The single tax

What Bella DePaulo’s research reveals about the social and economic costs of being single:

Single people face discrimination in the workplace … DePaulo posits that single people’s non-work lives are often cast as less valid and valuable than married people’s. As a result, they’re often expected to cover while those with spouses or families leave the office early, take the leftover vacation slots or travel more on the assumption they have no need to be home. For US singles, there are also more concrete effects, like insurance benefits or Social Security benefits and pay: married men earn about 26 percent more than single menat equivalent levels.

… and are generally held in lower esteem than married counterparts. DePaulo and her colleagues created biographical sketches of people who were identical — except that half were single, while half were married. Participants judged the hypothetical singles to be less socially mature, less well adjusted, and more self-centered than their otherwise identical married counterparts. The effect was starker for hypothetical 40-year-olds — who, by cultural standards, are at a should-be-married age — but persisted for hypothetical 25-year-olds, too. [link]


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