A 2019 op-ed from the New York Times has recently resurfaced, citing studies showing that religious, conservative women in marriages are the happiest.
Modern feminists constantly push an opposing narrative, talking about how motherhood takes away dreams and dominating husbands are stifling. But if the feminists are correct, why do studies show otherwise?
Who is the Happiest Woman?
The study in question comes from the Institute for Family Studies and looks at whether or not “religion is a force for ill or good in families around the globe.” The study “answers this question by looking at the relationship between religion and four important outcomes— relationship quality, fertility, domestic violence, and infidelity—in 11 countries in the Americas, Europe, and Oceania.”
The study came to a variety of conclusions that contradict common feminist talking points and found that “women in highly religious relationships are about 50% more likely to report that they are strongly satisfied with their sexual relationship than their secular and less religious counterparts.”
Women in highly religious relationships are about 50% more likely to report that they are strongly satisfied with their sexual relationship.
In addition to positive influences on fertility and either the same or decreased rates of domestic violence as those in secular relationships, the study found that those in highly religious relationships “report the highest levels of [overall] relationship quality.” All of these findings are direct contradictions to what feminists claim: that modern women desire careers over families and independence over submission to a man, and that it’s freedom from children that holds long term happiness.
Gratitude Towards Good Men
In the New York Times piece, the author cites a 2013 study from the Pew Research Center which shows that two-thirds of married mothers prefer not to work full time, an important fact "that is often overlooked in our public conversation about work and family, which is heavily influenced by progressive assumptions.”
Two-thirds of married mothers prefer not to work full time.
While feminists often insist that women value careers over motherhood, it’s interesting to note how many women who are mothers say they prefer staying at home. The study also cites some women who make note of the support of their husbands, and how much they appreciate their spouses shouldering the financial burdens, which enables them to stay home with their children.
The Benefits of a Traditional Family
So why is it that conservative, religious women are so happy? According to feminists, it’s essentially impossible for someone who has seemingly bowed to the patriarchal system, given up their independence, and fallen into the role of a traditional housewife to be happy, yet many studies show the opposite. The left-leaning New York Times even cites the studies, pointing out the trend among these happy, conservative women.
Strong religious beliefs bring with them strong morals, which produce husbands and fathers who respect and care for their wives and children.
These women, despite what the feminist agenda says, are fulfilled, cared for, and satisfied with their life. Hopefully, strong religious beliefs bring with them strong morals, which produce husbands and fathers who respect and care for their wives and children. Perhaps a more traditional understanding of family brings an inevitable value to each individual person and creates a culture within the home of love and respect. Maybe a career isn’t the end-all-and-be-all for female empowerment; maybe happiness can lie in being a wife and a mother.
To be clear, I am not saying that in order to be happy women have to give up careers and submit to men, or that anyone without religion is immoral and miserable. I am, however, saying that the feminist claims that children, marriage, and religion frequently don’t bring happiness are false, according to statistics and reputable research institutions. I’m sure that some women do find fulfillment in their careers and believe that marriage isn’t for them. However, I also believe that being part of a family unit that functions together to cultivate love and respect holds a potential for happiness that statistically shows great promise.
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