From Sexual Involvement to Coresidential Unions: New Findings from the 2002 NSFG

Sharon Sassler, Cornell University
Amanda J Miller, Ohio State University
Sarah Favinger, Ohio State University

While premarital sexual abstinence is a growing component of health education, the majority of American adults have engaged in sexual activity prior to marriage. Many are also involved in sexual relationships without marriage intentions, and over half of recent marriages have been preceded by a period of cohabitation. Nonetheless, relatively little is known about the duration of sexual involvement prior to the formation of coresidential unions. This paper uses event history analysis to examine the duration from sexual involvement to coresidential unions for American men and women. Data are from Wave 6 of the NSFG. We distinguish by outcomes, contrasting entrance into marriage versus cohabitation, as well as the disruption of non-coresidential sexual unions. Multivariate analysis allows us to examine the factors predicting transition time from sexual involvement to various types of unions. The results shed light on the ways that sexual intimacy has transformed the evolution of American’s relationships.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Family, Households, Unions; Data, Methods, Study Design