Are Men Happier than Women?
A recent study from England shows that men are generally happier in life than women, especially in terms of physical appearance, physical condition and salary. Men are happier in life than women, particularly when it comes to their appearance, new research has found.
A detailed study of 12 aspects of modern life has reached the conclusion that men experience higher levels of happiness to 7 of these issues. Women had higher scores than men in the categories love, family life, sex life, overall health, home. Other areas in which men emerged as happier than the opposite sex were career prospects, ‘how other people see you’, finances and job security.
The biggest barrier to feeling content in day-to-day life was money worries, which affected 46 per cent of respondents.
The study was split 50/50 between those who thought they had good reason to be positive and those searching for reasons to be optimistic about their life.
However, there was a clear trend towards happiness growing with age – over 55s proved the most likely to rate themselves as an eternal optimist.
Interestingly, the younger generation seemed less upbeat overall and were most likely to say their outlook has become gloomier in recent times.
The study also found despite the economic crisis, rising cost of living and stagnant housing market the majority have adopted a positive attitude, choosing to always see the bright side of life, as in the famous song: Always Look on the Bright Side of Life -Monty Python
Another research project conducted in 2003 investigated a sample of 38,000 men and women from 44 countries, referring to the disparities between the level of happiness of women and men. Overall, women scored themselves as more satisfied with their lives than men. Moreover, women from certain countries, including Pakistan, Japan and Argentina, appeared significantly happier. The differences between what affects men and women’s levels of happiness explains this slight gender gap. Women, for instance, tend to focus on personal and domestic problems, while men concern themselves more with matters outside of the home.
Age was found to be a factor in determining whether women or men are happier. A study published in “The Journal of Happiness Studies” set age 48 as a standard age at which the happiness of men exceeds that of women. Studies, says that early in adult life, women are more likely than men to fulfill their aspirations for material goods and family life, but later, they may be divorced or separated and less financially secure. Meanwhile, men’s finances and family life improve, making them “the happier of the two genders,” the study says. Later, at 64, men begin to appreciate family even more than women.
Levels of happiness also vary from country to country. However, the situation is much different in countries where women have few rights and are oppressed or ill treated. In such countries where women have few rights, every small victory or change increases happiness significantly. For example, women in Africa, Asia and Middle East are happier than men when they have access to new technologies, internet or mobile phone.
The researchers stress the idea that this information represents general trends, not guaranteed truths, whereas the principle of sound judgment on happiness and psychological health really apply to everyday life: people should, therefore, identify those things that make them happy and try to change the circumstances that make them unhappy, to have a longer and healthier life.
Finally, there’s a question that matters to you: Are you happier or less happy than 10 years ago? What can you do today to help you change things for the better?
• Alleyne, Richard. “Women happier than men and enjoy life more in old age.” Telegraph. July 18, 2008. (May 5, 2009) http://www.telegraph.co.uk
• Grohol, John M. “Men Happier Than Women?” PsychCentral.September.26, 2007.(May 5, 2009), psychcentral.com
• Pew Research Center. “Global Gender Gaps: Women Like Their Lives Better.” October.29, 2003.(May 5, 2009); people-press.org
• Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.”Happiness Paradoxes.” Wilson Quarterly. Vol 32.Issue 4.Autumn 2008.