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Partner Choice in Marriages and Cohabitations
Robert Schoen and Robin M. Weinick
Journal of Marriage and Family
Vol. 55, No. 2 (May, 1993), pp. 408-414
Published by: National Council on Family Relations
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/352811
Page Count: 7
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Patterns of partner choice can illuminate the relationship between cohabitation and marriage. If cohabitations are "informal marriages," partner choice in cohabitations should resemble partner choice in marriages. However, if cohabitation is a distinct relationship, a "looser bond," then partner choice in cohabitations should give more emphasis to short-term and achieved characteristics (such as education) and less emphasis to long-term and ascribed characteristics (such as age, religion, and race). Data from the National Survey of Families and Households are used to examine partner choice in both cohabitations and marriages. The results support the "looser bond" view of cohabitation as a distinct type of relationship. Compared to recently married persons, cohabitors show both a greater propensity to choose a partner with the same education and a lesser propensity to choose a partner with the same age or religion.
Journal of Marriage and Family © 1993 National Council on Family Relations