to guide group discussion:
1. What in the pre-discussion materials (readings/videos) surprised you?
2. Why would sociologists consider cohabitation to be “less marriage prep and more divorce prep?”
3. On average, why do you think married-couple families are more successful financially than cohabiting-couple families?
4. Who do you think benefits most from a cohabiting relationship, the male or the female? Why? Who do you think generally initiates the “let’s move in together” conversation?
5. Around 42 percent of all children born in the U.S. are born out of wedlock; most are born to cohabiting couples. What characteristics of a cohabiting relationship make it detrimental to children?
6. If cohabitation hurts marriages why do so many people cohabit?
7. Have you observed the phenomena of “sliding rather than deciding” in couples who cohabit? In your opinion, who experiences the most negative consequences with the “slide” into a relationship – men or women?
8. If you have a friend considering cohabitation, what would be an effective way to share what you have learned today?
9. Some couples proudly proclaim: “We don’t need a piece of paper [marriage] to prove we love one another.” How would you respond to that statement?
10. If cohabitation hurts marriages then why do so many people cohabit?
11. Children living with their mother and her boyfriend are about 11 times more likely to be sexually, physically, or emotionally abused than children living with their married biological parents. This is a shocking yet understandable statistic, but explain this: Children living with their cohabiting biological parents are more than four times more likely to be sexually, physically, or emotionally abused than their peers living in a home headed by their married biological parents.