Isa Blyth is 106 years old. She credits celibacy and living single for her long life and good health. Some statisticians appear to agree. Is the price worth the result, or can you hedge your bets?
Happy Birthday to Isa Blyth!
The Sun extends its birthday greetings to 106-year-old Isa Blyth. Not at all shy but instead quite opinionated, the (perhaps) oldest-living virgin credits her good health and long life to celibacy and living single.
Blyth states that “she never felt the need for romance and never had time for a man.” Not a teetotaler at all, she kept busy with a high-profile job and enjoys her hobbies of flowers and singing. During her 106 years of life, an active role in her local church fills her social calendar.
Don’t Married People Live a Long Life (as opposed to singles)?
It is common folk wisdom that living single actually shortens life expectancy. For example, Psych Page quotes research proving that the mortality rate of single men is 250 percent higher when compared to their married counterparts. Women, too, benefit from marriage. Living single increases a woman’s mortality rate by 50 percent.
These studies may go hand in hand with the numbers cited by the Alternative to Marriage Project, which show that unmarried and unemployed singles make up almost 60 percent of the uninsured. Moreover, poverty is a way of life more common for unmarried women rather than their wedded equivalents.
When checking these statistics, it would appear that living single is neither a fountain of youth nor a guarantor for a healthy, long life. Then again, perhaps there is something these numbers are not telling us.
In Support of Living Single
In spite of the numbers previously cited, Blyth may nevertheless have stumbled on her own fountain of youth in the form of celibacy and a spinster lifestyle.
Take for example the statistics quoted by Health Kicker: It finds that while married men live longer, single women do have an advantage as well. Connecting a long life with living single (for women) is simple: “It is is [sic] the stress, the wear and tear, of being a wife, a mother, and holding down a career.”
The New York Times appears to echo this sentiment. Placing marital discord at the center of elevated stress hormones, increased risks of diabetes and heart disease and also greater odds of depression, the publication underscores that an unhappy marriage zaps the chances of a long life through what is termed “nontraumatic but chronic strain.”
Thus, Blyth indeed stumbled on the fountain of youth and secret to a healthy and long life for women: embrace celibacy, remain a virgin and continue living single…unless, of course, you are convinced that you have found a Mr. Right who is sure not to pile stress and acrimony on your days.