He’s happier, she’s less happy

Well, I’ll be –. The gender gap in happiness. (ht-my blog-reader, a.)

“Since the 1960s, men have gradually cut back on activities they find unpleasant. They now work less and relax more. …

“These trends are reminiscent of the idea of “the second shift,” the name of a 1989 book by the sociologist Arlie Hochschild, arguing that modern women effectively had to hold down two jobs. The first shift was at the office, and the second at home.

“But researchers who have looked at time-use data say the second-shift theory misses an important detail. Women are not actually working more than they were 30 or 40 years ago. They are instead doing different kinds of work. They’re spending more time on paid work and less on cleaning and cooking.

“What has changed — and what seems to be the most likely explanation for the happiness trends — is that women now have a much longer to-do list than they once did (including helping their aging parents). They can’t possibly get it all done, and many end up feeling as if they are somehow falling short.”

I think the article unnecessarily belabours the point that “The Second Shift” allegedly misses. Women are still overall spending more time cleaning and cooking than men, and working to make money too.

3 thoughts on “He’s happier, she’s less happy”

  1. Why is it concerning that men are more happier than woman? Does it somehow break some widely held cultural belief that woman by default have to be more happy?

    I personally think, happiness is a state of mind. Its not the things I do that make me happy, its the attitude with which I take part in doing them.

  2. At first look I thought women were less happy now than men, but it seems what the researchers came up with is that women used to be happier than men 35 years ago but have now about the same level of happiness as men.

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