Premarital cohabitation and divorce: Support for the “Trial Marriage” Theory?
November 7, 2010 18:50
Source: Demographic Research
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A number of studies show that premarital cohabitation is associated with an increased risk of subsequent marital dissolution. Some argue that this is a consequence of selection effects and that once these are controlled for premarital cohabitation has no effect on dissolution. We examine the effect of premarital cohabitation on subsequent marital dissolution by using rich retrospective life-history data from Austria. We model union formation and dissolution jointly to control for unobserved selectivity of cohabiters and non-cohabiters. Our results show that those who cohabit prior to marriage have a higher risk of marital dissolution. However, once observed and unobserved characteristics are controlled for, the risks of marital dissolution for those who cohabit prior to marriage are significantly lower than for those who marry directly. The finding that premarital cohabitation decreases the risk of marital separation provides support for the “trial marriage” theory.
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Now, I’m just a fat old white guy injineer but it would seem that “We, The People” are engaged in a huge number of species-wide social experiments. Abortion, same-sex marriage, sex selection, trial marriage, single mother households, serial monogomy, serial marriage, multigenerational welfare “farming”, Prohibition, Welfare/Warfare Statism, Theocracy, Socialism, Communism (although I’d be hard pressed to define it), genocidal tribal warfare, and on an on. Just name a few off the top of my head.
And, most of them, if not all, in some way trace back to he Gooferment. (It truly is the root of all evil. The Serpent in Garden of evil wasn’t a snake; it was a politician.) Before we try to remake the face of the Earth in the vision of Al Gore, before we change civil society, before we collapse under the weight of debt, before we throw away generations of accumulated wisdom, we should have an idea for what we want to accomplish.
Isn’t the medical adage, “First do no harm”, appropriate here?
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