The XX Factor

Happy now?

Readers of the  New York Times ’  Economix blog may have noticed Casey B. Mulligan’s  post Wednesday on new research that finds women less satisfied with their lives now than they have been for the last 35 years. The results of the  study are noteworthy because they show a decline in women’s happiness during a period of ever-increasing opportunity. Lest you think that this means women shouldn’t have entered the workplace, the study shows that men’s happiness has also declined, and that most women still regard more opportunity-rather than less-as an upside. And women who work don’t seem to be unhappier than women who stay at home. Granting that the study is capturing a real shift, what, then, might account for it? Meghan commented in the  XX Factor :

it may be, paradoxically, that the women’s movement has decreased women’s happiness at this moment in time because “the increased opportunity to succeed in many dimensions may have led to an increased likelihood in believing that one’s life is not measuring up.” The paradox of choice model might explain, too, why men’s happiness has also declined-just not as extremely as women’s.

Click  here to read the rest of her post. And tell us what you think.