Gender- Equality in Your Country? Everyone's Happier

As if men don't have it good enough all on their own, now a new study says they do better when there's more gender equality.

Men living in highly gender equal societies have better quality of life than men in less gender equal societies, according to new research from Øystein Gullvåg Holter, as reported by

If you live in one of the more gender-equal countries in Europe, the chances of having high quality of life are about twice as big as for those living in one of the less gender equal counties.

Moreover, the chances of depression, divorce, or becoming a victim of violent death are smaller. This applies to both men and women.

Based on an examination of a major database of statistics gathered from various equality indexes, Øystein Gullvåg Holter is able to conclude that a high degree of gender equality has positive effects not only on women; it also benefits men.

I suppose that's true.  When you look at cultures that don't value women, nobody seems particularly happy, in my view.

"It is a common misunderstanding that increased gender equality provides benefits and privileges for women at the expense of men’s benefits and privileges,” says Holter.

Bu this is not the case at all, says.

Holter based his study on another that found that smaller disparities in wages makes for a better society overall.  He used this theory in order to investigate whether the same may be said about gender equality. In other words, does increased gender equality only have positive effects on women, or do men also benefit?

He collected data from a number of countries and states in Europe and the U.S. and created a new database: Gender Equality Statistics. His results are based on comparisons between average scores in the most and least gender equal countries in Europe and the most and least gender equal states in the U.S.

Holter’s statistics show that more gender-equal countries score much higher on well-being and lower on depression among both men and women.

The more gender-equal the society is, the likelihood of being a victim of violent death also decreases significantly. In the most gender-equal countries this likelihood is almost half that of the least gender-equal countries. Furthermore, the figures show that this is related to income disparities. If you’re a man, small income disparities mean less likelihood of suffering a violent death.

 Not surprisingly, men’s participation at home seems to be an important underlying factor in order to achieve more gender equality. Yet this factor is not included in the major gender equality indexes.

“Indexes such as Gender Gap Index and the Social Watch Gender Equality Index should include data that shed light on men’s contributions to gender equality, as well as the benefits and disadvantages increased gender equality have for men,” says Holter.

So I guess what's good for the gander is good for the goose.


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