Marriage 'brings more joy to men'

Happy hubbies

 
According to Paul Frijters, the figures are what people would need to receive out of the blue to make them as happy as their marriage would over a lifetime. And, when it comes to divorce, a man would be so devastated it would feel like he had lost 61,500 pounds. A woman would be far less traumatised, feeling as though she had only lost 5,000 pounds.

Frijters, has tracked major life events of 10,000 people since 2001. “These are real people to whom unexpected things happen. They were not selected because these things would happen and because of that, we can accurately compare their happiness before and after,” he was quoted as saying. For his research, volunteers were asked to describe how satisfied they are with their lives on a scale of 0 to 10.

The most common number given was eight but the answer changed after, and sometimes in anticipation of, major life events and also sudden changes in income. That enabled Frijters to put cash values on the effects of happiness of major events such as marriage, divorce and illnesses. The birth of a child found to bring happiness before the birth than after a few months, slightly less happy than they would have been without the birth.

Frijters said that is why the birth of a child is given low cash values; More than 18,000 pounds for a man and just under 5,000 pounds for the mum. He said: “Losing a loved one has a much bigger effect than gaining a loved one. There’s a real asymmetry between life and death. This shouldn’t surprise us. Human beings seem primed to notice losses more than gains.”

The death of a partner or child causes a woman 73,000 pounds loss, while a man more than 350,000 pounds, according to the calculations. Professor Frijters said: ‘This isn’t the value of the life that’s lost, that would be much higher of course. This is just the effect on the happiness of one person flowing from a death.”

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