When women decide to remain unmarried or not to have children, they’re often judged harshly. Sometimes, people pity them, assuming that they are pensively longing for these things.
According to The Guardian, professor of behavioral science Paul Dolan said that while “married people are happier than other population subgroups,” that only applies to “when their spouse is in the room when they’re asked how happy they are. When the spouse is not present, f—ing miserable. The healthiest and happiest population subgroup are women who never married or had children.”
Interestingly, the opposite was true for men. Meaning they seemed to get more of a benefit from marriage than women because, as Dolan explained, they calmed down after tying the knot.
“You take fewer risks, you earn more money at work and you live a little longer,” he said. “She, on the other hand, has to put up with that and dies sooner than if she never married. We do have some good longitudinal data following the same people over time, but I am going to do a massive disservice to that science and just say: If you’re a man, you should probably get married; if you’re a woman, don’t bother,”
He added that the social stigma of singledom at middle age might make some women feel pressured or unhappy at times. But there are plenty of benefits to an unmarried, childless lifestyle.
“You see a single woman of 40, who has never had children. ‘Bless, that’s a shame, isn’t it? Maybe one day you’ll meet the right guy and that’ll change.’ No, maybe she’ll meet the wrong guy and that’ll change. Maybe she’ll meet a guy who makes her less happy and healthy, and die sooner.”