a self-defined status in research, we believe that most understand it to be a union of husband and wife brought out of the love, commitment, and consent of the two individuals. With these, the ritual and ceremony of wedding, usually under the authority and guidance of the government and/or church, join the couple together in matrimony. Although this common interpretation of marriage as involving ritual and external authority, marriage, as we have seen, can also be accomplished under common law or equivalent methods without ritual or external authority in most places in America. Many people are married every day without being in a church and without wearing the white gown and black suit. People are now getting married in whatever theme they choose whether in Las Vegas and being joined together by a fake Elvis Presley look-a-like or by some random guy that has a license to marry people. ‘Americans positively evaluating a person who did not want to marry increased from 10 to 15 percent between 1957 and 1976, and the fraction evaluating marriage as altering a person’s life negatively increased from 23 to 28 percent.’(pg. 56 Marriage and Cohabitation) Most Americans continue to believe that a good marriage and family life are very important and plan and expect to marry. In the 1980’s most 35 year olds in the United States married or expected to marry. In recent years, less than 10 percent of high-school seniors in the United States reported that they do not expect to marry. ‘About 28 percent of all women have never married nor cohabitated. 31 percent have married with...
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