In this thesis, I argue that stereotypes against singles can be understood as belief packages, which combine mental states that influence our behavior in powerful ways. Much of this influence remains nonconscious reflecting the neurological imprinting from being exposed to stereotypical messages. Because stereotypes have internalized and external components, any approach for overcoming them needs to address both aspects. I suggest that we can overcome internalized stereotypes by recognizing them as shame. Through an ethics of care we can transform shame by offering empathy. To prepare for a democracy grounded in an ethics of care, we need to learn how to make it a way of life. We cannot do that in the institution that currently prepares us, the nuclear family, since it is marred by stereotypes against singles that it reinforces. Instead we need to design intentional families that help us overcome the external aspects of these stereotypes.
The Whole Thing is here.