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Who Remains Celibate?

  • Kathleen E. Kiernan (a1)


Who are the men and women who are single in their mid-30s? This study, which uses life history data for a British cohort born in 1946, shows that an important minority are ‘handicapped’ and these adults are cared for primarily by their families, in particular by elderly parents. Celibates tend to be more introverted, ambitious and to have older marrying parents than their ever-married peers. Single women differ from single men. The women are more likely to be of higher ability, to be graduates and to be in high status occupations whilst single men are more likely to be members of the lowest social class or unemployed. The great majority of single people live either with their parents or on their own.



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