A survey of some 8,500 Australians aged 18 to 64 years conducted by the marketing consulting firm The Leading Edge tried to uncover what, exactly, in people’s everyday lives makes them happy. Unsurprisingly, some 63 percent of respondents preferred relaxation to work, while physical exercise didn’t seem to rank highly with many people as a source of happiness.
But the survey did uncover some interesting differences between the sexes: a little over half the men surveyed said surfing the Internet—including playing online games and surfing social networking sites—made them happy, compared to only 39 percent of female respondents. Men were also more likely to find happiness in having sex…although that only ranked fifth on the Happiness Index for men. The Internet came in third.
Conversely, over half of women surveyed found having meals and spending time with family made them happy, compared to only 45 percent of men. Women were also more likely than men to find happiness with pets, but—despite some long-standing stereotypes—only 30 percent of women said they were happiest shopping for clothes, shoes, or accessories. (Reinforcing stereotypes, just 14 percent of men said they found happiness shopping.) Women were also more likely than men to enjoy a book, and 36 percent of women said buying gifts for others brought them happiness, compared to only 19 percent of men.
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