I attended the Socratic Conversation on Nov. 3, 2011. The topic of the session was: "Singlism", Marriage, "Partnership", or...? What's the Right Choice for You?
. During the session, people from different cultural backgrounds (India, South Africa, Japan, Brazil, China, and U.S.) shared their unique (but to some extent, more or less similar) perspectives on how being single is viewed in each of their own societies.
It was brought to my attention when a participant said that in his country, esp. at workplace, those who are married have better chances to get promoted, comparing to those who are singles. And if you are divorced, people view you even more negatively. It indicates that you have problems in some aspects (i.e. irresponsible, poor communicator, poor problem solver, or not a team player, etc.). I was quite surprised. I thought companies would value singles because they are more likely to devote themselves more into their works. It could be a cultural difference example or a sign that companies nowadays value a different range of skills in their candidates.
Another interesting finding was that when I did a book search on "single" in TC Catalog, I found a lot of books talk about issues related to single women but little in single men. And many books analyze the psychological, emotional, and physical problems females experienced if they are not married. It could imply how differently our societies evaluate females and males.
Below is a list of the books related to Singlism if you are interested in knowing more about this issue.
Why are you single? (1965)
The age of the bachelor : creating an American subculture (1999)
Even God is single : (so stop giving me a hard time) (2000)
The new single woman (2005)
Singlism : what it is, why it matters, and how to stop it(2011)