Married women ‘die sooner’ than men

MARRIED by the time we're 25, two kids (a boy and a girl, obviously) and a house with a picket fence - that's what rom-coms would have us believe is a woman's "happily ever after".

But regardless of whether this is something you personally aspire to or not, a behavioural scientist has now revealed that single, childless women are actually HAPPIER than married mothers - and they're more likely to live longer too, The Sun reports.

Shows like HBO’s Girls prove that marriage and children isn’t a sure fire route to lasting happiness. Right? Picture: HBO
Shows like HBO’s Girls prove that marriage and children isn’t a sure fire route to lasting happiness. Right? Picture: HBO

Speaking on a panel at the Hay Festival this weekend, behavioural science professor Paul Dolan revealed that the conventional notion of "having it all" doesn't guarantee happiness - especially when it comes to getting married and having children.

According to The Guardian, the happiness expert said: "Married people are happier than other population subgroups, but only when their spouse is in the room when they're asked how happy there are.

"When the spouse is not present: f***ing miserable."

Backing up his assertions, he added: "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."

Behavioural scientist Paul Dolan claims that men benefit more from marriage than women do.
Behavioural scientist Paul Dolan claims that men benefit more from marriage than women do.

In his latest book Happy Ever After, the London School of Economics professor compared happiness levels across a group of married, unmarried, divorced, separated and widowed adults.

Although married couples initially said they were happier than single people in the study, this was only when their other half was in the room with them.

In contrast, unmarried individuals reported lower levels of misery than those who are married and not asked to report their unhappiness in front of their partners.

Weighing on his recent findings, the professor claims that men benefit from marriage more than women.

The expert challenged the stigma attached to single, childless women — a theme that was often explored in sitcom Sex and the City
The expert challenged the stigma attached to single, childless women — a theme that was often explored in sitcom Sex and the City

He added: "Men take less risks, you earn more money at work and you live a little longer.

"She, on the other hand, has to put up with that and dies sooner than if she never married.

"The healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children."

Although married women's health is largely unaffected by her relationship status, the happiness expert did asset that middle-aged married women have a higher risk of developing physical or mental conditions in comparison to singletons.

Women without husbands are apparently happier, according to new research.
Women without husbands are apparently happier, according to new research.

But despite the fact that single, childless women are generally happier, the professor challenged the stigma still attached to this subgroup.

He said: "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."

This article originally appeared on The Sun and was reproduced with permission


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