• Dating Stories 24.03.2010

    A study I read about today talks about how many women that are not married feel a lot of stigma and pressure in today’s society in many ways. Some call it a “spinster” syndrome, and I didn’t even know what that was until I looked it up on wikipedia. Whoa, seriously?

    I knew there were issues and pressures on occasion in today’s society when it comes to marriage and kids. I have engaged in discussions on social networks about how it is annoying to both men and women when we are single, not married, and have no kids in some situations. It almost feels like total disrespect when people start showing baby pictures at work and we have nothing to add to the conversation.

    I have noticed some issues here and there, and have felt a bit of awkward silence when people ask if I am or have been married. I am sure that people wonder things like “what is wrong with this guy” or “is this guy gay?” – things like that. But other research has shown that we may just be ultra-independent, and the statistics hows that more and more men and women are choosing to live without marriage for many reasons.

    It was very interesting to see a study done and the things that they highlighted about issues that unmarried women face in today’s society still today. Things like:

    • Their single status made them both highly visible and invisible.
    • “Heightened visibility came from feelings of exposure, and invisibility came from assumptions made by others.”
    • Reminders that they are on different life paths than most women when others inquire about their single status
    • Feelings of insecurity and displacement in their families when parents and siblings remark about their singlehood and make jokes or rude comments.

    More from the article that was interesting:

    For example, the study subjects said they felt more visible in situations such as bouquet tosses at weddings, which prompted unwanted, intrusive questions about the their marriage status. Yet the respondents also felt invisible in society, with others assuming they were married and had children, and ignoring the reality of single women. The subjects often felt people expected them to justify or explain their singlehood.

    While one might think these annoyances become worse with age, the researchers actually found that dealing with single stigma is the worst for women in their mid-20’s through mid-30’s, while women older than age 35 tend to be more content with being single and don’t express as much dissatisfaction as do younger women.

    Before age 25, being single is considered more acceptable for women, the study indicates, but after reaching that age, women felt scrutinized by friends, family members and others for their singlehood.

    “Mainstream media also enforce these ideas,” Ganong said. “For example, shows like ‘Sex and the City,’ which portray female protagonists who are hyper-focused on finding men, and end with the majority of those characters getting married, are popular.”

    Well, I can certainly add more bad things to that, but lets also take some of the good out of this as well.

    I think men need to take this as a wake up call, I do believe that we often think that the attractive woman that has caught our eye is probably already married or in a relationship. Let’s realize that she may be dealing with feeling like she is invisible in society, we need to approach more women and let them know that we find them attractive.

    Oh, there is much more for me to write on this story – I will publish it for now, and come back to add some more dating advice with this stuff in mind.

    Posted by Steven @ 2:12 pm for Dating Stories |

    One Comment to "Study finds single women feel stigma in society still"

    • chatty woman says:

      You could see that stigma is several movies the past few years, and the sex in the city series as well. I do believe that is changing quite a bit these days, there are more and more people that do not find it unusual for a woman to be single and dating over 30, and even in their fifties these days.
      With woman taking over more and work and enjoying financial independence, it becomes a choice for many. The big “cougar” movement is about celebrating the choices of independent women. More and more women are enjoying the privileged lifestyle that was once reserved for wealthy men and concubines.
      There are also plenty of women that find themselves single for lack of finding good men worth the commitment. The amount of single women who are single parents, or “baby mommas” that are actively dating is a big reflection on the character of many men these days. I also think it has a lot to do with women claiming their own self respect and refusing to bow down to the past pressures of staying with a man no matter how abusive or irresponsible he is.
      I think men also suffer from the stigma to some degree as well. You see and hear statements like “he is not married at 30 what is wrong with him? Is he gay?”. Certainly there are men that have issues, and more and more men who are left without job options these days0 which many women will find not to be worthy of marriage. There are also ultra independent men who just do not want to settle down, and enjoy dating several women rather than settle down with just one.
      With divorce rates so high, and so many drama stories on lifetime and in the news in general, I expect this to be a trend that continues.

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