Waylaid Dialectic

July 17, 2013

The unhappy truth – getting worse to be a woman?

Filed under: Development Theory,Random Musings — terence @ 12:44 pm

Huh, I missed this when it came out.

The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness

Betsey Stevenson, Justin Wolfers

NBER Working Paper No. 14969
Issued in May 2009
By many objective measures the lives of women in the United States have improved over the past 35 years, yet we show that measures of subjective well-being indicate that women’s happiness has declined both absolutely and relative to men. The paradox of women’s declining relative well-being is found across various datasets, measures of subjective well-being, and is pervasive across demographic groups and industrialized countries. Relative declines in female happiness have eroded a gender gap in happiness in which women in the 1970s typically reported higher subjective well-being than did men. These declines have continued and a new gender gap is emerging — one with higher subjective well-being for men.


[gated link sorry]

I haven’t read the paper yet but were I to speculate on causes I would say that societies that place ever increasing pressure on women to look and behave a certain way (simultaneously as sex objects for men; and as virtuous and abstentious) would be a likely cause…


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