Date of Award


Document Type




First Advisor

Dr. Stephen Cobb


Current research on cohabitation has focused on the negative aspects of the cohabiting experience. After examining the type of people drawn to cohabitation as well as the perceived disadvantages of the cohabiting experience, this study has focused on the reasons couples continue to choose cohabitation. The recent departure from marriage to cohabitation by adults in "mainstream" America is in part due to societal changes. Cohabitation is seen by many as a means to testing out a relationship before making the union official. Women today are continuing their education for many years and are thus postponing marriage. Cohabitation has presented itself as a viable option for those who desire intimacy without lifelong commitment. Cohabitation is attractive to others who desire to depart from the man 's authority that marriage places over the woman. Either way, cohabitation may serve as a way to limit the spread of HIV and STD 's by limiting individual's sexual partners.