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Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Over past decades, the demographics of the United States have changed markedly. The proportions of married and single people are changing; so too are the nature and functions of marriage and the family. However, people who are single, and perspectives not based on conventional marriage, remain underrepresented or misrepresented in scholarship and public policy. Significant additions to the curriculum, driven by social movements such as women's studies, ethnic studies, and environmental studies, have revealed missing perspectives and challenged distorted ones on important subjects. Other curricular innovations, like the addition of a global perspective to many disciplines, emerged from the recognition that students would be living and working in a changing world. The authors advocate that it is now necessary to change the curriculum to reflect the demographic changes in marriage, singlehood, and family size and composition, and that such change will manifest itself throughout disciplines beyond the academic community. Because a singles perspective has been largely absent from the higher-education curriculum, universities have not led the way in analyzing policy and suggesting reform. Incorporating a singles perspective into many fields would broaden and deepen scholarship while enriching the intellectual life of the classroom.