Is it a sign of the times that researchers suggest the longstanding belief that marriage conveys unique physical and psychological benefits is outdated?
A new study, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, finds that marriage provides few additional benefits compared to couples living together.
While researchers did discover marriage and cohabitation provide benefits compared to being single, even then, the positive attributes were found to lessen over time following the honeymoon.
“Marriage has long been an important social institution, but in recent decades Western societies have experienced increases in cohabitation, before or instead of marriage, and increases in children born outside of marriage,” said Kelly Musick, Ph.D., of Cornell University’s College of Human Ecology.
“These changes have blurred the boundaries of marriage, leading to questions about what difference marriage makes in comparison to alternatives.”