Women who provided sexual and housekeeping services to a man without the benefits of marriage were regarded as fools at best and morally loose at worst.
What makes cohabitation so significant is not only its prevalence but also its widespread popular acceptance.
In recent representative national surveys nearly 60% of high school seniors indicated that they "agreed" or "mostly agreed" with the statement "it is usually a good idea for a couple to live together before getting married in order to find out whether they really get along." And nearly three quarters of the students, slightly more girls than boys, stated that "a man and a woman who live together without being married" are either "experimenting with a worthwhile alternative lifestyle" or "doing their own thing and not affecting anyone else." Unlike divorce or unwed childbearing, the trend toward cohabitation has inspired virtually no public comment or criticism.
Specifically, the research indicates that: · Living together before marriage increases the risk of breaking up after marriage.
· Living together outside of marriage increases the risk of domestic violence for women, and the risk of physical and sexual abuse for children.
How much healthier women are to be free of social pressure to marry and stigma when they don't.
How much better off people are today to be able to exercise choice in their sexual and domestic arrangements. The Living Together Kit: A Guide for Unmarried Couples. These contracts are not yet upheld by all states, and their enforceability is often in question. By simple definition, living together-or unmarried cohabitation--is the status of couples who are sexual partners, not married to each other, and sharing a household.By 1997, the total number of unmarried couples in America topped 4 million, up from less than half a million in 1960.For today's young adults, the first generation to come of age during the divorce revolution, living together seems like a good way to achieve some of the benefits of marriage and avoid the risk of divorce.Couples who live together can share expenses and learn more about each other.How much better off marriage can be, and how many divorces can be avoided, when sexual relationships start with a trial period.