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Adolescent boys and girls happier in countries with high levels of gender equality

A newly published study based on 34 countries reveals that adolescent girls and boys are happier in countries with higher levels of gender equality. The study, published in the Journal of Youth and Adolescence, highlights the consistent cross-national variation in adolescent life satisfaction across Europe and North America, which has remained poorly understood.

The study reveals that, while taking economic factors such as national wealth and income inequality into account, adolescents have a higher life satisfaction when living in countries with high levels of gender equality, compared to countries with low levels of gender equality.

Not only girls, but also boys appear to benefit from higher levels of societal gender equality. Dr. Margaretha de Looze (HBSC Netherlands), who led the study: “While some people still believe that gender equality is a women’s or girls’ issue, this study clearly shows that it is not. Boys are also better off in more gender-equal societies.”

The study furthermore shows that the association between gender equality and adolescent life satisfaction can be explained by social support within the family, peer and school context. De Looze: “It may be that gender equality in society fosters more socially supportive relationships, for example in the family context through more equal involvement of fathers and mothers in child rearing. In such a socially supportive context, all children – not just girls - may be happier.”

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item 4534
[30-10-2017 to 30-10-2018]


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