A number of definitions have been ascribed to singleness: never married, divorced (shortly or long after marriage), or widowed. Traditionally, single women have been identified as never married and usually childless (Adams, 1976). The latter criterion has varied in different subcultures and socioeconomic groups in the United States. Never-married, middle-class, heterosexual, usually childless women who are over 30 years of age will be the subject of this chapter. These women fall into three categories: those who deliberately delay marriage until completion of professional training, those who are voluntarily single (singleness declared as a preferred life-style), and those who are involuntarily single (marriage preferred, but thwarted by various factors). Data were obtained from open-ended interviews* and other contacts (in social and work-related settings) with single women. All of these women had received formal education beyond high school—college or business. Most were college graduates, and a sizable number had graduated from a professional school.
KeywordsRacial Identity Single Woman Unmarried Woman Childless Woman Current Population Report
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