“What men need to live a happy life”

In 2012, Harvard University concluded one of the longest-running studies in History – a research that started in 1938, with 268 male undergraduate students as a sample, with the goal of understanding “What men need to live a happy life”. “Triumphs of Experience” is the book that George Vaillant – the director of the study for three decades – published in 2012 and as stated in the synopsis, the study looks at“ all aspects of male life, including relationships, politics and religion, coping strategies, and alcohol use (its abuse being by far the greatest disruptor of health and happiness for the study’s subjects)”. The study has revealed a number of surprising findings and among the most unexpected, is that a man’s relationship with his mother determines a great amount of his well-being in life. A second remarkable discovery is the impact of the variable “warm relationships” in a man’s wealth as indeed, the men with the highest score in “warm relationships” were more likely to attain professional success and higher salaries. Among other extraordinary findings, the study found out that political ideology had an impact on a man’s sexual life: “the most conservative men on average shut down their sex lives around age 68, while the most liberal men had healthy sex lives well into their 80s”. You can read more about it here. Finally, to conclude with the most important discovery, in George Vaillant’s own words, “the most important finding from the study is that happiness is love. Full stop”.

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