Thursday, July 24, 2014

A Gallup Poll of Unattractive Women

In reading Gallup Poll data on happiness I came across this eyebrow-raiser from 1943:

So far as you personally are concerned, do you think the chances are that the next ten years of your life will be exciting ones, just average, or rather dull?  (Asked of a national cross-section of women from twenty to thirty-five years old.)

National total:

Exciting 43.3%
Average 43.6%
Dull 9.3%

Single women (20 - 24 years):

Exciting 53.8%
Average 35.0%
Dull 6.5%

Unattractive women:

Exciting 26.1%
Average 44.9%
Dull 21.7%

No, I do not know how they determined the sample for that last question.  My guess is that this was the interviewer's judgment.

I take this as further evidence for the 'feminine mystique,' which Betty Friedan would locate specifically in this time period.

I also think that the 1940s were a cultural revolution ago.

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Quick Thought on Calvinist Energy

Many at the time of the Reformation thought the doctrine of predestination would lead to quietism.  It was surprising that it led to the opposite.  Max Weber, in The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism, shows why.

Calvinist activity in the world was not aimed at happiness.  But it produced happiness, because meaningful work is essential to happiness.