Sukneva S. A., Barashkova A. S. The phenomenon of cohabitation in the northern region: extent, causes and demographic consequences, pp. 97-110

Understanding cohabitation not only as a sign of the institutional crisis of the traditional marriage, but also as a recognition of the objectivity of this phenomenon necessitates consideration in sparsely populated remote regions of the country. At present in Yakutia every sixth married couple prefers to not register their marriage relationship and this without a doubt is one of the reasons for simplification and the deterioration of the family composition of the population of the Republic. From 2002 to 2010 the total number of married people remained almost the same, while the number of cohabitants rose 1,4 times. Very significant territorial differences can be found in the character of the changes in this indicator for both the general population and representatives of the three cohorts. Based on the materials of the survey and the group-focused interviews, causes and possible demographic consequences of the phenomenon of cohabitation are analyzed. The respondents mentioned “the opportunity to test this marriage” factor as the main one. This answer prevails in the responses of both men and women, regardless of their place of residence. Among other arguments of loyal and even sympathetic attitudes toward cohabitation, the respondents mention such notions and opportunities as: trusting each other and the ease of termination in case of failure. In each focus group, it was noted that illegitimate forms of marriage is brought from outside, is — in a way — some kind of “fashion”. This fashion for Yakuts mentality is detrimental. An important argument for the critical attitude of the society towards the phenomenon of cohabitation is also its restrictive effect on the birth-rate.
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