Men, Women, Happiness, and Statistics

My partner, Ken, was interviewed earlier this week by KTVU Channel 2 News. They asked him what he thought about recent reports that women are less happy than men, largely because they report feeling less free to do what they want than men do.

The whole thing sounded really sexist to me.

As it turns out, I'm not alone. Mark Liberman wrote a Language Log item about this set of studies, and how the media seem to be skewing the findings in favor of bold headlines. The actual numbers show a statistically insignificant difference between the genders and across time, which has a great deal of back-and-forth fluctuation due to noise in the results.

Ah, journaliesm

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