26 Feb Should we look at men’s and women’s happiness separately?
We know that men and women aren_ã_t intrinsically that different, but we_ã_ve been socialized differently and we tend to spend our time in different ways. Over the past 40 years, women_ã_s happiness has suffered. Women are less happy now than women were 40 years ago, and women are much less happy now in comparison to men.
So we have to look at happiness and gender. Mainstream psychology in general and positive psychology in particular has sidelined women_ã_s issues. Why? American positive psychology is often approached as a psychology of privilege. But I reject that.
A lot of researchers and journalists were quick to blame feminism for women_ã_s declining happiness, but that_ã_s silly. There_ã_s no evidence to support that. But if we look at time-use data, we see something pretty interesting. Over the past 40 years, men have gradually replaced work they find unpleasant with leisure activities. Over the same timespan, women have gradually replaced leisure time with time in the paid labor force_ã”but we haven_ã_t been relieved of much of our caregiving work. At the same time, we have gradually replaced time we used to spend hanging out with our friends with time spent watching TV. So, we have Nancy Grace and Oprah instead of our best girlfriends. I have nothing against female TV personalities. They have certainly been good friends to me in times of alienation, but relationships with people on TV are obviously pretty limited.
For more on men’s and women’s happiness – click here