Daily Archives: October 2, 2011

The Effects of Cohabitation on Children

Brad Wilcox of Univ. of Virginia was recently interviewed in the Wa Po about the effects of cohabitation on children.  Interesting interview.  The title says it all: “Why Cohabitation is Worse than Divorce for Kids.” Like I tell my students all the time who ask about my life as a father, I recommend it…but get married first.  That helps.

I’ve found from rubbing shoulders with people out in the world that very few people actually think through decisions like this.  Raw desire and convenience are often the forces driving the decisional bus (“convenience” defined in a very narrow sense…really, given the stats, cohabitation isn’t at all convenient in any robust way).  The ‘ol analogy between choosing a mate and test driving a car is often all that’s needed to justify cohabitation, despite that fact that if the significant other paused to think about it, s/he wouldn’t really appreciate being compared to an Audi or Honda.

I know this subject is politically incorrect, and it will hurt the feelings of some because it suggests their lifestyle choices are wrong and/or unwise.  Oh well.  Truth is truth, and, however untasteful, we do people a disservice if we shield them from it in the name of protecting emotions.  And even on the emotional plane, such a shielding just might be counterproductive in the long run.

To somewhat ironically paraphrase feminist Naomi Wolf on a slightly different topic, to insist that the truth is in poor taste is the very height of hypocrisy.

HT: Wintery Knight