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In Europe, the Scandinavian countries have been the first to start this leading trend, although many countries have since followed.
During the past decades, in Western countries, there has been an increase in unmarried couples cohabiting.
Historically, many Western countries have been influenced by Christian doctrines on sex, which opposes unmarried cohabitation.
As social norms have changed, such beliefs have become less widely held by the population and some Christian denominations today view cohabitation as a precursor to marriage.
has led to women making individual choices over their reproduction with decreased reliance on male partners for financial stability.
All these changes favored living arrangement alternatives to marriage.
In today's cohabiting relationships, forty percent of households include children, giving us an idea of how cohabitation could be considered a new normative type of family dynamic.In Central and Eastern Europe, during the late 1980s and early 1990s, there were major political changes, such as the fall of Communist governments.These societies entered a new era of increased social freedom, less rigid rules, and less authoritarian governments.In 2001, researchers compared teenage children living in a cohabiting household against peers in single-parent households.The results showed Caucasian and Hispanic teenagers had lower performance in school, greater risk of suspension or expulsion than peers from single-parent households, and the same rate behavioral and emotional problems.