Fear of commitment
In self-help literature, fear of commitment is the avoidance of long-term partnership or marriage. The concept is often much more pervasive, affecting school, work, and home life as well.
The term "commitmentphobia" was coined in the popular self-help book Men Who Can't Love in 1987. Following criticism of the perceived sexist idea that only men were commitmentphobic, the authors provided a more gender balanced model of commitmentphobia in a later work, He's Scared, She's Scared (1995).
The use of the term "fear" or "phobia" imparts an inherent linguistic bias. It recasts specific lifestyle decisions (such as bachelorhood vs. marriage, or a conscious decision to remain childfree by choice) implicitly as generalised, irrational phobias while failing to identify, describe or address an individual's specific motives. For instance, the men's rights movement, citing high divorce rates and expensive alimony and legal costs, would speak not in terms of fear of commitment but of marriage strike to reflect their position that non-marriage is an entirely valid, logical position based on rational consideration of the very real economic factors involved.
Besides the obvious self-help Criticism, Harvard Psychologist Deborah DePaulo has written books such as Singleism on the stigmatization of single people.
- Child custody
- Implications of divorce
- Lad culture
- Old maid
- Sexual revolution
- Steven A. Carter & Julia Sokol (1987). Men Who Can't Love. M. Evans & Co,. ISBN 978-0-425-11170-3.
- Steven A. Carter & Julia Sokol (1995). He's Scared, She's Scared. M. Evans & Co. ISBN 978-0-440-50625-6.
- Glenn Sacks; Dianna Thompson (2002-07-09). "Have Anti-Father Family Court Policies Led to a Men's Marriage Strike?". ifeminists.com. Retrieved 2013-07-15.
- Helen Smith (4 June 2013). "The Marriage Strike: why men don't marry". Men on Strike: Why Men Are Boycotting Marriage, Fatherhood, and the American Dream-And Why It Matters. ENCOUNTER BOOKS. pp. 1–39. ISBN 978-1-59403-675-0.
- Wendy McElroy (2003-08-12). "The Marriage Strike". Fox News - Opinion. Retrieved 2013-07-15.