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Premarital Sex in AmericaHow Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying$
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Mark Regnerus and Jeremy Uecker

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199743285

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199743285.001.0001

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Marriage in the Minds of Emerging Adults

Marriage in the Minds of Emerging Adults

Chapter:
(p.169) Six Marriage in the Minds of Emerging Adults
Source:
Premarital Sex in America
Author(s):

Mark Regnerus (Contributor Webpage)

Jeremy Uecker

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199743285.003.0006

This chapter explores the ideas of marriage in the minds of young adults. The vast majority of them wish to get married, yet the institution itself seems disconnected not only from where they are in their lives, but also where many of them want to go. Marriage becomes a future event that will somehow happen someday in the scripted manner in which they conceive of it. In the present, therefore, they remain cautious about it. Those must wait for the right person — not just any sexual partner — or until they’re ready to “settle down” and marry. Many young adults now perceive their 20s as the time to extend your adolescence, enjoy yourself, and try on different identities and relationships before getting serious. The chapter also explores the prevalence of “early” marriage as well as divorce, and discusses the increasing frequency of cohabitation.

Keywords:   early marriage, early divorce, settling down, emerging adulthood, cohabitation, sexual chemistry, military families

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