If you're itching for a gender-based fight you've come to the right spot. So, here's the deal. Women, get ready to be righteously indignant. Men, well - go get your protective armor.
Researchers Anke Plagnol, of the University of Cambridge, and Richard Easterlin, of the University of Southern California, say men and women take distinctly different paths during their lives when it comes to happiness. Women come out of the gate strong and are more likely to be happy early in life. The early adulthood years, especially vexing for men, are a time of relative tranquility for women.
But, things change.
As the years tick past certain milestones herald a changing of the happiness guard. Men experience their most unhappy days in their twenties. During this period men are more likely to be single, and to be dissatisfied with their financial situation. (An interesting side note: the study also found a surprising 90 percent of both sexes want to have a happy marriage - that, of course, is a fight for another day) So, the twenties is a time when women shine.
But, consider these not so cheery milestones:
Age 34: Men are more likely than women to be married.
Age 41: Men are now more satisfied with their financial situations than are women.
Age 48: Men are now happier overall than women.
Age 64: Men are (wow) more satisfied with their family life than are women.
So, it's a bit of a delicate path. The researchers believe the pattern reflects men's greater opportunities to achieve their financial goals.
Not riled up enough yet for a good fight?
OK, one additional bit of trivia from the study should do the trick. The scientists found that men crave big-ticket items, like cars, boats, and vacation homes. Women, on the other hand, crave more nice clothes. Let the fighting commence...To read more about the study, see this from ScienceDaily. To learn more about the things that really matter in life, see this from The Last Lecture professor, Randy Pausch.