March 16, 2012

"The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness."

"By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women's happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women's declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging — one with higher subjective well-being for men."

Synopsis of a paper by Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, linked by Ross Douthat, who says:
It’s true that for all its socioeconomic costs, the decline of marriage hasn’t led to immiseration and upheaval on a grand scale. But at the very least, it’s been associated with a growing happiness gap between the well-educated and the poor... and a decline in female happiness overall. Which suggests that even if we bracket the interests of children entirely and just focus on parents, there’s a strong case that both sexes would be better off if working-class women demanded more of the men in their lives and working-class men demanded more of themselves.

27 comments:

chickenlittle said...

Zeno's Paradox: Halving it all

Eric said...

...there’s a strong case that both sexes would be better off if working-class women demanded more of the men in their lives and working-class men demanded more of themselves.

Wait, what? Women aren't as happy as they used to be but it's up to men to do something about it?

I think I may have spotted the problem.

SGT Ted said...

What is this sexist obsession with whether or not strangers who happen to have vaginas are "happy" or not?

Who fucking cares? You aren't Queen of the fucking May and life doesn't owe you a goddamned thing, so get to work and quit whining.

We tell our boys things like this sometimes to get them tough enough for life. We need to tell our girls this too.

Too many women have such an overblown sense of entitlement that if they're unhappy, there must be something wrong with America.

Saint Croix said...

It's frickin' Roe v. Wade. Feminists bang the choice drum without talking about how crappy their two choices are.

You think single moms are happier than married moms?

You think abortion leads to happiness? If that's the case, then why are we so frickin' quiet about it?

A lot of women are feeling guilt, sadness, and in some cases suppressed anger over their abortions. 50 million abortions since 1973. Why would anybody think women would be happier after all that?

madAsHell said...

Did my tax dollars pay for this study?

CJinPA said...

even if we bracket the interests of children entirely and just focus on parents,

IF we set aside the interests of children? Buddy, we set aside those rugrats a long time ago. Momma's gotta be happy.

Dark Eden said...

there’s a strong case that both sexes would be better off if working-class women demanded more of the men in their lives and working-class men demanded more of themselves.


No. Just no. Men are doing this as a reaction to what's going on with women not in spite of it.

Protip for womenz: If you want to get the guy away from the xbox, be more interesting and rewarding than the Xbox.

This is beyond the ability of most American women.

DADvocate said...

Feminism showed women how to be hyper-sensitive to every imagined slight however small, given them an "overblown sense of entitlement", that women can't take care of themselves (they can't even afford to pay for their own contraception), that men, mostly in the form of government, must take care of them, protect them, coddle them and create all sorts of programs and laws so that women can pretend to be equal to men. Not a very good formula for happiness.

edutcher said...

Walking around with a crab up your ass all the time isn't going to make you happy.

What Saint said.

And Eric is on the money.

rhhardin said...

Female unhappiness is probably evolutionary. It gets them to send their men on quests.

Men like to be sent on quests.

Then the female gets to show the man she's satisfied with him.

Repeat forever.

In some cases it cuts off after sending, and goes into nagging. This repeats until the divorce.

Then it's fair. Everybody is unhappy.

CJinPA said...

Protip for womenz: If you want to get the guy away from the xbox, be more interesting and rewarding than the Xbox.

Do married guys use Xbox?

Scott M said...

Protip for womenz: If you want to get the guy away from the xbox, be more interesting and rewarding than the Xbox.

Horrible counterargument.

Do married guys use Xbox?

I got one for my girls to use the Kinect dancing games. I found out that it is actually an excellent Netflix platform, especially with the Kinect hooked up. Other than that, as a former PC hardcore gamer, adult men that play consoles are contemptible. Console use grows as a character flaw with each advancing year of age.

PC games, on the other hand...

CJinPA said...

The short response might be:

We rearranged the entire society for you and you're less happy. Go to your room.

PatCA said...

Yes, go to your room...and read history, or Dickens, or a bio of Mao. You will discover that you are in the rare position of having all of your material needs, and much of your emotional needs, met.

Be grateful, and stop whining. It shows a tremendous narrowness of vision.

Borepatch said...

Let's see: drug the boys when they act like boys, suspend or expel them if they use their thumb and index finger to make the shape of a gun on the playground, design the schools around how girls learn (sit quietly and do as you're told), ban games like tag r any contest that could product winners and losers (because after all, "everyone's a winner").

Then when the boys tune out, tell them to Man Up. Impressive study, right there.

You know, I could have saved that taxpayer funded research cost if they'd asked at the beginning.

paul a'barge said...

Paradox?

Are you joking? You can't figure this out? Here, let me help:

Feminism.

Feminism is sociopathology.

Of course women are less happy. They ill, infected spirits bullied by an abusive socio-political group: feminists.

ricpic said...

The decline of marriage hasn't led to immiseration...

Uh...immiseration of the taxpayer doesn't count?

Rob said...

Key words: "many" "strong case"

Things are better! We got what we wanted! We should be happier. Ha. Be careful what you wish for.

carrie said...

It was about 35-40 years ago that the feminists began telling women that they were supposed to be unhappy, so women decided they must be unhappy. It turns out that they weren't unhappy but that the things that they thought they had to add to their lives to make them happy may have improved their lives but they didn't make them happier. It's the old cliche, money and material things don't necessarily make you happy

Joe Schmoe said...

I suspect hard-core feminists are suspicious of the research findings from the 70s; women conditioned in the Stepford Wife mode were expected to say they were happy.

Those facts don't support the narrative and all.

EMD said...

Aren't women just nuts? Isn't that the issue?

cokaygne said...

People do like security. Most pre-1950s women had security: at home with Mon and Dad, then at home taking care of and enjoying the kids while hubby battled the commute, the boss, and the economy. It was slavery, but of a benign sort. As the song says, "She was only a bird in a gilded cage."

carrie said...

It is my opinion that children and family were more important to women (who had children) than the feminists in the 1970s thought they were. I also think that most of the feminists in 1970s didn't have children so they misunderstood that importance of children to women that had them--I know that I did.

Sara said...

I blame feminism. It has given women a sense of entitlement to something many of us never asked for and it lets men completely off the hook. I never asked to have my status in life lowered to be equal with men.

n.n said...

They have defied the natural order and they wonder why their lives are dysfunctional. There are reasonable compromises, but not when it is incompatible with human nature. Women can have a family, careers, and material things, but they need to reevaluate their priorities.

Furthermore, society should stop stereotyping men. The profitable war on men needs to end and the issues reviewed on their merit.

Baronger said...

Everybody is missing the true cause of unhappiness.

We now live in an age where, more and more women are working. They are discovering something that most men have always known.

Most jobs suck, and are a great source of stress. Yes they are a few jobs which are great. Most people however don't find them.

They should compare happiness in working women compared to working men.

SGT Ted said...

and it lets men completely off the hook.

I can't for the life of me think of what feminism has allowed men to escape, except shotgun weddings. Men are still on the hook for any kids in the mariage, sometimes even if they aren't his bio kids.

Maybe men not being in the broken home? Hey, she can't access all the free cash if she marries someone, so she won't. Men can't be "on the hook" if the mothers of their children kick them to the curb in trade for welfare checks and 18 years of access to another persons checking account.

Are you talking about the one source of free money from men that has actually almost disappeared called Alimony? It only disappeared because women were starting to have to pay up.

Woemn should be subject to the draft and involuntary Combat Arms assignments. Its time they started earning their citizenship like men have to. Want that college grant or loan but don't want to enlist? Sign up for Selective Service.