Maureen Dowd on Women’s Happiness

Her Sunday essay sent me scrambling to find the General Social Survey,  which has been published since 1972.  Lord, what a way to kill a morning.  From it, she extracted some tidbits about the trends in women’s happiness.  The big one, and the big surprise for me, is kids:

One area of extreme distraction is kids. “Across the happiness data, the one thing in life that will make you less happy is having children,” said Betsey Stevenson, an assistant professor at Wharton who co-wrote a paper called “The Paradox of Declining Female Happiness.” “It’s true whether you’re wealthy or poor, if you have kids late or kids early. Yet I know very few people who would tell me they wish they hadn’t had kids or who would tell me they feel their kids were the destroyer of their happiness.”

As I’m neither a parent nor a woman, I’m utterly unqualified to comment, other than to say, “huh?”


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