Sunday, September 5, 2010

Study: Keeping Sabbath Day Makes Women Happier

A recent study has found that women are more happier when they are keeping the Sabbath. The study, conducted by Researchers from DePaul University in Chicago and Ben-Gurion University 
followed church attendance and levels of happiness among Americans living in states that had repealed so-called blue laws, which once required most retailers to stay closed on Sundays.
The researchers found that allowing stores to open on Sundays was linked with a decline in church attendance among white women, which led to a subsequent decline in happiness. Among black women, the repeal of the blue laws had no measurable effect, although that may be because the sample size was too small to draw any statistically meaningful conclusions.
Notably, the finding was true only for women. For men, the repeal of blue laws didn’t seem to influence church attendance or levels of happiness.
Since the repeal of blue laws, women are about 17 percent less likely to report being “pretty happy,” and more likely to report being “not happy,” according to the study, which is still awaiting final publication.
“People know there is a correlation between religiosity and happiness, but there’s not conclusive evidence that there is a causal effect,’’ said William Sander, professor of economics at DePaul. “Our paper tends to provide more conclusive evidence that religiosity among women does affect happiness.’’
The study is surprising in someways and not so in other ways. Studies have shown that women tend to be more religious than men. However, what is surprising, to me at least, is that not keeping the Sabbath only affects the happiness of women and not men. I would have assumed it would have affected the happiness of both genders.
Several possible reasons for why women are more unhappier when they're not keeping the sabbath are that children are more likely to get in trouble because they're hanging out at malls, women started to work on Sundays after the repeal of Sunday Blue laws or that it allows women to shop on Sundays:
Or it may simply be that the lure of shopping is more powerful than the desire to attend church, even though it brings less happiness.
“Shopping is kind of addictive, and even though it doesn’t make people happy, they’re doing it and they don’t return to church as much because of that,’’ Dr. Sander said. “There is instant gratification from shopping compared to the benefits of church, which may occur over a longer period of time.’’
None of the explanations seem satisfactory to me. They could equally apply to men. Does anyone have a better explanation for why women are not as happy as men when they're not keeping the Sabbath? 

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