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Cohabitation in the Philippines: Attitudes and Behaviors Among Young Women and Men


Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University, Warren Hall, Ithaca, NY 14853 (


We examine data from a national survey of 15 – 27 year olds in the Philippines to assess attitudes toward marriage and cohabitation, and we analyze the marital and nonmarital union experiences of 25 – 27 year olds. We find that attitudes toward cohabitation remain quite conservative among young Filipinos, although men view cohabitation more favorably than do women. We also find that men’s socioeconomic status affects their ability to enter unions, particularly marriage, whereas women’s union formation patterns are influenced by the family in which they grew up, their participation in religious services, and to some degree by their place of residence. Both men and women who hold more liberal attitudes on a range of issues are more likely to have cohabited than are individuals who do not share those views. For now, however, we do not expect cohabitation to become a widespread substitute for marriage in the Philippines.