Harvard Study: Liberal Men With Warm Childhoods Live Happier Lives

A Harvard study, 75 years in the making, has determined what makes men live longer, happier lives. 

George Vaillant directed the study for more than three decades and concluded a happy childhood is a lifelong factor for strength, that there's no difference in maximum income earned by men with IQs in the 110-115 range vs. men with IQs over 150 and that elderly liberal men on average have way more sex than conservative. The study also determined that men with positive childhoods made much more money than men whose mothers were uncaring. 

On the flip side, the study determined that alcoholism was largest reason for men to be unhappy and unhealthy.

via FEEL guide

As you can imagine, the study’s discoveries are bountiful, but the most significant finding of all is that “Alcoholism is a disorder of great destructive power.”  In fact, alcoholism is the single strongest cause of divorce between the Grant Study men and their wives.  Alcoholism was also found to be strongly coupled with neurosis and depression (which most often follows alcohol abuse, rather than preceding it).  Together with cigarette smoking, alcoholism proves to be the #1 greatest cause of morbidity and death.  And above a certain level, intelligence doesn’t prevent the damage.

With regards to income, there was no noticeable difference in maximum income earned by men with IQs in the 110-115 range vs. men with IQs above 150.  With regards to sex lives, one of the most fascinating discoveries is that aging liberals have way more sex.  Political ideology had no bearing on overall life satisfaction, but the most conservative men on average shut down their sex lives around age 68, while the most liberal men had healthy sex lives well into their 80s.  Vaillant writes, “I have consulted urologists about this, they have no idea why it might be so.”

In Triumphs of Experience, Vaillant raises a number of factors more often than others, but the one he refers to most often is the powerful correlation between the warmth of your relationships and your health and happiness in your later years.  In 2009, Vaillant’s insistance on the importance of this part of the data was challenged, so Vaillant returned to the data to be sure the finding merited such important focus.  Not only did Vaillant discover that his focus on warm relationships was warranted, he placed even more importance on this factor than he had previously.  Vallant notes that the 58 men who scored highest on the measurements of “warm relationships” (WR) earned an average of $141,000 a year more during their peak salaries (between ages 55-60) than the 31 men who scored the lowest in WR.  The high WR scorers were also 3-times more likely to have professional success worthy of inclusion in Who’s Who.

One of the most intriguing discoveries of the Grant Study was how significant men’s relationships with their mothers are in determining their well-being in life.  For instance, Business Insider writes: “Men who had ‘warm’ childhood relationships with their mothers took home $87,000 more per year than men whose mothers were uncaring.  Men who had poor childhood relationships with their mothers were much more likely to develop dementia when old.  Late in their professional lives, the men’s boyhood relationships with their mothers — but not their fathers — were associated with effectiveness at work.  On the other hand, warm childhood relations with fathers correlated with lower rates of adult anxiety, greater enjoyment on vacations, and increased ‘life satisfaction’ at age 75 — whereas the warmth of childhood relationships with mothers had no significant bearing on life satisfaction at 75.”  

Are these findings surprising to you?

 

 


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