Janus’ Musings

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Joys of Parenthood

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A new book talks about the joys of parenthood – and then relates that to happiness (specifically in the US) and then comes to the conclusion that conservatives are happier than liberals. The Economist has a nice article about this – the really amusing part is:

Happily for the reader, his book, “Gross National Happiness”, is not
a memoir. It is a subtle and engaging distillation of oceans of data.
When researchers ask parents what they enjoy, it turns out that they
prefer almost anything to looking after their children. Eating,
shopping, exercising, cooking, praying and watching television were all
rated more pleasurable than watching the brats, even if they don’t
bite. As Mr Brooks puts it: “There are many things in a parent’s life
that bring great joy. For example, spending time away from [one’s]
children.”

Despite this, American parents are much more likely to be happy than
non-parents. This is for two reasons, argues Mr Brooks, an economist at
Syracuse University. Even if children are irksome now, they lend
meaning to life in the long term. And the kind of people who are happy
are also more likely to have children. Which leads on to Mr Brooks’s
most controversial finding: in America, conservatives are happier than
liberals.

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Written by janusmusings

April 3, 2008 at 4:01 am

Posted in Books

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