Singled Out How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.

St. Martin's Griffin



Trade Paperback

336 Pages



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Single Americans are redefining the traditional adult lifestyles in this country. More than 40 percent of the nation's adults—over 87 million people—are divorced, widowed, or have always been single. There are more households comprised of single people living alone than of married parents and their children. Americans now spend more of their adult years single than married.

Many of today's single people have careers, homes that they own, and a network of friends, many of whom are also single. In the twenty-first century, singles can have sex without marrying, and they can raise smart, successful, and happy children. Yet too often single people are still asked to defend their single status by an onslaught of judgmental peers and fretful relatives.

Drawing from decades of scientific research and stacks of stories from real single Americans, Bella DePaulo challenges the myths of singledom that have been proposed by prominent politicians, the popular media, and the intelligentsia—and finds that much of what we hear about the benefits of getting married and the perils of staying single are exaggerated or simply false. Although singles are singled out for unfair treatment by the workplace, the marketplace, and the federal tax structure, Dr. DePaulo says that they are not always victims of this singlism. Successful singledom is possible in America today.


Praise for Singled Out

"[A] hilarious, superbly researched diatribe in favor of living well single."—The Washington Post

"One by one, chapter by chapter, DePaulo breaks down the image of singlehood in the modern world, particularly in present-day America. She looks at issues facing both men and women with one chapter devoted specifically to the image the different sexes face. This gives the book a balance and makes it readable and pertinent to everyone. She shows how single people are not all looking to get married, single people aren't just refusing to grow up by not getting married, and single people are not doomed to die alone. Her analysis is based in a great deal of research, and never feels like a single woman complaining about how the world sees her. She presents her argument clearly and in an engaging manner. She brings the reader to her way of thinking quickly and easily and makes us rethink what it means to be single in today's society. She offers a way that the world should be in a chapter at the end, but she is very clear about the complexities of the issue and doesn't present any 'easy' fix."—Kristin Conard, Feminist Review

"With 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. She addresses, too, the resilience of single women and men in the face of such singlism. A must-read for all single adults, their friends and families, as well as social scientists and policy advocates."—E. Kay Trimberger, author of The New Single Woman

Reviews from Goodreads



Read an Excerpt

Singled Out

Singlism: The Twenty-First-Century Problem That Has No Name
I think married people should be treated fairly. They should not be stereotyped, stigmatized, discriminated against, or ignored....

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  • Bella DePaulo, Ph.D.

  • Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is a social psychologist who did her graduate work at Harvard. She is currently a visiting professor at the University of California at Santa Barbara. DePaulo is single and living in Summerland, California.

  • Bella DePaulo Ph.D.