Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘cohabitation’

The Pew Research Center recently reported news about marriage from the U.S. Census Bureau: In 2010 just 51% of all American adults were married, compared to 72% in 1960, and Americans who did marry tied the knot later in life. In reality, the situation is not as radically new as it seems. 1950 through 1960 was the most marrying (and parenting) decade in generations – in perhaps all — of American history (see herehere,  and Ch. 4 of here). Marrying rates and ages around the turn of the 21st century are more like those a century ago; both periods differ greatly from the middle of the 20th century.

(Daily Mail)

Still, Americans are breaking new paths to marriage in the 21st century. Not only are today’s couples wedding later – the average bride is about 26 years old and the average groom is about 29, compared to 20 and 23 years old around 1960 – but the culture has shifted greatly. The 1950s were special. Couples married at probably the youngest age in American history; middle Americans got “pinned” in high school (those too young to get the reference, see here) and married almost immediately afterwards; for most, marriage marked their first time living away from their parents; and many were sexually naive. These days, the typical couple marries a decade after high school and – importantly – after having lived together for a while.

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Living Togetherness

People of a certain age (like me) can recall a time when the phrases “living together in sin” or “shacking up” were spoken in an embarrassed whisper. One did not discuss such things in front of the children or in polite company. When movie stars were revealed to have done it, newspapers printed scandalized headlines. Nowadays, “living together” is not only an everyday phrase, it is a stage most Americans under 60 have gone through before marriage and, sometimes, after a marriage ends.

source: ourcathlolicmarriage

This change is another startling social revolution that has become banally “normal” in America (like mothers working; see this post). It is, of course, connected to a related social revolution: the general acceptance of premarital sex between adults. A third related change, the increase in children born out of wedlock and living without their fathers, is a different matter – it has not become banally normal and has had some difficult consequences. But, living together or cohabiting, once a hushed secret, is now, in many parts of America, an expected part of adulthood. What happened?

(more…)

Read Full Post »