Men get happier at women’s expense

Article in September 26 New York Times titled “A Reversal of the Happy Index.” Men, it turns out, are happier now than they were 40 years ago. Women are less happy. Seems that men are working less (that thing that makes them unhappy) and women, of course, are now working outside the home and are still working as much inside the home. Or, a little less at home. Apparently, dusting is down. (and obviously, not soon to be picked up by men.)

But I don’t get the ‘men working less’ thing. I thought we were all working more.

Also seems that women don’t enjoy spending time with their parents while men do. Because when women are with their parents, they’re taking care of them; it’s work. While men who spend time with their parents are probably sitting around watching football or baseball, doing nothing. Certainly not dusting together. This tendency is only going to accelerate as the boomers age and their parents age more and need more and more care.

I see it in my own family. Parents in their 80s. (Father recently deceased.) Four children: three boys, 1 girl. Daughter lives near parents and so burden of dealing with their health issues falls to her. And she’s got her own family and her own career to deal with. That’s a lot of stress. A lot of un-happiness.

Most troubling factoid for me is that high school girls are less happy than high school boys. One theory is that these young women are leading the charge in academics, in student government, in sports, and on top of all that they feel pressure to be ‘hotties.’ And the boys, well, I guess the boys are just being boys. But why are they happier than they were in 1976? Are they working less? Perhaps they’re copying all the answers off the girls’ papers.

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