Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After

Article excerpt

Singled Out: How Singles are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, by Bella DePaulo. St. Martin's, November 2006. $24.95

Bella DePaulo seems to be happy as a single woman, and, in fact, she argues that single people can lead happy, productive, and fulfilling lives. This is quite a claim; after all, we hear daily in the popular press-and from noted "experts" on the subject of relationships and marriage-that single people are miserable, searching constantly for a partner (and feel like failures when they don't snag one), doomed to die alone (probably surrounded by cats), unloved, incomplete, self-centered, immature, unfit as parents, and just plain weird. In this version of the story, marriage is the norm, and those who do not partake of it skew the results of tests designed to "prove" that coupling is what solidifies society. DePaulo, a noted psychologist, challenges these claims with statistics (presented with a sense of humor), and demonstrates rather convincingly that "singlism" and "matrimania" do a major disservice to individual rights and potential. …

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