Opinion | Pop Culture

Declining Female Happiness

A new study reveals that feminism may be the source of our discontent.

The data have been collected and analyzed and the determination made: Women are less happy than they were 35 years ago, less happy than men, and the gap between men's and women's happiness is growing. The National Bureau of Economic Research released the report in May, and according to its researchers, Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers, this decline in happiness is pretty much true for women across the board in industrialized nations.

But women can be CEOs, politicians, and college presidents. They are better paid and have more visibility and opportunity than they did 30 years ago, so why are women less happy?

Stevenson and Wolfers speculate that perhaps it's the overall decrease in social cohesion, or increased anxiety and neuroticism. Or maybe now that women have multiple roles, they are satisfied in one role, but miserable in another, bringing down their overall sense of happiness. Maybe the women's movement raised expectations for women, and their lives don't measure up to those expectations. ...

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