Those kids (1,037 boys and 613 girls) have grown up to become academics, scientists, lawyers. One is even a MacArthur "Genius Grant" award winner. They were questioned about a number of different aspects of their lives once they were in their late 40s and early 50s. And on so many different measures, this group was split along gender lines; but when it came to their emotional well-being, men and women alike reported high marks.
The questions related to emotional well-being measured how respondents felt about their relationships, their careers, the professional successes they’ve had and life satisfaction. They were also asked about flourishing and their positive feelings.
"One interpretation of the lack of appreciable differences between the sexes across these indicators is that there are multiple ways to construct a meaningful, productive and satisfying life," the authors write in the report.
Family remained the single biggest key to a meaningful life for both the men and the women in the study. But there were still big differences in how the two genders spent their time, and what kind of value they placed on such pursuits.
Full-time work, making an impact and earning a lot of money were much bigger priorities for the men. Women, as a whole, placed greater importance on part-time work, community service, being involved with their families and making time for close relationships.
There were other differences by sex. The men were more likely than the women to be chief executives or in STEM fields. The women were more likely to be in general business or education -- or homemakers. (Law, medicine and finance had equal representation of the two genders.)
Men and women also earned different salaries: Median incomes of $140,000 for the men and $80,000 for the women. Oh, and the spouses of such women still earned more than their gifted wives, with median incomes over $100,000.
“Men and women valued career choices, community and family somewhat differently in constructing lives that were satisfying, yet both were equally happy with their outcomes,” study co-author Camilla Benbow said in a statement. “Both genders used their intellectual abilities to create resources for themselves, and with those resources come choice and the ability to exercise preferences.”