As a whole who’s happier ? Men or Women ? A comprehensive study by researchers at Cambridge University in England and at the University of Southern California has resulted in some interesting conclusions. After interviewing 47,000 people, the researchers have come to the conclusion that : Earlier in their lives , women are happier than men but as they all age men become progressively more happy until , at age 48, their overall happiness exceeds women’s overall happiness.
The researchers postulate that women marry earlier than men and thus their aspirations for a marriage , children and material goods ( house, nice clothes, car, vacations etc,) are more likely to be fulfilled sooner. Men, on the other hand, move closer to their financial goals and marry life later in life which is why older men are supposedly happier than older women.
When I read this I was a little surprised because the parameters investigated and the conclusions reached seemed somehow incomplete. Two or three news sources carried essentially the same story but the USA Today article on the subject , though shorter, shed more light on the issue. It said that these conclusions pertained only to men’s and women’s happiness with respect to family life and finances . The effect of other factors such as divorce and religion was still being investigated and would, presumably, be the subject of a later report.
It seems then that these ‘ conclusions’ then are preliminary and limited in their scope. If all factors are considered, what are we likely to find ? Looking at the comments that these articles generated, it was obvious that peoples’ views are very subjective , being highly colored by their personal lives. Also, there are so many factors to take into consideration that any conclusions will be generalizations…. interesting, but not particularly useful .
So what are the final conclusions ( after taking all the parameters into consideration) likely to be. This is my own , utterly unscientific, take on the subject. It is based entirely on my own conjectures and experience and I did not interview anybody in order to reach these conclusions.
In their early years I feel that women are not as happy as men. They are more restricted in what they can do, they have fewer career opportunities and there is the constant pressure to get married and have kids. However I think that ,as they age, women are likely to be happier than men. Women’s primary interest is the family and , once they get past the empty nest syndrome, they are free of the burdens and pressures of child rearing. Finally, they have time for themselves and this period of their lives is like a renaissance. Also, women are more spiritual than men and this is a source of great solace to them in their later years. For men, the primary driving force is their work and while retirement frees them of work pressures many men have been so consumed by their work that they have nothing to fall back on. Religion and spirituality are of scant interest , time lies heavy on their hands and their sense of self worth takes a beating.
Even in the case of divorce, women handle it better than men providing there are no monetary pressures. Men are less well equipped to go it alone . No wonder , in old age homes women outnumber men by something like 3 to 1. As someone remarked, “men go to nursing homes to die; women go there to live.”
This is my own completely unscientific take on the subject and it is a generalization.
What do you think ? ?