Popenoe, a researcher, is happy to let people decide these things for themselves. But he does state that couples should not cohabitate if there are children involved. By increasing the odds of parental couples breaking up, cohabitation ends up hurting children. Popenoe also claims that the data show a higher risk of child abuse in households in which the adults are living together rather than married. The report states that the most dangerous family structure for a small child is a household in which the child’s mother is living with a man other than its father. The data lead to the conclusion that such children are at a far higher risk of abuse than those living in a home with both biological mother and biological father.
Respond to the forum by answering the following questions: What differences do you see between a couple cohabiting and being married? What do you see as possible links between the increasing age at first marriage and the rising cohabitation rate?