“The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness”: For when you’re done reading about the new pope

I’m at Acculturated. Don’t worry, it’s not an endorsement of “happiness research”:

The title of this article is also the title of a 2009 study by economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers. The study looked at data from the United States and Europe, focusing on the period from the 1970s to the mid-2000s: a time of medical advances, the second wave of feminism, the rise of no-fault divorce and the personal computer. And also a period in which women got less happy—both absolutely, and relative to men.

The authors consider several possible explanations for this decline, including the “second shift” effect (in which women come home from their jobs and still have to do the lioness’s share of the domestic work) and the rise in divorce and single parenting. But in the end they suggest that the “paradox” remains unexplained.

Some critics say it’s no big deal.


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