Sherrie Johnson, a sociologist at BYU, recently presented findings of a study concerning the satisfaction levels of LDS women. I haven’t seen the study, but there is a Deseret News article about it here.
There’s a lot to think about here. Probably the one that surprised me most was:
“Sixty-two percent of the [female returned missionaries] group and 52 percent of the [female LDS but no mission] group reported being “very happy” with their marriages, compared with 38 percent of [national sample of non-LDS] women. Yet fewer of the latter group reported being “very unhappy.”
When that category was combined with “unhappy,” 11 percent of [LDS women, no mission], 7 percent of RM and 6 percent of [non-LDS] fell into that category. Additional research is necessary to determine why a larger percentage of LDS women are unhappy than the national group, she said.”
I would have expected more women to be happy in their marriages; perhaps I am just projecting? If we would get my ward to be honest, would half of the women really say that they are not ‘very happy’ in their marriages? You certainly wouldn’t think this from looking around (seriously, though, what do you expect to tell from looking around?). Is this a problem? Should we expect more women to be happy in their marriages? Or do we need to reread President Hinckley’s oft-repeated “most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough” etc., and quit having such high expectations? (Is it possible that women would consider themselves more happy if the Church image of blissful Temple marriage wasn’t making them feel that real life didn’t measure up?)
Also from the article:
“Measures of depression showed the LDS women experienced symptoms associated with depression — including feeling bothered, not eating, feeling blue, unable to concentrate, fearful, restless sleep, lonely, sad — on average about one day a week, while the national group experienced them 1.5 days per week.”
Maybe I am out of touch with reality in my little suburban enclave of reasonably well-off, over-educated, at-home LDS moms, but symptoms of depression one day per week (even if that is lower than the national average) seems huge to me. Again, maybe I am just projecting since this isn’t my experience?