Happiness, contentment both factors separating men, women

New research backs up what many women may have thought for years – men are generally happier.A recent survey conducted by a team of researchers, including Princeton economist Alan Krueger, confirms that men find happiness much more easily than women.

A happiness gender gap?

The survey asked people about daily activities and how they felt while they were involved in the activity. Men and women had similar likes and dislikes, such as spending time with friends and paying the bills, respectively, but there were some pronounced differences on other questions.

Men said they enjoyed spending time with their parents. Women said they would rather do laundry.

Some reasons for the differences seem obvious.

First is something we all know – men and women approach life differently.

Krueger hypothesized that the men’s ideas of spending time with their parents is perhaps more social – watching football on the couch. Women are more likely to be in the kitchen or helping with chores around the house.

Beyond that, the reasons might not be so simple.

Many women seem driven to have it all – a successful career, kids, a husband. But unless you are Superwoman, it’s impossible to be home with the kids while working full time, traveling and also having a strong marriage.

But that’s what many women appear to be trying to do.

They’re simply under too much pressure. And it may be significantly contributing to the happiness gap.

Many women strive for perfection and strive to meet all those expectations, and it’s exhausting. Men, on the other hand, seem to have the amazing ability to be still and be content, and the survey results reflect that.

Maybe women should start taking a few lessons from the men in their lives.

Then everyone could reap the benefits, and happiness could be had by all.

Jillian Hutchison is a junior news-editorial journalism major from Omaha, Neb.