Many argue that the rise of cohabitation may have been fueled by availability of
highly effective contraception, but that differences in contraceptive use between
married and cohabiting couples should diminish as cohabitation becomes more
established. This analysis examines whether cohabiting women in the United
States, Spain, and France are more likely than married women in these countries
to use the most effective contraceptive methods. It also considers the association
between sterilization and socioeconomic status in comparative context.
Specifically, it explores whether similar patterns are observed in the U.S. and
nine other low-fertility countries, and consider whether these associations can be
explained by differences across groups in background factors such as the timing
of childbearing or union stability.