While browsing around the Psychology Today website today, I came across a profound interview by Bella DePaulo on her “Living Single” blog. In the entry, DePaulo, a Harvard-educated social psychologist who authored Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still …

3 Comments to
Cultural Attitudes Toward Singles

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  1. i feel older single woman are ostracized in certain social situations (like country club membership) in america and briton because married women feel that they might poach their men.
    in a culture of arranged marriages like india, those dynamics might be diminished. if single women are happier in india, it is because they are better integrated into that society.
    nevertheless one might cast doubt that indian women have the same freedoms as american women. it is one modality to be a free american woman and go to india. it is perhaps another to expect ordinary indian woman to achieve anything outside of their gender determined roles in labor and society in india.
    I don’t see this as an argument for arranged marriages btw. if you want to see the cultural excesses of arranged marriages i highly recommend renting the indo-canadian film “water” which was a major undertaking to produce with respect to a strong hindu backlash against the project which delayed its completion for a few years and had to be shot in sri lanka under a fake working title to protect the filmmakers.
    try to imagine a conversation with the child widow character in this film who might be forced into prostitution with brahmins about the advantages of being single in india.

  2. I don’t know if this is because I have Native American roots, but I am a single woman who is very happy to be single right now. Life and my career just isn’t allowing for me to pursue such as relationship at this time. But I don’t “throw my hand” at the fact that I’d like it to happy one day.
    I think the U.S. has such an emphasis on power, prestige, socializing, being an extrovert (which I’m not), and “living it up” so much so that to retreat into your own home/life with a quiet atmosphere and a single life sounds boring, like you don’t have a life, and you need to get one. :) This couldn’t be furthest from the truth.

    I applaud such countries as India where single individuals are happy to be single and don’t feel that nonsensical need, that is, the need encouraged by society to be in a relationship. If you’re lonely, that’s a different story. But to pursue a relationship or companionship because that’s what “everyone is doing these days” is nonsensical.

    Being single and happy should be encouraged!

  3. I am a Indian..and having lived in India for 21 years and USA for 3 years..
    Marriage is a duty in India.Celibacy is celebrated only for monks or if you are part of a cult.
    It is almost impossible to be a single women in India.I do agree that,in India marriage has a broader concept which includes family. But the implications and the arguments/genralizations
    presented by both the authors are false.They should go back to India and stay for a longer time ,spend more time with poor Indian women..then they can be entitled to write articles on marriage/single’s scene in India…

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