The next time your relatives pick on you for not having a husband yet, put on your brightest smile and show them scientific proof that unmarried and child-free women are much happier.
Paul Dolan, happiness expert and renowned professor at the London School of Economics, discussed his research and data showing that long-held traditional measurements for success, such as marriage and childrearing, do not in fact correspond to a woman’s personal happiness.
In an article originally published by The Guardian, professor Dolan was quoted as saying “We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: if you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother.”
“You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children – ‘Bless, that’s a shame, isn’t it? Maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change.’ No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change. Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”
What leads single women to feel unhappy and lose confidence in themselves is the social stigma surrounding singleness and childlessness.
Culturally derisive terms such as the “leftover woman” can push an otherwise successful and content single woman to look for social acceptance that does not necessarily equate to her personal happiness or goals, says Dolan.
Latest population figures in Singapore show that more women across several age groups are single compared to figures from a decade ago. In 2018, 68.1 percent of Singaporean women aged 25 to 29 remained unmarried, 32.8 percent of women aged 30 to 34, and 18.1 percent of of women aged 40 to 44 were single. Interestingly, marriage trends increased significantly in the past year with 24,417 marriages involving Singaporean citizens./TISG
— BBC Arts (@bbcarts) May 28, 2019