Are men or women happier? The question is badly asked and is not even useful: science confirms that males and females experience emotions – positive or negative – in a different way.
“Female happiness” (a label useful to simplify the speech) has decreased in the last 30 years, although some recent statistical studies suggest that it reaches its peak in old age, when the pressures associated with family life decrease. Women also run twice as much risk as men of developing depression, but faster to get out of it (as well as more inclined to seek therapeutic help).
MORE TRAVELING. This predisposition is balanced by the fact that in the female gender positive emotions are experienced with greater intensity. Perhaps for reasons linked to evolution, women more easily express joy, closeness, but also fear, all components related to social relationships that, as primary care figures, must cultivate. These emotions (with the exception of rabies) are also more easily shared with others on the verbal level: in general, female happiness is thought to be more related to the relational context than the male one.
OFFENSE? WHO, ME? Some studies confirm that women get higher scores in emotional recognition tasks, social sensitivity and empathy. Those that might seem “advantages” are however counterbalanced by the question of anger.
MORE CONSTANT. Men are more inclined to express it openly and direct it on the person concerned. On the contrary, for women it is not “socially acceptable” to manifest anger in an open way: they therefore tend to internalize it and transform it into ruminating thoughts, a factor which, according to scientists, would contribute to female vulnerability to stress and depression.
Men show greater capacity for problem solving and cognitive flexibility, characteristics that can contribute to a more stable positive mood, less linked to external fluctuations. On the other hand, women struggle to maintain a satisfied and happy state of mind if the social inputs around them do not allow it: they tend more, for example, to make the needs of others a priority than their own, a characteristic that makes them even more prone to resentment and frustration. For men, it is easier to cultivate well-being linked to pleasure and hedonism.
WHAT IT JOINTS. As you can see, the question is complex, and it is even more so if one takes into account the personalities of each one, beyond the far too simplistic generalizations. Despite the differences, the benefits of happiness on mood and health concern everyone without distinction and, importantly, they are nevertheless linked to social relationships, and not just to individuality.