Studies - Cohabitation

December 2007: Marriage / Cohabitation

Children are Safer When Living with Their Biological Parents

Stable Marriages Good for Kids

Divorce Bad for the Environment as well as Children

More Unmarried Moms Over 20…

CHILDREN ARE SAFER WHEN LIVING WITH BIOLOGICAL PARENTS: Research shows abuse increases when mom's boyfriend moves in. Child abuse in America is at a high, and experts warn the perpetrators tend to fit into one category.

Reports show children living in households with unrelated adults — usually their mom and her boyfriend — are more likely to be sexually abused, and 50 times more likely to die of injuries, than children living with their biological parents. 

“The demographers estimate that a child who’s born out of wedlock will have something like five or six different father figures and co-residents in their household or in their mother’s life before the age of 16," said Robin Wilson, a professor at Washington and Lee University professor. She said the boyfriend may see the child as a threat.

University of Virginia Professor Brad Wilcox told Family News in Focus that men often step into father-like shoes they are not ready to fill.
“It’s a very simple idea; it’s an idea that’s quite old," he said, "but we have to be attentive to the kinds of adults that we’re putting in contact with our children.”
Does your marriage really matter to your children? Research says it does. Read more on the Focus on Social Issues Web page, http://www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/marriage/A000000982.cfm
[20Nov07, http://www.citizenlink.org/CLNews/A000005964.cfm]

STABLE MARRIAGES GOOD FOR KIDS. Although the majority of children are still being raised by their married biological parents, as many as 40% of cohabiting couples, for instance, also have children in the home, a family constellation linked to increased poverty and other negative outcomes, a new report confirms. Glenn Stanton, author of Family Formation: Trends and Analysis, explains, “We find more and more kids being raised in homes that are unfortunately not suited to the well-being of children, but addressing and fitting the whims of adults, like cohabiting homes and single-parent homes.”
The study investigates family formation trends affecting American adults and children, including rates of divorce and cohabitation, and the cultural emphasis on adult wishes which neglect children's needs for a mother and a father. [http://www.citizenlink.org/FOSI/marriage/A000005939.cfm; 5Dec07, Abstinence Clearinghouse Update]

DIVORCE BAD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT – No Kidding
More people living in single-unit dwellings use less power and resources than those living alone.

Studies have abounded in the years since the widespread liberalization of divorce laws in western countries of the damage broken marriages do to children and women. Now a new victim of divorce has been identified by researchers: the environment.

Work by researchers at Michigan State University has shown a correlation between divorce and increasing a family's "carbon footprint". The study is based on the theory that more people living in single-unit dwellings use less power and resources than people living alone or in smaller households.

The atomization of families results in using more power for transport, light, heat, air conditioning and refrigeration, the big domestic power drains.

The study's abstract says that in the U.S. in 2005, divorced households spent 46% and 56% more on electricity and water per person than married households. Divorced households in the U.S. could have saved more than 38 million rooms, 73 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity, and 627 billion gallons of water in 2005 alone if their resource-use efficiency had been comparable to married households.

"Furthermore, U.S. households that experienced divorce used 42-61% more resources per person than before their dissolution."

"More households mean more houses," said Jianguo Liu, professor of fisheries and wildlife ecology and systems modelling at Michigan State. "To build more houses, you need more land, more construction material and more energy."

A trend in many cities is the proliferation in expanding wealthy areas of massive luxury homes with only one or two regular occupants or a couple with only one or two children. In many cases the owners also have one or more alternate homes in other cities or resort locations.

The study recommends that divorced families remarry or band together in shared dwellings. "Remarriage of divorced household heads increased household size and reduced resource use to levels similar to those of married households."

Published in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the study tracks data from 12 countries between 1998 and 2002, all of which showed a steady increase in the divorce rate. They included the U.S., Belarus, Brazil, Cambodia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Greece, Kenya, Mexico, Romania, South Africa, and Spain.

"People have been talking about how to protect the environment and combat climate change, but divorce is an overlooked factor that needs to be considered," Liu said.

Divorce laws were liberalized in the 1970's in most of the western world in conjunction with the changes in new social mores of the sexual revolution. In the intervening years, the children of divorced families have grown up and displayed the behavioural and psychological after effects, as well as the long-term financial repercussions, of broken homes.

Jenny Tyree, associate marriage analyst for Focus on the Family Action, commented, "The results of this study support the benefits of marriage, not just for families, but for our environment."

She said, "It makes sense that more households – as a result of family breakdown – would use more resources. [Family unity] is consistent with good environmental stewardship."
Study abstract:
http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0707267104v1?maxtoshow=&HITS=10&hits=10&RESULTFORMAT=&fulltext=divorce+environment&searchid=1&FIRSTINDEX=0&resourcetype=HWCIT ; 5Dec07, Hilary White, East Lansing, Michigan, LifeSiteNews.com]

 

 

MORE UNMARRIED MOMS OVER 20. New research by the Beverly LaHaye Institute documents an increase in the number of American women facing the difficult task of raising children alone. Lacking the support of a husband, never-married mothers of pre-schoolers also find themselves unemployed at a rate 4 times that of their married, parenting sisters.

Janet Shaw Crouse [Senior Fellow]: "Despite the Hollywood myths and the feminist rhetoric, being a mother of small children is a vulnerable time for women and the presence and support of a husband is vital to t

he welfare of her children.” Crouse concludes, “The best thing parents can do for their children is to marry each other before having those children and within that marriage to provide a stable, nurturing environment where their children can thrive. Otherwise, those children will be at risk for many undesirable outcomes.” ["BLI Releases Research on Unmarried Motherhood," BLI Press Release, 07-25-06; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 9Aug06]

 

“AS LONG AS WE BOTH SHALL LIVE” CAN MEAN A LONG TIME. Recently released data from researchers Robert Kaplan [UCLA] and Richard Kronick [Univ of CA at San Diego] show once again that marriage is good for the health as well as the heart.

Using census data and death certificates from 1989 through 1997, they showed that those who had lost a spouse were 40% more likely to die than those living with a spouse; divorced or separated individuals were 27% more likely to die, and never marrieds were 58% more likely to die. Men suffered more from the social isolation in these circumstances than women, they concluded. [New Study Confirms: Married People Live Longer,” CitizenLink.org, 08-15-06, http://www.family.org/cforum/briefs/a0041644.cfm; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, August 16, 2006]

http://www.family.org/cforum/briefs/a0041644.cfm; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, August 16, 2006]