African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 170

Full Length Research Paper

The psychology of unmarried men in Nairobi: A case study of three bachelors over forty

Esther Gicheru
Co-operative University College of Kenya, Kenya.
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 09 May 2013
  •  Published: 15 August 2013



Equal number of males and females in Nairobi today says that they want to settle down and raise a family. More women than men, however, wish they were married and are currently in search for a life mate. However, although there are many marriageable women, some men still remain unmarried even after clocking the marriageable age. If we assume that marriage is a conscious and deliberate choice, then the internal logic, self-understanding, or rationales of such men should provide answers. This study therefore sought to discover and understand the perspective of men aged 40 and above who are still unmarried. The study explored the experiences of three men who are self acclaimed senior bachelors living and working in Nairobi. A convenient sample obtained through snowballing was used. Semi-structured interviews were conducted and the data tape recorded. Phenomenological immersion and thematic analysis were employed in the analysis of the transcribed data. A thematic description was provided narrating the essence of the phenomenon as experienced by the participants. The study found out that early childhood experiences relating to parental relationships have a cardinal effect on whether or not a male views the institution of marriage positively or with dread. Financial considerations and economics of scale also play a huge role in the choice to marry or not. Prescriptions that may encourage men to marry by age 40 and change the current social trajectory include public social policies geared towards strengthening marriages, such as issuing decrees to ensure some lucrative jobs in government were restricted to men, youths’ empowerment such as developing and implementing measures to promote the economic enfranchisement of young people which helps them to create choices in life. 

Key words: Marriageable age, phenomenological immersion, theme analysis, parental relationships, social trajectory.

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