Career, Kids, Great Sex: Two Out Of Three is All You Get.
Take a couple of studies about American happiness (which say that today’s women are less happy than men because they simply want too much -- career, kids and a clean house). Add in a report which says that if women don’t voice their anger and frustration to their spouses they’ll literally make themselves sick. And, for good measure, toss in an explicit HBO drama about four couples, in which the only couple with children hasn’t had sex for a year.
In the span of a little over a week, two stories about those academic studies ran in the
First, the happiness studies. The Times recently highlighted two reports which attempted to gauge happiness among American adults. In discussing a downward trend in women’s happiness as compared to men’s since the 1960s, columnist David Leonhardt wrote, “What has changed – and what seems to be the most likely explanation for the happiness trends – is that women now have a much longer to-do list than they once did (including helping their aging parents). They can’t possibly get it all done, and many end up feeling as if they are somehow falling short.” Then, for good measure, Leonhardt paraphrased one of the happiness researchers as saying that one of the reasons women were likely happier in the 1960s was because “they had narrower ambitions.” In other words, some 40 years ago, women didn’t feel the pressure to have fabulous careers, be thoroughly entertaining and engaged mothers to their young children, sexy wives to their spouses and keep Martha Stewart-esque homes.
Several days later, the Times published an article in its Science section which detailed recent studies of marital discord, including one of some 4,000 men and women which found that when women hold their tongues when they’re upset with their spouses, they can literally make themselves ill. Men, not so much. Consider this daunting excerpt from Tara Parker-Pope’s column: “In men, keeping quiet during a fight didn’t have any measurable effect on health. But women who didn’t speak their minds in those fights were four times as likely to die during the 10-year study period as women who always told their husbands how they felt, according to the July report in Psychosomatic Medicine.”
“. . . [W]hen women stay quiet, it takes a surprising physical toll,” the article added.