Do parents have more skin in the game, or more skin in their own children’s game?

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In the latest bomb thrown to inflame the culture wars, it has been suggested that people who do not have children should not be allowed to vote, because they don’t have any skin in the game. Without any kids, the argument goes, they don’t care about the future. Instead, children should get to vote, through their parents. A parent to nine children, for example, would get nine votes, while an adult with no kids would get no votes.

I’m not using names or links…

We’ve been led to believe that marrying protects us from wanting to take our own lives. I looked at the data.

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Ever since I started studying single life, there is a name that has been tossed at me with some regularity: Emile Durkheim. He was the French sociologist who in 1897 said that unmarried people die by suicide more often than married people do. Marriage, he believed, provided a measure of social integration in a society that single people lacked. Getting divorced disrupts your life and decreases social integration, so that also increases your risk of taking your own life.

Matrimaniacs believe these kinds of things, and they claim that Durkheim’s conclusions from the late 1800s are still true today. They…

Singles parent themselves instead of finding another parent and marrying them

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One stereotype about single people is that they are just not as mature as married people. By this way of thinking, they aren’t really fully adult. Like so many other stereotypes of them, this one may well have it exactly wrong.

In a brilliant discussion on the Solo podcast, the second of two featuring sociologist Kinneret Lahad, Iris Schneider said:

“The difference between an adult and a child is that an adult is a good parent to themselves. …

The Community of Single People now includes more than 5,800 people from more than 100 nations

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Six years ago, in July of 2015, I started an online Facebook group, the Community of Single People, for people who want to discuss every aspect of living single except dating or trying to become unsingle. We gather to share our experiences in every variety — our joys and accomplishments, our challenges and frustrations, our observations and our questions, the latest studies, something intriguing or enraging that showed up in our feeds or in the media, and those experiences that sometimes only single people really “get.”

Most of us are single and happy about it, including a decent number of…

In the 1960s and 1970s, we were less enamored of marriage and more serious about creating community, E. Kay Trimberger points out.

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The publication of Kate Bolick’s Spinster: Making a Life of One’s Own in 2015 inspired a whole wave of reviews, personal essays, and think pieces, including my own. At the time, I had a blog at Psych Central, and invited E. Kay Trimberger, author of The New Single Woman, to share her thoughts. She offered an important perspective I had not seen anywhere else — a cultural and historical analysis, told through the lens of personal experiences, of someone born more than three decades before Bolick, and even a few years before Bolick’s mother.

Cultural sensibilities around marriage and single…

Before recent legislation, single people with no kids could be taxed into poverty

Something unusual and quite good happened when President Biden signed the Covid relief bill, the American Rescue Plan, into law on March 11, 2021. The needs of a group of Americans who are typically ignored, single adults with no children, were recognized and addressed.

Maybe you haven’t heard anything about this. In some of the news articles about the legislation, it wasn’t even mentioned in passing. Much of the fanfare focused on the potential of the Plan to lift half of the currently impoverished children out of poverty. That’s important and impressive. …

14 perspectives more inclusive and less stigmatizing of single people than Justice Kennedy’s

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Six years ago, on June 26, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States legalized same-sex marriage nationwide. Obergefell v. Hodges was an historic decision.

To activists who worked so hard for this, the ruling was a huge step forward on a long path to social justice. I’m all for social justice and civil rights. But the decision let more people into marriage while all single people were still unjustly left out of all of the benefits and protections awarded only to those who are legally married. …

Most writings about single people are about single women. But do more women stay single?

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In my studies of single people, I’m just as interested in single men as single women. But I seem to be the exception. Overwhelmingly, people who blog about single life or opine about it or even write scholarly books or articles about it, focus on single women. (Recently, we have been hearing more by and about single men, as these books and blogs indicate, but still not nearly enough.)

I think a big part of the reason for that is that single life is supposedly more of an issue for women than for men. Women are presumably more interested in…

Single women are especially likely to start their own business

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It is something almost everyone has fantasized about at one point or another: having a big sum of money land in your lap. What would you do if you won the lottery or inherited a nice sum of money? Do you think the answer to that question would depend on your gender and marital status?

Robert Sauer and Tanya Wilson, economists in Great Britain, studied one particular way that people sometimes change their lives after inheriting money — they start their own businesses. Inheriting money can increase anyone’s odds of becoming an entrepreneur if that interests them. But it turns…

Here’s what was happening during the second and third years of the online Community of Single People

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Ever since I started the online Facebook group, the Community of Single People, in 2015, I have written anniversary posts each year. Two of those were published at a site that has been discontinued, so I am sharing them here. The posts marking the other years can be found here.

The Community of Single People Is 2 Years Old

A few months ago, a reporter asked me to weigh in on a story she was writing on the psychology of deception. That was my previous area of expertise, and sometimes I decline those requests if I am particularly busy. I told her that these days, my interest is in…

Bella DePaulo

“America’s foremost thinker and writer on the single experience,” according to the Atlantic. Author of “Singled Out.” Harvard PhD

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