"They ask young girls here [in Egypt] when they are three or four, who would you marry, they implant the idea your only purpose in life is to get married. Even after she goes to school they tell her that a girl's only future is in her husband's home. So what happens when a girl for any reason cannot get married? Should she set fire to herself?" --Awza Atgawez, Ghada Abdel'al. This study proposes that females who remain unmarried until a certain age are to be referred to as "bachelorettes" and not "spinsters" . "The bachelorette" is a female who remains single by choice; she is simply an unmarried woman. The word "spinster" is heavily laden with negative and derogatory images, and carries a lot of stigma, that doesn't fit or apply to the "bachelorette" of today. The fact that marriage is based on freedom and consent of both parties makes it essential, and supposedly acceptable, to have "bachelorettes" in every society, hence, they should not be stigmatized and degraded by being called "spinsters", but rather to be referred to as "bachelorettes".

Degree Name

MA in Sociology-Anthropology

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2011

First Advisor

Nosseir, Nazek



Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Single women -- Egypt.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Single women -- Egypt -- Social conditions.


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Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval

Not necessary for this item