Are women happier when men are the main breadwinners?

There are two tangents of almost all belief systems – personal and universal. For example, there is an endless debate between personal gods and physicist’s favourite universal god; then there is that hypocrisy where women want equality yet prefer a man who opens door (just for the record, I am not down for equality. I strong advocate that women deserve more, and should get more).

The argument here is that there is a whole lot of talk about women and what do they want; obviously, no one really knows just yet, but while bouncing the ball around, the evolutionary psychologist Nick Neave concluded that women are biologically programmed to be dependent on men (here’s the study if you are interested in fact checking). Here’s what he claims to be the gospel truth, as translated by Marie Claire.

1. Women are happiest in traditional marriages.

In making this argument, Neave points to a recent study from sociologists at the University of Virginia, which found that couples who are happiest in traditional marriages run on old-fashioned gender lines, where the man is the main breadwinner: “The report showed conclusively that women who worked were more dissatisfied with their husbands than those who stayed at home,” he says. He also points out that one of the study authors, Radford Wilcox, said: “Regardless of what married women say they believe about gender, they tend to have happier marriages when their husband is a good provider.”

2. Women like men who make more than they do.

Neave goes on to say: “Happiest of all were women whose husbands brought in at least two-thirds of the household income, regardless of how much they helped with domestic chores. In short, I suspect women will never feel truly comfortable earning more than their men. The need to rely on a man is driven by such a deep-seated biological urge. I cannot see it ever being eradicated completely.”

Oh, please. I think this whole phenomenon could easily be explained thusly: Women whose husbands are bringing in that much of the income are probably less stressed, and therefore happier. Wouldn’t you agree?

As for why men might not like women who make more than they do, well, I think that’s easily explained by centuries of socialisation. Men are slowly coming around to the idea that women can be sole providers, too, but it’s a relatively new idea in our culture.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: