Posts Tagged ‘Marriage’

Marriage On Its Way Towards Losing that Happiness Edge

Tuesday, August 12th, 2008

Proponents of marriage like to toss around the statistic that married people (and married men in particular) are happier and healthier than the wretched ranks of the unwed. But new research has found that the happiness/health gap is narrowing, not because the married crew is losing its happy glow (though that may indeed be occurring), but because the single component is getting happier.

The study, led by Hui Liu, assistant professor of sociology at Michigan State University, used data from the National Health Interview Survey from 1972 to 2003. The researchers found that while the self-reported health of the married is “still better than that of the never-married,” the “gap has closed considerably.” Single women shouldn’t rejoice just yet: The uptick was due overwhelmingly to improvements in the health of never-married men. Liu thinks that this result may be “partly because never-married men have greater access to social resources and support that historically were found in a spouse.” (Female robots, perhaps? Or Internet porn?) Still, single women also saw an increase, and the singles health boost also spread across racial lines to both blacks and whites.

Click here for the full article.

The results of this study don’t really surprise me.  I know a lot of very happy single people (and while I’m not single now, I would say that I was very happy being single, too).  They just focus on work, school, friendships, and hobbies, and don’t let themselves dwell on their singleness or let themselves feel lonely.   They learn to be happy with what they do have and not worry about what they don’t have.  What do you think?

-MJ

Why Conservatives Say They Are Happier Than Liberals

Tuesday, May 6th, 2008

What’s the key to happiness? Liberals might tell you a hot latte, vivid expressions of diversity, and a copy of the New York Times. That doesn’t sound too bad, but in data mined for his new book, Gross National Happiness, Arthur Brooks, a professor of business and government at Syracuse University, finds that conservatives are twice as likely as liberals to say they’re happy. That’s not necessarily because of their politics but because they are statistically more likely to be married, go to church, and be optimistic about their future—boosting personal happiness. For liberals, the rates are lower. The author suggests that while the liberal equity agenda may be honorable, it exacts a personal toll. Indeed, happiness is full of surprises: Political ideologues are positively joyful—by making others miserable. Brooks explains to U.S. News the quirks and politics of happiness.

Why are liberals so bummed out?
Liberals are more likely to feel like victims and feel that collective action is the best way to make things happen. That may be right, but it’s a frustrating way to live. The Democratic Party is a coalition of oppressed groups. These are legitimate grievances in a lot of cases, but that does not make for a happy party.

Click here for the full article.

Free time outranks wealth in happiness survey

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Wealth may be playing less of a role in Americans’ pursuit of happiness, according to results from a Pew Research Center survey.

Thirteen percent of 2,413 respondents in a survey earlier this year said being wealthy was “very important” to them, according to a survey posted Wednesday on the Pew Research Center’s Web site. Other opinion choices were “somewhat important” or “not very important.” It ranked last among seven statements of priority such as living a religious life, doing volunteer work, donating to charity or being married.

Nearly 70% of respondents said “hav[ing] enough free time to do things you want to do” was very important, the Web site said. This received the largest amount of very important votes. Having children and being successful in a career ranked second with 61% of respondents saying these were very important to them.

Click here for the full article.

The politics of happiness

Thursday, May 1st, 2008


Last week I posted on the happiness difference between conservatives and liberals. Non-partisan survey data clearly show a large, persistent “happiness gap” favoring the political right.

Lots of readers weighed in, offering explanations for these data patterns. Here were their most frequent explanations:

1. Conservatives and liberals have different lifestyles, particularly regarding religion and marriage, which explains why conservatives are happier.

2. Conservatives have a world-view that — right or wrong — lends itself to greater happiness.

3. Brooks is an untrustworthy fool.

While #3 might be meritorious, let’s leave it aside and just focus on explanation #1 here and #2 in the next post.

Click here for the full article.

Women Are Happy Being Single

Wednesday, April 16th, 2008

It seems that Bridget Jones has been ousted by a new breed of women who are happy being single and living alone.

“Freemales” is the label that has been given to the growing number of women content in their single life.

The latest research from the Office for National Statistics shows the number of women living alone, between the age of 25 and 44, has doubled in the past two decades.

And research also shows single women no longer feel they need to be in a relationship to be happy.

More and more women are shunning the idea of marriage in favour of living alone and increasing numbers of women are divorcing and staying single.

These single women are happy with their lives and content with the intimacy they get from other close relationships with family and friends.

In fact, their lives are so full with work and socialising they have little time to worry about finding Mr Right.

This just goes to show that it’s far more important to have stable and supportive relationships in your life, than it is to find a partner just for the sake of having one.

Click here for the full article.