Women are happier without children or a spouse, says happiness “expert“

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by Rogifan, May 26, 2019.

  1. Rogifan macrumors Core

    Rogifan

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    #1
    However, Dolan said men showed more health benefits from tying the knot, as they took fewer risks. Women’s health was mostly unaffected by marriage, with middle-aged married women even being at higher risk of physical and mental conditions than their single counterparts.

    Despite the benefits of a single, childless lifestyle for women, Dolan said that the existing narrative that marriage and children were signs of success meant that the stigma could lead some single women to feel unhappy.

    “You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children – ‘Bless, that’s a shame, isn’t it? Maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change.’ No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change. Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeand...without-children-or-a-spouse-happiness-expert

    Seems to me this so-called expert is the miserable one.
     
  2. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #2
    Seems to me it's completely up to "how things work" for men, women and children. It's not all luck of the draw and it's not all up to bootstrapping self-reliance or tribalism either. I've heard of arranged and choiceful marriages that worked out great or foundered, and I also know both men and women who never married and are variously happy or unhappy and meanwhile engaged in either unexamined or overanalyzed lives.

    Bottom line there are stats and then there is life itself, which latter is pretty much anecdotal for each of us. We can make what we will of the stats but it probably doesn't pay to try to pigeonhole ourselves or our friends either.

    Life in our universe as we know it, no matter the scale of it, has always been a roll of the dice followed by consequences... and response to those consequences. Room for change has persisted so far, even if our local and human experience may suggest otherwise at a given moment for an individual, a nation or the planet.
     
  3. raqball macrumors 68000

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    Good grief we now have 'happiness experts'?

    Participation trophies for all!
     
  4. Bug-Creator macrumors 6502a

    Bug-Creator

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    Does participating in this thread count?

    Asking the obvious expert.
     
  5. raqball macrumors 68000

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    I dunno.... I suppose it does if you are a single woman with no kids.. If not then you'd need to find another 'expert' to ask....

    I wonder what kind of degree and/or certifications are need to be a 'happiness expert'? Does Sally Struthers still offer correspondence courses?
     
  6. Solver macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    We want women to be happy. So we should stop them from being married and stop them from having children. That would solve a lot of big problems.
    (Big sarcasm)
     
  7. VulchR macrumors 68020

    VulchR

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    I am curious how you two define expertise.

    Economists have been focusing on happiness for quite awhile because the traditional measures (e.g., GDP growth) don't predict happiness that well on an individual basis. Thus, economists are trying to provide policy makers with better empirical information about what makes people happy. If you think this is a frivolous matter, then you need to look at the statistics on psychological distress. It's not looking good for younger people, and it's not really compassionate to accuse young people of just being snowflakes:

    [​IMG]

    The vertical axis plots 'the percent with serious psychological distress in the last month by age group, 2008–2017'. Source: link
     
  8. raqball, May 26, 2019
    Last edited: May 26, 2019

    raqball macrumors 68000

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    I guess these days it's anyone with a Sally Struthers ICS certificate or who has attended a weekend seminar....
     
  9. upandown macrumors 6502a

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    Who exactly are these “experts”. There’s so many “studies” and lots of “data” but equally so most of it is completely biased and not scientific at the end of the day. We are really loving studies right now in society and we seem to trust them unequivocally. Which is why it’s so dangerous and usually just as useful as fake news.

    I actually have to agree with Lizkat for once.
     
  10. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #10
    This bit is interesting if use of social media is highest in that 18-25 cohort (which I don't know to be true but suspect it's higher in general for that group --except for grandmas strictly into Facebook for the granddkid photos):

    The sense of "real" community at least in the USA seems to have fallen off even in rural areas in the past 30 years or so. Over three thousand post offices, most serving small towns, have been closed by the US Postal Service just since 2011... they were usually located in or next door to a village general store and so everyone ended up hooked up to the heart of the community via necessary trips to get mail or staple foodstuffs. More K-4 schools have been consolidated into central district middle schools and so fewer truly local events oriented towards kids have been experienced in smaller towns as well.

    It has also become easier to "make friends" on social media --for both rural and urban residents-- than it ever was to make the effort to show up at community events or to create such events. If parents now are not participating in such events, then by example neither will their kids.

    As it turns out, cyberfriends are not at all the same thing as real ones. It takes being a real friend to keep a real friend, but in cyberspace it's pretty simple to just ditch people when they become tiresome instead of seeming "friendly" (and one may wonder if "friendly" just means "sees things my way 24/7"). Of course that ability to cut cyberpals loose cuts both ways, so it's also pretty simple to end up isolated even while immersed in "social" media.

    Where it gets complicated and sometimes very nasty, perhaps especially for the teen and young adult cohort is when people in real life end up in bullying situations online. Sometimes stuff like that comes to attention of the state police or school officials. When it doesn't, who the hell knows what happens in real life as the online conflicts are pursued to one end or another. It's not always good by any measure of "happiness" or even personal safety.
     
  11. jerwin macrumors 68020

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    Blame journalists. Or perhaps his publicist. Apparently being a professor of behavioural science at the London School of Economics isn't sexy enough.

    http://www.lse.ac.uk/PBS/People/Professor-Paul-Dolan
     
  12. bambooshots macrumors 65816

    bambooshots

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    How does he explain the many women who are happy being married and having children, then?

    Sounds like he’s saying controversial stuff to try to make a name for himself.
     
  13. raqball macrumors 68000

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    I am not interested in blaming anyone.. I just find it comical that we have and / or need happiness experts to tell us how to be happy.....

    Gee I dunno, how about just living your life and deciding for yourself what makes you happy? Odd I know but hey, I am not a 'happiness expert' and didn't take any ICS courses so better off listening to him I suppose...
     
  14. Solver, May 26, 2019
    Last edited: May 26, 2019

    Solver macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Happiness can be an individual’s choice to pursue or it could be collectively allocated by a bunch of central planners using computer models and “expert” advice.

    Added:
    Reminds me of a movie about a society that allocated happiness to a select part of the population, after which they turned them into Soylent Green, which were allocated to the rest of the populace.
     
  15. Plutonius macrumors 604

    Plutonius

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    #15
    How do you quantify happiness ?

    Based on what questions were asked and how these questions were asked, I imagine that the results would greatly differ.
     
  16. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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    #16
    you don't have to be an "expert" to call that one, men are just over grown children to their spouses,of course some women would be happy not dealing with that mess............. :p
     
  17. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    His specialization is potentially quite useful in an era when we've somehow been conditioned to chase happiness --as opposed to ending up happy as a result of just making use of our human potential to challenge ourselves, use our talents, master new skills.

    In particular today we're encouraged to buy happiness. Marketers pitch 24/7 whatever they tell us will fill that big hole in our psyche that they imply will otherwise doom us.

    Being invited to chase happiness and then being told what it is --i.e. this watch, this car, this beer, this hunk driving a convertible or this lithe woman in a bikini on a beach-- is a recipe for disaster. It always was, because material success is as ephemeral as the breeze on that beach, even if it can persist for decades.

    The biggest problem there is that we've moved into an era when automation has eliminated and will continue to eliminate rafts of human jobs, potentially taking with it our ability to purchase roof over head, even food on table, never mind whatever optional "happiness" that smartphone or automobile or fancy watch is supposed to bring us.

    Not everyone is cut out to be a smartphone designer or an investment banker (and who's to say AI can't do better at those jobs then they're already learning how to do nowadays?). Yet as taxpayers so far a majority of us resist ideas like Universal Basic Income and meanwhile even whittle away at existing social contract programs like nutritional assistance for those in need of basic sustenance.

    It's pretty much a given that if some population doesn't have enough to eat, social unrest ensues, big time. That disruption usually spreads to neighboring countries and these days into the global economy, e.g. as Colombia now experiences with Venezuela and as the US, China and Russia get drawn into trying to help find solutions without further antagonizing each other.

    But what if we do have enough to eat and yet have been conditioned to understand that we're unhappy unless we can fill some vague but huge hole in our psyche with material goods? And what if we can't afford to experiment to find out which smartphone or car will finally fill that hole?

    Is it morally wrong for someone on food stamps to be walking around with an iPhone?

    Was it morally wrong for someone to pitch that a smartphone will make us happy?
    Leaving to other threads how we should resolve problems of underemployment and strains on taxpayers, and the quandaries of balancing moral obligations and commercial expectations and norms, I'd suggest it's way past time we engage in at least asking ourselves whether allowing our culture to focus on material success as the definition of human happiness is actually a route to anything other than societal ruin.

    That might not be in the purview of this thread either, but it seems to me that questions about happiness in marriage / as singletons don't relate just to having money or not having money. It's more about outlook on life, and to me it seems attitudes towards material "success" have a lot to do with "happiness" or lack of it.

    So... Paul Dolan's inquiries and discoveries are potentially pretty useful for governments as well as academicians and people looking to fill space in online media outlets.

    We probably need to figure out how to keep entire populations from suicidal ideation just because they may be fairly unlikely to share in the same levels of material success throughout their lives as have been their parents or grandparents.

    And if we can't figure that out, then we may need to switch up how we allow our economies to run. To do that, we have to figure out how to arrive at a consensus that there's such a thing as a public good.

    I'm not sure one's sex or marital status have a whole hell of a lot to do with that calculation.
     
  18. raqball macrumors 68000

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    #18
    I love Tacos and eating them makes me happy.. Amazing that I was able to determine this without the help of a 'happiness expert' eh? :p
     
  19. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68040

    Ulenspiegel

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    #19
    I am not an expert, just happy that Alyssa Milano with her #metoo and #sexstrike is someone else's wife.
    On the other hand, now I know why AOC is so happy...
     
  20. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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    #20
    AOC,? Well. Ignorance is bliss :p
     
  21. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    Still it's interesting to know that some guys figure happily married women have a higher rate of tolerance of what those women may view as juvenile behavior of a spouse, and that some guys are made happy by eating a taco... and not everyone's a member of MacRumors, so the research of a dude like Dolan is probably useful to assorted inquiring minds... :p
     
  22. Ulenspiegel macrumors 68040

    Ulenspiegel

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    ROTFLMAO@Midget.
    I almost forgot that. ;)
     
  23. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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  24. LizKat macrumors 601

    LizKat

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    #24
    Heh. I've discovered that ignorance of the social media memes about her is bliss.
    --- Post Merged, May 26, 2019 ---
    As a goal unto itself, you are definitely onto something there.
     
  25. jkcerda macrumors 6502a

    jkcerda

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    #25
    exactly the reason I got married, I did not want to be happy all the time :p
     

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