November 24, 2014

SCIENCE: Women with workplace power are more depressed. Men, not so much.

Women with job authority — ones who have the ability to hire and fire people and influence over paychecks — also have significantly more symptoms of depression than women without this kind of power. At the same time, having job authority slightly decreased these symptoms in men.

The findings come from a study to be published in December’s Journal of Health and Social Behavior, authored by University of Texas at Austin sociologist Tetyana Pudrovska. While over the past few decades, there’s been an emphasis on getting more women into leadership roles, “surprisingly little empirical attention has been devoted to women’s experiences after they have obtained authority, and whether women automatically enjoyed the benefits on par with men,” Pudrovska said.

Hmm. We’ve already learned that women are on average less happy than they were in 1970. So perhaps this whole feminism project is about remaking society to suit the minority of women who are feminists, at the expense of the much greater number of women who are not.

UPDATE: From the comments:

I’ve seen many women succeed in the workplace, and it’s often because they married late or kids never happened (despite them wanting children). The long, uninterrupted career path is good for advancement but not necessarily happiness.

Likewise, this study was performed on Baby Boom women – the first wave to go into the workforce. The question is whether modern women would be just as depressed with leadership roles as previous women were, in an era wherein both men and women were not used to having woman bosses.

Good point — though on the female boss angle, preference for male over female bosses — especially among women — hasn’t declined.

Plus: “Feminism is a political herding mechanism for insecure women. It’s thus no surprise that (1) feminists tend to be insecure; and (2) they send messages that tend to enhance insecurity in other women.”

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