|Booksellers begin distributing a
new book for single people this week. The book by
Professor Bella DePaulo is entitled "Singled Out: How singles
are stereotyped, stigmatized, and ignored, and still live
happily ever after."
Singled Out is the culmination of many years of research
and analysis by Professor DePaulo, a scholar who has focused
much of her academic career on the lives and concerns of single
people. I've had the pleasure of working with her on
singles issues for several years and I know how thorough
Professor DePaulo is in her research and how compelling she can
be in her presentation.
exposes myths and stereotypes about single people and lays the
groundwork for social, political, and economic change Ė change
that is long overdue in government policies and business
practices. With the majority of the nation's households now
headed by unmarried adults, itís time for America to become
acquainted with its new "unmarried majority."
"Drawing from decades of
scientific research and stacks of stories from the front lines
of singlehood, Bella DePaulo debunks the myths of singledom---and
shows that just about everything youíve heard about the benefits
of getting married and the perils of staying single are grossly
exaggerated or just plain wrong," says the publisher's book
Singled Out focuses on Ten
Myths of Singlehood, including:
- Myth #1: The Wonder of
Couples: Marrieds know best.
- Myth #3: The Dark Aura of
Singlehood: You are miserable and lonely and your life is
- Myth #5: Attention, Single
Women: Your work wonít love you back and your eggs will dry
up. Also, you donít get any and youíre promiscuous.
- Myth #6: Attention, Single
Men: You are horny, slovenly, and irresponsible, and you are
the scary criminals. Or you are sexy, fastidious, frivolous,
- Myth #7: Attention, Single
Parents: Your kids are doomed.
- Myth #9: Poor Soul: You will
grow old alone and you will die in a room by yourself where
no one will find you for weeks.
- Myth #10: Family Values:
Letís give all of the perks, benefits, gifts, and cash to
couples and call it family values.
"When it comes to singlism, most
Americans just donít get it," DePaulo writes in the chapter
focusing on discrimination. "They either donít think that
single and married people are treated any differently, or if
they do notice married people getting the better deal, it
doesnít occur to them that there is anything wrong with that."
"Mostly, though," she writes,
"they just donít think about the matter at all."
Singled Out will
definitely get people thinking about things they have overlooked
or ignored in the past. And the book is not just focused
on bias and discrimination, it looks at the upside of singleness
"Single people start out as
targets of discrimination, but they do not end up as hapless
victims," DePaulo writes. "Their lives, in many instances,
are instead sparkling examples of psychological strength and
ďWith elegant analysis,
wonderfully detailed examples, and clear and witty
prose, DePaulo lays out the many, often subtle denigrations and
discriminations faced by single adults in the U.S.," says E. Kay
Trimberger, author of The New Single Woman.
Trimberger emphasizes that Singled Out is a "must-read
for all single adults, their friends and families, as well as
social scientists and policy advocates.Ē
Singled Out is now
amazon.com for $16.47. Do yourself a favor and order a
copy. In fact, buy two and give one to a single friend who
will appreciate it or to someone -- married or single -- who
needs a little education on the subject.
Unmarried America 2006
Thomas F. Coleman, Executive Director of Unmarried America, is an
attorney with 33 years of experience in singles' rights, family
diversity, domestic partner benefits, and marital status discrimination.
Each week he adds a new commentary to Column One: Eye on Unmarried
firstname.lastname@example.org. Unmarried America is a nonprofit
information service for unmarried employees, consumers, taxpayers, and