Free «Why is Cohabitation on the Rise» Essay

Why is Cohabitation on the Rise

Since its inception, the practice of cohabitation was known to be a phenomenon that was commonplace amongst the lower classes in the society. However, there has been a change in its prevalence and it is being embraced by individuals in the middle classes. In the United States, the practice is more common amongst African Americans, Hispanics and impoverished white women. This all points to the fiscal capability of the minorities in the society since the financial capability of a man is what facilitates his ability to marry.  Such individuals are plagued with low income and fewer women are interested in marriage with such a person. Cohabitation is also a practice taken up by less religious individual since religion believes in the sanctity of marriage (Baklinski,1).

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The moral and ethical implications of cohabitation have been downplayed by the sexual revolution that has taken the contemporary society by storm. The banality of sexual sin has made through the media has made it possible for cohabiting couple not to see anything wrong with practicing it. This sexual revolution has practically revoked the stigma and connotations attached to the stigma associated with the practice. This can be demonstrated through a reflection of the revolution that pertains to contraceptive use for the past three decades. Furthermore, the inception of a more sex oriented entertainment  and advertisements industries which has unequivocally promoted sexual permissiveness amongst the populace is a major contributing factor to the rise in cohabitation. This is mechanization and materialization of sex is ubiquitous since it is used to sell even thins that are non-sexual. With such energies surrounding young adults, the situation is exacerbated by the wide acceptability of premarital sex in the society. This boils down to the acceptability with minimum scrutiny of the practice. In other cases, it even encouraged by large sections of the populace since they deem the practice as devoid of sexual sin or even contradicting societal norms (Smart Marriages, 1).

The erosion of the very fundamental aspects that was the adhesive that held the institution of marriage together has greatly contributed to cohabitation. These changes have weathered the confidence people had in the stability of the marriage institution dismissing it as an archaic practice. The nature of marriage has been dramatically redefined to the point of being dismissed by some as a “notarized date”. The current perception of marriage has been more personalized unlike in the old times when it was a commitment anchored on law, religion and economic ramifications. During such times, people would enter into a marriage commitment out of love for the partner as well as economic implications of the union. In the event that the romance and love fizzed out of such a union, that was not considered to be a valid reason for the termination o the relationship. Therefore people continued to live together as husband and wife even when either or one of them was unwilling. To make matters worse, it was almost impossible to file for divorce on almost any grounds since the law would rarely permit it.  In the case of a divorce, the individuals involved in it would be stigmatized and ostracized by the society (Civitas, 1)

On the converse, the current society believes that the basis of marriage is love and lack of it is a valid reason for divorce. The nature of love in this context is categorically restricted to self fulfillment without which divorce is allowed. The current society does not attach any stigma to divorcees and they are embraced into the courtship world where they get a fresh start. The young adults are well informed of the fragility of marriage in their society. In order to cushion themselves from the impacts of failed marriages, they opt for precautionary measures. These preemptive measures involve a sort of reconnaissance into the marriage relationship to see how it is like to be married before they get fully committed in a relationship. Alternatively, the individual would deicide to enter into a union that is much weaker than the marriage institution. The rationale the nature of this relationship will ameliorate the impact of the breakup since there will be no marriage license involved. Additionally there are no draconian procedures involved in the separation procedure such as the division of poverty, custody of children as well as coughing up legal fees. All these negative effects of the fragility of marriage point to cohabitation as a remedy. This is what any level headed young adult who is cautions would opt for (Kopit, 1).

Feminism is on the rise and its insinuations point to advocacy for cohabitation in lieu of marriage. Cohabitation is  therefore being embraced by women who are strong proponents of feminism. They attempt to go against the grain of societal norm that by default placed the female in a marriage relationship under the male partner in terms of hierarchy. Cohabitation is viewed by such females as a way of antagonizing patriarchy which is rife in the society through law as well as practice. Such a female will therefore secure equality with the male and personal autonomy when she in a relationship that is of this nature.  Furthermore, women are now fully incorporated into the labor market. They have massed financial independence and some are naturally less inclined to marriage or find marriage less attractive (Smart Marriages, 1).

As mentioned earlier, cohabitation is common amongst the less religious individuals. There has been a paradigm shift in cultural trends regarding religion. People have drifted away from the religious lifestyle. They want exclusive autonomy from impediments imposed by religion in the name of practicing “the freedom of choice”. In the reliigious society, marriage was considered to be the cradle of civilization It was the stepping stone from which people would develop and advance in all facets of life. People in the marriage institution are therefore respected and they are lauded for the social conformity and for being in tandem with tradition. The current society is categorically more secular in practice hence they channel their energies towards self invention and exercising autonomy. The United States and other Western societies are wading through the miasma of cultural rejection by it own people. The result is that they have  ignored  moral authority and turned a blind eye to the traditional institution. Since the secular society advocates for the freedom of choice, it therefore condones self invention which entails the experimentation by individuals on alternative lifestyles. One of the alternative lifestyles in this context is cohabitation. This culture is seductive and a large population has imperceptibly slipped into it and they are fully entangled whilst complacent with the outcome. This make the practice of cohabiting spread like a desert fire consuming many young adults in the society(Civitas, 1).

The fabric of the society has been torn at its seams through broken homes which are the basis of a society. This has resulted in single parenthood mostly with the father  figure missing in the picture. Therefore, broken marriages are having a domino effect on the young adults who were raised in such homes. Another factor that has an impact analogous to broken homes is a family characterized by discord. In other words, there has been a rise in dysfunctional families through out the U.S and the across the globe. Children who were raised in such families are more vulnerable to cohabitation. In their cases, they enter into such partnerships as a way of escaping the negative energies that are typical of their family set ups. They do this in hoping that they would make their lives different by starting it early enough to correct the mistakes their parents made when they were raising them. On the side of their parents, after being involved in failed marriages that ended in divorce, they opt to get involved in cohabitation which is less stringent as marriage. This psychosocial effect greatly contributes to the rising cases of cohabitation amongst people from a broad spectrum.

It is imperative to appreciate that the results of cohabitation are in most cases a break up. This nouveau institution has a weak foundation and it crumbles at the slightest  impact by discord in the relationship. According to research, it is evident that children born in such relationship are five times more at risk of being subject to trauma that follows witnessing the divorce of their parents. This is worrying since the number women at the age bearing age of around 30years entering into such unions has doubled in the past fifteen years (Baklinski, 1).

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