Living Single

The truth about singles in our society.

8 Cool Facts about Halloween

The psychology of trick-or-treating

#1

College men are more likely than college women to wear Halloween costumes that hide or disguise their identities. [From a 5-year study of 1,253 students at 2 colleges]

#2

College students who dress up for Halloween are more likely to celebrate by drinking than those who do not wear costumes. [From a 5-year study of 1,253 students at 2 colleges]

#3

College students drink about as much over Halloween weekend as they do during high-profile football game days. [From a study of two full football seasons at the University of Texas at Austin]

#4

Stores that sell Halloween costumes to children offer outfits that are overwhelmingly sex-typed. Only 10% are gender-neutral. [The study is described here.]

#5

The Halloween costumes for girls that are most often available in stores are of princesses and beauty queens. Other matrimanically-themed costumes, such as bridal outfits, are also available. For boys, stores most often offer death-themed costumes such as the Grim Reaper as well as superhero and warrior outfits. [Discussion is here.]

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#6

Thinking of going Trick-or-Treating house-to-house on Halloween? You have about 115 million options. That’s how many occupied residences there are in the U.S. The malls and other organized venues are extra.

#7

Your competition for the candy numbers about 41 million. That’s how many American children are between the ages 5 and 14. Of course, younger and older ones might be out seeking that candy, too.

#8

In some towns, Halloweeners actually have to do something in order to get their candy – for example, sing “Five Little Pumpkins.” Well, at least that was true in Dunmore, Pennsylvania, where I grew up. Is it true anywhere else?

Bella DePaulo, Ph.D., is author of Singled Out: How Singles Are Stereotyped, Stigmatized, and Ignored, and Still Live Happily Ever After. She is a visiting professor at UCSB.

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