In the Cold War period of the 1950s and early 1960s, an era in which married life was often idealized as essential for personal happiness and success, non-conformance became a social problem in need of study and explanation.
Experts in social science fields of psychology and sociology, and commentators in the popular press conducted research and published findings that sought to account for the relatively large numbers of men and women who remained unmarried despite societal pressures to wed.
In this sequel to an earlier article on unmarried women, Look magazine writer Eleanor Harris, in response to suggestions of readers, addressed the topic of bachelorhood by presenting testimonies of selected men on the reasons they remained unmarried and conclusions of authorities regarding these explanations.
The publication of Women Without Men, by Eleanor Harris, in the July 5 issue of LOOK brought an unusually heavy response from readers.
Many of the letters reflected the baffled loneliness of men and women who said they wished to marry, but found it difficult to meet potential husbands or wives.
A number of readers suggested this sequel—a report on America’s unmarried men.
Today in the United States, there are 18,022,000 men without women.
Unmarried women were depicted as “depressed” or “frantic,” while single men were typed as “fixated on a mother figure,” inclined to “antiresponsibility,” or “latent homosexuals.” Men often failed to find the “perfect” woman; women frequently could not find even an “eligible” man.
Ultimately, the articles portrayed the unwed female’s predicament far more portentously than the male’s: women were “likely to get stranded” if they waited too long to get married, but it was “never too late” for men.
Men Without Women By ELEANOR HARRIS More than 18,000,000 American men are single, divorced or widowed.
Here is a report on their lonely lives—and the reasons they do not marry.
Of the total, 14,768,000 are bachelors, 2,161,000 are widowers, and 1,093,000 are divorced.