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There have been a lot of investigations into the relative happiness of American men and women recently. Why, there's even an online scholarly publication called the Journal of Happiness Studies.
And one thing is clear from the results. Women are less happy than they used to be, and men, by and large, believe that things are going along pretty well.
Economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wellers at the University of Pennsylvania looked back at some happiness studies from the 1970s – the height of the women's liberation movement.
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They found that even though women were battling much more discrimination, especially on the job, they reported being slightly happier than men back then. Of course, it might have been women's lib that made men a little grumpy.
Now, Stevenson and Wellers find after some new surveys, things are reversed. Women are unhappier than men. The researchers say that while women have better job opportunities and are treated with much more respect than they were three decades ago, all the advances have brought them is two fulltime jobs, one at the workplace and one at home – still raising kids and looking after a husband or boyfriend. Men, on the other hand, find they are more relaxed, a little less driven to climb the corporate ladder. But to women's chagrin, that doesn't often mean men have found time to help with the dishes.
On his blog, Dave's Daily, David Scott recently listed 35 reasons why men are happier than women. Here are a few of them:
Car mechanics tell us the truth, Scott points out.
We can do our nails with a pocketknife.
It's still a 'same work, more pay' country for men. (That one really hurts if you're a woman.)
And Our phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.
You see: Men are so relaxed that we can joke about all this. But it's only other guys who are laughing.
Read more of Ted's personal reflections and stories from the road on his blog, Ted Landphair's America.