AirTalk for July 29, 2013

Ridding the stigma of being single

Gavin Clabaugh/Flickr

Are societal views towards single people changing?

Author and social psychologist Bella DePaulo boldly and happily declares that she is single. As a woman in her late 50s, she says that being single is not just her marital status but that she is “single at heart” and being married would be “a step down.”

As more Americans are marrying later or choosing to not get married, DePaulo advocates for the rights of single people in the workforce. She believes that federal benefits and protections should not be given only to married couples. And in the workplace, it’s not fair that co-workers with children get more attention.

In her new book, “Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Stop it,” DePaulo believes that single co-workers should not have to cover for their married colleagues because a single’s life is just as important and meaningful as someone with a family. As women no longer need to be married to sustain a living, DePaulo believes societal views towards single women need to change. “Singlism” advocates that single women should be able to have sex without stigma or shame and not be pressured to be married or be mothers.

Are you single? What’s your experience? Do you feel that married people have more privileges in the workplace? Are societal views towards single people changing? Or are there certain stigmas towards singles? Are women still under the pressure of getting married? Have you deliberately decided to not get married?

Guest:

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., psychology professor at UC Santa Barbara, author of “Singlism: What It Is, Why It Matters, and How to Stop it” and “SINGLED OUT: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After” (St. Martin’s Griffin, 2007); she coined the term “singlism.”


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