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So you're single and don’t want to get married?
What caused your mother to fret just a generation ago might still cause her to worry, but at least this time around you are unlikely to be the only unconventional child, as illustrated by the second annual Singles in America study.
The latest edition of the online survey found that among those singles 21 and older, 27 percent said they didn't want to get hitched while roughly another 40 percent were uncertain whether they did. A little more than one-third (34.5 percent) said they knew for sure they wanted to get hitched.
While the poll was compiled for dating website Match.com, it has plenty of science behind it. It was developed with the help of
Singles in America was funded by Match.com and conducted in association with biological anthropologist Dr. Helen Fisher, sex and relationship therapist, Dr. Laura Berman, the Kinsey Institute's Dr. Justin R. Garcia, and the Institute for Evolutionary Studies at Binghamton University.*
The results come as no surprise to many sociologists, who point out that marriage has been steadily declining in the United States for over 35 years. "It is true that researchers used to find that people who hadn't gotten married still had aspirations to get married, but I think that may be eroding now," Stanford University's Michael Rosenfeld told USA Today. "A new generation has grown up in a world where marriage is not a certainty."
The survey also found that the top five deal-breakers in order of importance are having a disheveled or unclean appearance (67 percent), being lazy (66 percent), being too needy (63 percent), lacking a sense of humor (54 percent), and -- woe to long-distance relationships -- living more than three hours apart (49 percent).
The ladies also appear to be placing more value on the quality of time spent between the sheets when deciding on marriage. "We are starting to learn that singles in America are more egalitarian in dating and relationships particularly when it comes to sexual behavior," Berman explained. The "study tells us that 50 percent of women say bad sex is a deal breaker, which is a tremendous percentage and shows us how much this generation has evolved."
*Correction: An earlier version of this post misstated that Dr. Berman was affiliated with the the Kinsey Institute at Indiana University. She is not.