Wednesday, 30 Jul, 2008 Science

Women Happiness Wears off with the Age


Women feel unhappy later in life than men in spite of the fact that many of them are happier in their early adulthood.

A new study by Anke Plagnol of the University of Cambridge, and University of Southern California economist Richard Easterlin was the first to collect the nationally representative data to analyze the importance of unfulfilled desires on a person's feeling of happiness over several decades.

The researchers revealed that women generally start out happier than men, but their sense of well-being diminishes with the time. The happiness largely was linked to such important aspects of life satisfaction as family and finances.

Men after the age of 48 are more satisfied with their family lives and finances than women. Both men and women see happy marriage as their life goal in early adulthood with nine out of ten people of both genders pointing out to this factor. However, overall satisfaction for men and women will be different depending on the realization of this goal.

On average, men were found to be the most unhappy during their 20's, and this was the time, when most were single and dissatisfied with their finances. Discontent with financial situation was explained by the fact that men usually have higher expectations. But as men age, their overall life satisfaction increases. After 34 years old, men are more likely to be married than women, a tendency that seems to continue with the age, indicating the increasing satisfaction with family life.

Men's financial situation is also likely to improve with the time with more of them spending on large-scale items such as a car or vacation home, which they could not afford early in life. The study showed that at age 41 men were more satisfied with finances than women, while at age 48 men's overall happiness was greater than women's sense of happiness. At age 64 men were more satisfied with their family life than women.

Researchers also added that the study revealed greater satisfaction for previous generation in comparison to the recent generation despite having more.


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