A reporter just asked me about celebrities and other people in the news. Do they have anything important to tell us about single life? I realized that over the years, I have often used the words and deeds of public figures as jumping-off points for analyses of the place of marriage and single life in contemporary society.
Single people are all over popular culture. Usually, they are portrayed in stereotypical ways. Occasionally, though, I am pleasantly surprised.
Literature, opera, the arts — all the forms that are considered more serious than popular culture — can go either way as well. You would think that there would be little caricaturing in this domain, but sadly, that’s not so.
It took me forever, but I’m finally on Twitter! The photo you see is what I’m using on my profile page (as well as my actual photo). On Twitter, I’m @belladepaulo and I’m looking for interesting people to follow.
All sorts of people get in touch with me, hoping that I can put them in touch with other single people who want to live their single lives fully (and not just escape them). Others want me to point them to helpful resources. A few of the many examples are listed below in the next section, “What Are People Looking For?”
Every time I get one of those requests, I try to generate names or resources offhand. That’s not very efficient. Plus, I only know a very tiny fraction of the single people (or scholars of single people or professionals who work with single people) who might be interested in helping out or who might also want to be in touch with other single people (for friendship, discussion, workshops, or just about anything else except dating).
So, for anyone who is interested, I would like to start a Community of Single People. I want to know who you are so I can connect you with interested parties (as described below). Once the Community is launched, however, members who want to do more with the community can also use it in other ways (for example, to discuss on Facebook anything that interests them).
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.
[This article is co-authored – in alphabetical order – by Lisa Arnold, Rachel Buddeberg, Christina Campbell, and Bella DePaulo. We are cross-posting it on all of our blogs.]
“White privilege” and “male privilege” are familiar concepts in our cultural conversations. There is, however, another vast swath of unearned privileges that have gone largely unrecognized, even though they unfairly advantage about half of the adult population in the United States. We’re talking about marital privileges. People who marry enjoy social, cultural, economic, and political advantages that single people do not, simply because they are married.