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To this should be added the fact that more people are simply remaining single than in the past, at least for the time being.
All of these changes may have altered the meaning itself of marriage for many (Walker and Mc Graw, 2000) and some scholars are concerned about the "stripping away of marriage from parenting" (Doherty et al., 2000). DEFINITIONS AND INSTITUTION Marriage is defined as a sexual, economic, and emotional partnership between a man and a woman that is socially and legally sanctioned.
Commitment is a key, multifaceted aspect of the institution of marriage (Johnson, 1999) and so is fidelity—although, in many societies, it is required of women only.
Still, especially in North America, marriage has become a private relationship based on personal satisfaction rather than a covenant built on mutual fulfillment and responsibilities.
In Alberta, it was felt that such rights might undermine marriage.
Furthermore, as if to downplay the importance of marital ties, in Quebec, many married couples refer to each other as my "copine" (my girlfriend) of my "copin" or "chum" (my boyfriend). The issues of divorce and lone parenthood are addressed elsewhere (Ambert, 2005a, c; 2002a, b). (In Canada, this definition is modified to include same-sex couples who marry.) Until recently, in all societies of the world, marriage has been at the basis of family formation, that is, of reproduction. In this article, we look at cohabitation and marriage and ask, How are they related? It is an institution: It involves norms dictating the rights and responsibilities of spouses, of society toward them, and of spouses as parents. Family structure and child well-being: Economic resources versus parental behaviors. " The Vanier Institute of the Family, September 17, 2005 There is a great deal of public discussion concerning the "decline of marriage" in the media, in politics, in religious circles, and in research. The line of reasoning is that marriage is endangered because of high divorce rates, a substantial increase in cohabitation, and births to single mothers. The influence of school enrollment and accumulation on cohabitation and marriage in early adulthood.