For practically all of human history, women have faced pressure to “settle down,” get married, and have kids.
In 2019, however, women have more choices and opportunities available to them than ever before. More and more women are choosing to skip the whole family thing altogether.
According to a new study, women without children or spouses are actually happier (and healthier!) than the rest, the Guardian reports.
Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioral science at the London School of Economics, researched the topic for his book, Happily Ever After. He compared the happiness levels of unmarried, married, divorced, separated, and widowed people.
The happiness expert found that unmarried women who’d never had children reported being happier than others, and they also lived for a longer time.
Paul’s findings were different for men, however. Married men were healthier and more financially well-off than unmarried men.
Importantly, this data looks only at heterosexual cisgender marriages. There’s no data on gay or lesbian people in these findings.
But the findings certainly imply that, for straight women, finding a nice guy and settling down isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As the researcher said in one speech, it’s also very possible that a woman will “meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”
So! There’s a fun fact to share with your grandma the next time she grills you about whether you’re seeing anyone!
Check out the video for a similar study, which found that moms who have male partners get less sleep (on average) than single mothers.
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