Trends in Attitudes About Marriage, Childbearing, and Sexual Behavior: United States

An NCHS report describes attitudes about marriage, childbearing, and sexual behavior among men and women aged 15–44 in the United States based on the 2002, 2006–2010, and 2011–2013 National Survey of Family Growth.

Findings:

  • An increase in the percentage of men and women who agreed with premarital cohabitation.
  • An increase in the percentage of men and women who agreed with nonmarital childbearing.
  • An increase in the percentage of men and women who agreed with the right for gay and lesbian adults to adopt children.
  • An increase in the percentage of men and women who agreed with the right for same-sex sexual relations, as well as premarital sex for 18 year olds.
  • A decrease in the percentage who agreed with divorce.
  • No change from 2006-2010 to 2011-2013 in attitudes regarding marriage, cohabitation and the risk of divorce.
  • No change in attitudes about the necessity of having children for one’s happiness.
  • No change in attitudes about raising children in a cohabiting union.
  • No change in attitudes about premarital sex for 16 year olds.
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