Thanks and congratulations to AtMP member Whitney J. in Florida, who sent us copies of pages of her textbook along with this note:
I have been taking a class on human sexuality this summer. The reading was pretty interesting, and I was enjoying it, until I got to Chapter 10. I was pretty disheartened at the description of cohabitation, and I thought I would share it with you. Maybe someone could send the texbook authors some less biased statistics and information? I really hate to think that students learning from this text may second-guess themselves and their relationships because two people decided to cherry-pick the research to use in their textbook.
AtMP’s student interns and I are impressed and inspired that Whitney is such a critical thinker and activist!
Whitney highlighted these lines from the textbook: “…these marriages [that follow cohabitation] are more likely to end in divorce than are marriages not preceded by cohabitation. … the seeds of divorce are sown in the pre-engagement relationship. … men in pre-engagement cohabiting relationships were less committed to the partner.” And, “…married men and women are significantly more satisfied than are cohabiting or single men and women in a continuing relationship.” The pages of the text that she sent did not offer any further caveats or alternate analysis.
As Whitney knows, AtMP has been addressing this kind of blunt negativity about unmarried relationships for over a decade. We’ve collected a variety of expert interpretations about the data on cohabitation, especially cohabitation and divorce. We also wrote our own careful, nuanced analysis of data that was widely misreported back in 2002.
Following Whitney’s suggestion, we’re sending this information to the textbook authors – a married couple!