Added: Desiderio Gafford - Date: 07.09.2021 09:28 - Views: 25154 - Clicks: 2317
The first time was in the form of an op-ed here in the New York Times pointing out that the media had totally misinterpreted newly released statistics on divorce. While the reports had trumpeted the new data as evidence that Americans today are more likely than ever to get divorced, Stevenson and Wolfers show that this pattern is purely an artifact of a change in data collection methods. In fact, fewer people today are getting married, but the ones who do are more likely to stay together.
By almost any economic or social indicator, the last 35 years have been great for women. Birth control has given them the ability to control reproduction. They are obtaining far more education and making inro in many professions that were traditionally male-dominated.
The gender wage gap has declined substantially. Women are living longer then ever. Studies even suggest that men are starting to take on more housework and child-raising responsibilities. Given all these changes, the evidence presented by Stevenson and Wolfers is striking: women report being less happy today than they were 35 years ago, especially relative to the corresponding happiness rates for men.
This is true of working women and stay-at-home moms, married women and those that are single, the highly educated and the less educated. Women with kids have fared worse than women without. The only notable exception to the pattern is black women, who are happier today than they were three decades ago. There are a of alternative explanations for these findings.
Below is my list, which differs somewhat from the list that Stevenson and Wolfers present:. Female happiness was artificially inflated in the s because of the feminist movement and the optimism it engendered among women. Yes, things have gotten better for women over the last few decades, but maybe change has happened a lot more slowly than anticipated.
Thus, relative to these lofty expectations, things have been a disappointment. Men have historically been less happy than women. So it might not be surprising if the things in the workplace that always made men unhappy are now bedeviling women as well. Now, society allows women to express their feelings openly when they are dissatisfied with life. Related to No. The ever-growing army of happiness researchers will go nuts at this suggestion, but there is some pretty good evidence like this paper by Marianne Bertrand and Sendhil Mullainathan that declarations of happiness leave a lot to be desired as outcome measures.
If I had to wager a guess, I would say Nos. Meanwhile, I asked my wife what she thought the answer was, but she was too depressed to respond. Reasons 3 and 4 make sense, but I wouldn't discount reason 2. I am reminded of the book "Self Made Man", where the woman lived as a man for a year and found that being a man was not the walk in the park that she imagined it was going to be. I wonder how much changes in social expectations make estimations of happiness more difficult.
In the 's expectations for most women were fairly narrow take care of your home, keep your husband happy. These expectations are now more nebulous. Does this uncertainty lead to unhappiness? Does it make evaluation of happiness more difficult. Also women tend to be the target of madison avenue more so than men. Do some of the expectations generated in this sector result in poor self image and ultimately unhappiness.
For example the obesity rate has skyrocketed. Why when we're looking at equality do we only look at work?
Before we had full time jobs at home, now we have full time paid jobs then come home and have another full time job. Does this mean that there are some people who are happy? What is that like? I do not know if I am happy. There are people I envy for various reasons, but I do not know if they are happy either. How do we know when we are happy?
Is the only alternative unhappy? What is happy? So if a woman isn't married by 25, she's got even less of a chance of finding anyone and having a family. So she can look forward to working for the next 40 years and retiring --alone.
And we wonder why she's unhappy? I think the problem is wholly 4 - happiness is probably the most subjective thing ever, and yet researchers try to objectively observe it. YES, Victoria! It was boring and stifling, but easy to measure. Now we have to measure those as well as professional indicators. Or cleaning. Or the grubby parts of childcare. Given the choice, I'd happily go off to work and not worry about the toilet germs because I knew my spouse was going to clean the bathroom. Unfortunately, I know I have to get up an hour early to get that done if I'm going to make it to work on time.
On the other hand, my 10 year old is halfway thru Freakonomics, so we've had interesting talks on the way into school lately. It's the workplace. The doors may be open, but it's difficult to be a mother and a worker in the workplace. It's not difficult to be a father and a worker, though. The other factor I can think of is that there is enormous pressure on women to look a certain way. I think we were always marginalized as we got older, but now we have the tools to do Extreme Makeovers on ourselves The clothing is all marketed towards the look of a younger woman, too.
Every fashion message sent says that it's not okay to look mature. I just really wonder how many men are trolling for teens compared to how many get caught. Particularly in the UK, women's magazines and female-orientated TV dramas present happiness only as a precursor to tragedy. Women's magazines are sold on 'real-life' stories - where ordinary women experience extraordinary events. These stories typically begin by painting the subject's life as rosy - a recent wedding, a new child, a new job - until tragedy strikes! Invariably a brain tumour, an affair, or a murder.
TV 'soap' dramas also present happiness only as a guaranteed harbinger of misery. When a characters has an episode where everything goes well, the viewer knows that calamity is imminent! Now, of course, this is probably complete rubbish. But you've got to admit it's an interesting theory. Mark Lieberman did a pretty solid critique of the reporting on this study over at Language Log.
It seems pretty hard to generalize much from these trends. Girls are raised on fairy tales about a prince who comes to rescue her. Well, reality sets in. There are bills to be paid. Husbands and wives even partners who are sharing space WILL disagree. Careers will have stressful times and sometimes that stress WILL bleed over at home, just as stress in the home bleeds to the workplace. Then when they get into one, they do not know how to make it last. Looking to others, to careers, to childrearing, etc, is NOT the way to find happiness.
My suggestion, start teaching children how to handle interpersonal relationships, and intimate relationships not sex ed, emotional IQ! First by example, and reinforced by textbooks in the home and the school. If people stop looking for a "perfect family," start understanding that "perfect" is a myth, and learn to accept, love, and respect the people around them for who they are rather than trying to change them, relationships and personal happiness will improve, for men AND for women.
I'm with Josh As presented by Lieberman, only the credulous will take these kinds of "studies" with any kind of seriousness.Ladies are you unsatisfied
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This Is Who's Less Satisfied In Relationships