Why Are Older Women Choosing to Live Alone? Psychologist Susan Pinker Explores for CBC
In her book The Village Effect, award-winning author and psychologist Susan Pinker wrote about the undeniable, life-affirming benefits of social bonds and face-to-face connection. More recently, she spoke to CBC about why an increasing number of seniors—particularly women— are enjoying living alone.
Whether it be in a retirement home or on their own property, more Canadian women over the age of 65 are making a conscious decision to live by themselves—and enjoying it. Susan Pinker, an esteemed psychologist and author, explains that the recent phenomenon has to do with the close, long-term friendships that women form throughout their lives. “Women, much more than men, tend to have […] more intimate, more tightly connected networks of friends and relatives that they keep connected with,” she explains.
Women living on their own report higher satisfaction than men who live alone in the same age group, says to Statistics Canada, a result that Pinker believes is caused by a difference in the strength and number of social ties between genders. “I think it really requires some kind of policy discussion about what's going to happen to these men now because they're cut loose, frankly, and many of them are not at the moment, capable of generating the social contacts that they need to be healthy,” Pinker says.
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