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February 14, 2005

Sex, Lies, and Happiness

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we dug up our two most popular posts—well, okay, probably our two only posts, unless you count news about contraception—that mention sex.

The first is one of a stream of posts on the hot field of happiness research, which is using scientific methods to back up the common-sense maxim that money doesn’t really buy happiness (or love, or sex). Academics studying what makes people content find that it takes a lot of income to "buy" the happiness that companionship and community provide for free. For example, on average a long-lasting marriage is worth about $100,000 in annual income.

NPR picked up one piece of the story this morning. (Update: The Washington Post also ran a good, brief Q&A with Richard Layard of the London School of Economics, who's just published a book making a case for public policy that "enables people to live as happy lives as possible.")

The second post looks at a statistical puzzle related to um, sexual behavior. Is the old piece of doggerel about “men are polygamous, women monogamous” true? Or is someone in the equation lying?

Posted by Elisa Murray | Permalink

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