The Effect of Gender and Culture on Loneliness: A Mini Review

By Ami Rokach

Loneliness is an experience determined by a person’s characteristics, her situational variables, gender, and background. This review article describes the myriad of studies, with sometimes contradictory results about the relation of loneliness to gender [with women commonly expressing, though not necessarily experiencing, greater loneliness], and the relation between loneliness and collectivistic and individualistic culture.

Research revealed that a growing number of people appear to have no one in whom they can confide, resulting in shrinking social ties, that were such an integral part of daily life in past generations (McPherson, Smith-Lovin & Brashears, 2006). Research has established that In today’s fast-paced ever changing world, especially in the Western Hemisphere, when virtual reality replaces the real one for the younger generation, people have no time or energy for establishing a connection with anyone beyond the narrow frame of their own hurried lives, trying to succeed in a culture that rewards nothing but the individual acquisition of power and money (Friedman, 2007; Rokach, 2015).

In general, it is accepted that being alone, feeling alone, perceiving oneself as unloved, unimportant, and uncared for, will result in an experience we entitle ‘loneliness’.