Unmarried Couples and Changing Consumer Behavior

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Un-married couples; is it a mega trend?
The American Society: Families and Households:
•Married couples: Who are legally married and living together as a family •Unmarried couples or Domestic partners
This phrase is used to describe two people (either of the opposite sex or of the same sex) who cohabit, have a sexual relationship and experience economic and social integration--that is, two people who have created their own family. •Single parent families

Single mothers
Single fathers
Types of Unmarried Couples:
•Couples in Live – in relations (includes heterosexual )
•Gay Couples
•Lesbian Couples
Unmarried Couples in Indian Context:
•Cohabitating of opposite sex is still not acceptable
•Marriage of same sex not a valid Proposition
•Various other legal and financial issues concerning joint home ownership and estate planning. •Landlords are reluctant to rent out to such couples.
•Stark differences with the Socio- cultural values of the country. Household Influences on Consumption Decisions:

As per the given case-let:
•There are 8.5 million unmarried, opposite-sex households in the US. This number is forecast to grow rapidly. •For some, cohabitation is a temporary arrangement before marriage; for others, it represents a long-term relationship. •Forty five percent are 35 or older and less than 20% are under 25. A third have one or more children under the age of 15 living with them. However, according to the latest census, the difference between 1970 and 2000 is startling. oIn 1970, married couples comprised 71 percent of all households. oBy the 2000 census that number had shrunk to 53 percent

oOnly 24% of the 105 million U.S. households consist of married couples with kids Reasons for Increasing Number of Unmarried Couples:
•Changing trends of working i.e. more leisure time to spend •Sharing of common place due to some common attribute i.e. same place of work, Part time job etc. •Another reason couples choose to live together is to pool economic resources. •In Some cases, homosexual couples start their relations by just living together as a cost cutting measure by sharing the rent of the place and then due to extent of time spent together, develop the relationship. •A possible reason for postponing marriage for women is to become financially independent. •Both partners in the couple may decide to marry after achieving a certain life-goal. •In some other cases, the Govt. Regulations may not authorize the marriage thus forcing them to live as Unmarried Couples e.g. In India, Gay & Lesbian Marriages are not Valid. PURCHASING DECISIONS IN NON-TRADITIONAL HOUSEHOLDS

The case of lesbian couples
•Only minor differences were found in family members influencing the purchasing decision as compared to traditional households – Bonfield(1978) & Davis and Rigaux(1974) • Lesbian Couples are more prone than heterosexual couples to characterize their relationships as egalitarian – Blumstein & Schwartz (1983) • Mackey et al.(1997) put forward the following hypothesis in his seminal paper •Purchase decisions among lesbian couples will be highly syncratic. •Lesbian partners will manifest highly congruent perceptions about relative influence in purchase decisions. •Relative partner influence in purchase decisions in lesbian households will not be related to the increase in partner education or earning. Case question:

DO YOU AGREE THAT UNMARRIED COUPLES WILL BECOME INCREASINGLY MORE COMMON? Some facts:
•The proportion of men aged 45 to 54 who have never married is expected to rise from 14 per cent in 2003 to 40 per cent. For women the same figure will increase from 9 per cent to 35 per cent. The proportion of divorced men and women aged 65 and over will more than double by 2031. •22 per cent of children were born to cohabiting couples in 1997, compared to two per cent 20 years ago. •"Adults have a range of ways in which they express their commitment....
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