Are we better off single?

Getty ImagesGetty Images
There have been countless studies citing the never ending health benefits that um "smug marrieds" or whatever you want to call them enjoy: the idea that the social, psychological and financial resources a legal union provides makes two healthy, wealthy and wise, or something like that. While this is all fine and dandy for all those married couples out there, what about the single and divorced among us? Should we be quaking in our boots, waiting for the reaper to come and claim us? If we never marry will we be subject to inevitable social ostracization, multiple deadly diseases, made to live on the streets and end up sad, alone and stoned in public? A new study says, not so much. Shew.

The article, published in next month's issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior, suggests that the gap between established health benefits between singles and marrieds is steadily narrowing, most significantly for men.

"Politicians and scholars continue to debate the value of marriage for Americans," the researchers write in the study, "with some going so far as to establish social programs and policies to encourage marriage among those socials groups less inclined to marry, particularly the poor and minorities."--RedOrbit
The results were also skewed because those who were married also had the highest potential to end up divorced (ya think?), which apparently coincides with worse health all around.

Okay so um, is it safe to say that basically, we're better off single? Sometimes these studies seem kind of ridiculous. Still, if we need a study to convince some groups to quit preaching unrealistic abstinence only and marriage-will-solve-all-your-problems to the masses, then I guess that's helpful. Thoughts?