Ever since the Great Recession hit, more and more couples have eschewed marriage in favor of cohabitation. And, according to recent census data, this has increasingly paired couples consisting of one employed female and one unemployed male. To Maggie Gallagher, founder of the National Organization for Marriage writing at Real Clear Politics, the trend is puzzling:
Here's my question: Why do women do it? Why do women agree to take in, nurture and economically support men who are not gainfully employed? I understand why men are willing to support women who do not work; I also understand why women do not marry unemployed men. But why in the world are women willing to do "everything but marriage" with men who they do not see as marriageable?
Especially since women living with men tends to lead to children in need. The majority of children born out of wedlock are now born to cohabiting couples. Sex every night considerably increases the odds of pregnancy, even with consistent contraceptive use. And the marriage-lite features of cohabitation tend to lull women's vigilance in that regard as well. (The group with the highest rates of contraceptive failure are young cohabiting women.)
...Young women appear increasingly stuck with fewer options, their mothering and nurturing impulses redirected at boyfriends having a hard time financially. Let's be honest: This is called not having your cake and not eating it too.
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.