Who’s Happy Now?

The news is not good: women are not happy.

According the survey that has tracked America’s mood for over 30 years, women are not as happy as they used to be. The General Social Survey by the University of Chicago is a face-to-face survey of randomly selected adults.

Columnists are speculating on the reasons.

Maureen Dowd’s take on our funk in the New York Times is here.

Arianna Huffington’s musings are here.

Both also refer to economists Betsey Stevenson’s and Justin Wolfer’s report, ” The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness,” originally published back in 2007 and recently updated.

Back then, more than a few writers questioned the premise. Maybe, they opined at Freakonomics, women are more unhappy because women’s lives are more like men’s lives now, and men have historically reported being less happy. Or maybe there’s less social pressure for women to pretend to be happy. Or maybe surveys designed to elicit self-reports of happiness produce questionable data.

Some want to blame feminism for making women unhappy. Others believe it is evidence of an enduring degree of inequality.

What’s your thinking?

Photo credit: deflam. Painting by John David McCosh.

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