This page started out as a collection of critiques of studies of married vs. single people. I have now expanded it to include collections of writings on all sorts of topics about single life. Scroll down to see them.
Every time I learn about a new claim that getting married makes people happier or healthier or more connected or live longer (and all the rest), I go to the original research report to see what the findings really did say. The media — and sadly, many social scientists — routinely get it wrong. No, getting married does not cause you to become lastingly happier or healthier or better off in any way than if you stayed single (well, you do get more money because of all the laws and practices that benefit married people and discriminate against singles).
Here (below), you can find links to all my critiques of these studies. I’ll keep adding more as new claims hit the media that I need to debunk. I’ve also put together 2 books of my writings explaining why all those Marriage Wins claims are so wrong. Marriage vs. Single Life: How Science and the Media Got It So Wrong includes a chapter previously available only in an expensive edited volume, a new paper that is the most powerful and comprehensive explanation of what the research does and does not show about the implications of getting married, plus 39 other brief chapters (many from my blogs). Because I think that new powerful and comprehensive paper is so important, I have made it into a stand-alone book (together with an introduction) in The Science of Marriage: What We Know That Just Isn’t So. (Both are available both as paperbacks and as ebooks. You can read more about them here.) My first book, Singled Out, also includes discussions and explanations of what’s wrong with the claims of married people’s superiority.
Below are collections of links critiquing myths about getting married and getting happier, healthier, etc. (Also check out, “Everything you think you know about single people is wrong.”) Under “Other Topics” (below) you can find collections of writings on all sorts of aspects of single life. I also discuss single people and single life in many of my books, such as Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After, How We Live Now: Redefining Home and Family in the 21st Century, The Best of Single Life, Alone: The badass psychology of people who like being alone, and others you can find here.
Myth-Busting about Single Life
PHYSICAL HEALTH and MENTAL HEALTH Getting married and (not) getting healthy
RELATIONSHIPS, ATTACHMENT, CAREGIVING, VOLUNTEERING Single people are caring, connected, attached, and unselfish
SINGLE-PARENT FAMILIES Single parents and their children: Don’t believe the prophesies of doom
SEX Getting married and (not) getting sex (and other sex-relevant topics)
MONEY Getting married and getting more money (and other articles about the economics of single life)
COLLECTION OF CRITIQUES What’s wrong with studies and claims about the supposed benefits of marriage?
How we live now
The best of single life
Some basics about single life
Demographics (number of singles, age when people marry, rates of divorce and remarriage, etc., and what it all means)
Gender differences (in living single, marrying, divorcing, remarrying, bereavement, living alone, and living apart together)
Single men (separate category because so much writing about singles is about single women)
Singlism and matrimania, and why we need advocacy for single people
Singles in different domains and different places
Housing (buying homes, housing discrimination, living arrangements)
Popular culture and beyond (TV, movies, magazines, literature, the arts, opera, etc.)
We need to rethink these matters
Holidays (including single people’s celebrations of the milestones in their lives)
Resources: Books, talks, discussion groups, advocacy groups and more
A Few Books about Single Life
For links to all of my books, click here.