Behavioural Expert Says 'Women Are Happier Without A Husband'
'Happiness expert' professor Paul Dolan claims that women don't reap the same benefits from marriage as men do.
Speaking at the Hay Festival on women's happiness at the weekend, the behavioural expert from the London School of Economics told how he believes settling down may be negatively impacting our well-being.
However, it might have the opposite effect for men as marriage may help them to take less risks and "calm down".
"[Men] take less risks, [men] earn more money at work and [men] live a little longer. She, on the other hand, has to put up with that and dies sooner than if she never married," Dolan explains.
He continued: "The healthiest and happiest population sub-group are women who never married or had children.
"We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: if you're a man, you should probably get married; if you're a woman, don't bother."
The happiness expert explores this idea further in his book, Happy Ever After: Escaping The Myth of the Perfect Life, in which he analyses the results of the American Time Use Survey.
He compared the levels of pleasure and misery in all relationship statuses, including married, unmarried, divorced, separarted and widowed.
The results highlighted that levels of happiness for married women were only higher when their spouse was in the same room as them.
The behavioural expert added: "Married people are happier than other population sub-groups but only when their spouse is in the room when they're asked how happy they are. When the spouse is not present: f*cking miserable."
He pointed out that societal norms and stereotypes may make women feel unhappy if they don't have a child or marry in life. But Dolan believes these women are actually winning.
He added: "You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children [and you think], '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... maybe she'll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner."
Food for thought.
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