Cohabitation Is Defined As A Man And Woman Living

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Cohabitation is defined as a man and woman living in the same household and having sexual relations while not being married. There is relatively little data on health outcomes for people who have cohabitated, although there is some evidence that cohabitating couples have lower incomes (15% of cohabitating men are jobless while 8% of married men are jobless) and there may be negative academic effects for children of cohabitating mothers (Jay, 2012). Cohabitation rates are highest among those who have never married with just over a quarter of people surveyed reporting cohabitation before their first marriage (Jay, 2012). Of these, half reported that they expected their cohabitation to end in marriage; about one quarter to one third of cohabitations end either in marriage or dissolution of the relationship within 3 years (Jay, 2012). Further, cohabitation rates are highest for those who have not completed college, accounting for all but 12% of men and women reporting that they are living with their partners (Jay, 2012). Cohabitation and marriage are two significant decisions college students will make, but very little is known about what college students think about living together before marriage. Given the nearly 50% divorce rate in the United States (Jay, 2012), understanding how young adults view cohabitation as on option for life relationships needs further investigation.

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