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16% couples of Canada cohabit
Over half of Canadian women expect (over 80% in Quebec)
Extramarital birth: 30% in country average (Quebec: 70%)
Whos more likely to cohabit?
Socioeconomic selectivity
Lower education
Lower median income (esp for men)
Less likely to own a house
Cultural selectivity
More among non-immigrants
More French-Canadian
Quality of cohabiting relationship
More convenient in terms of sexuality
Yet less faithfu l to their partners sexually
Less likely to pool t heir finances than mar r ied couples
How stable?
After 5 years, only 50% get marr ied, 30% separated, 20% still cohabit
Does not guarantee happier mar r iage in the future (simply mar r ying to a spouse who
previously cohabited raises ones likelihood of divorce) = lesser commitment due to
learned behavior, less positive problem solving
Yet, breaking up a cohabitation is certainly more stressful than just normal unmar r ied
Older cohabiters experience higher levels of happiness and stability than younger ones
Comparison with marr iage
Mar r iage: sexual, economic and emotional partnership / socially and legally sanctioned /
involves norms dictating the r ights and responsibilities / commitment and faith are the key
Cohabitation: only sexual and emotional relationship / freer lifestyle with no legal
procedure and social recognition / shor t of nor ms / less sexual fidelity and less
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