Cheat-Seeking Missles

Friday, August 11, 2006

All Excited About Discovering The Obvious

The blog First Things has something interesting to pass along:

Isn’t it funny how “experts” eventually discover what those with a modicum of common sense have known all along? The latest example of experts stating the
obvious, having expended much time and money “proving” it, emerged from research published in the journal Demography last month. Apparently, cohabitation is only an “intense form of dating,” and the view that it is a stepping stone to marriage needs to be “seriously questioned.”

Research as part of a Cornell University study revealed that the average time couples spend “living together” is less than two years and that only 4 percent of cohabiting couples stay together for more than ten years. Half of all cohabiting “unions” end within a year, and 90 percent within five years.

As ever, it is the children who suffer from this laissez-faire approach to relationships. Within five years of the birth of a child, 52 percent of cohabitants split up. This compares to 25 percent of those cohabiting couples who marry after the birth of the child, and only 8 percent of those couples who were already married when the child was born. Thus the experts have finally come to the earth-shattering (and earth-shatteringly obvious) conclusion that marriage is good for the stability of relationships and crucial to the well-being of children.

I'll go one further, although I've never seen any data to back it up. Marriages in which the wife gives up her maiden name and takes her husband's name are more stable than the two name and hyphenated name alternatives.

Like walking down the aisle, the name change is more than a mere symbol of commitment. At least in my experience -- Incredible Wife took my name and we're going to celebrate our 24th anniversary later this year. My ex kept her name.

hat-tip: Blogotional
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