Men, loneliness or isolation, and its consequences

Man Out
By Andrew L. Yarrow
Baltimore Sun
Oct. 19, 2018
Former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy called loneliness a major public-health problem. And it is — but more so for men than women. Many women are lonely and hurting, yes, but men are more likely to be isolated than women, and the scale and nature of their loneliness differs.

When talking with divorced men and women for my new book, “Man Out: Men on the Sidelines of American Life,” I was struck by the striking post-divorce social difference between the sexes. Whereas men felt greater urgency to find a new partner, women had much more extensive and deeper support networks and were less eager to remarry. In one Eastern city, I found a tightly knit “divorced moms” group of 75 women living within about a mile’s radius of each other, whereas men generally had no such network. One of the rare divorced fathers’ groups I unearthed included less than a handful of men, and they participated irregularly and lived far apart.

Lonely man
Similarly, single women are more content with being unattached than single men are. Not only is the number of men living alone higher than it is for women — a reversal from pre-1990 patterns — but the proportion of men living alone is double what it was in 1970.
Men are less likely to acknowledge being lonely or reach out to others, as well, largely due to traditional masculine beliefs that admitting perceived weakness is unmanly.

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