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There’s a Stress Gap Between Men and Women. Here’s Why It’s Important.

By The New York Times

Between domestic duties and emotional labor, research shows, women are more stressed than men are — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s what the data says, and how to take care of yourself

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  • Sallie Krawcheck
    Sallie Krawcheck Co-Founder and CEO at Ellevest

    This stress gap is real. Even though my husband and I share “chores,” I’m always the one who wakes up in a cold sweat when the kids cut their curfews too close. And then am exhausted the next day.

  • Rachel Sturm
    Rachel SturmFinance Manager at Quartz

    Love this, but I would also love to learn more about what steps men could (or should) be taking in order to equalize unpaid and emotional labor. Both partners need to make changes if there is to be a lasting impact.

  • Renee Kimmel
    Renee Kimmelaccount director at Quartz

    While I agree with the scenarios this article is highlighting, the “solutions” offered don’t really get at the underlying issue .. of course a woman knows she should be prioritizing self care (like getting adequate sleep), but she can’t or she’s not doing it due to a variety of psychological reasons related in-part to her spouse and her job. Maybe the solutions should be looked at through this lens vs. a change the woman needs to somehow make on her own

  • For whatever reason the emotional toll of parenting even when it’s shared can weigh more heavily on women. Maybe it’s because of the expectations... or the inherent guilt... in either case I always found I felt the anxiety in the pit of my stomach more gravely when things were off. And I also found the kids (despite who was home) called mom more often when they were experiencing stress.

  • The struggle is real. When our building notified everyone of a gas/heat shutdown for a week recently, I immediately went into high alert and pulled up my laptop to do a cost-benefit on a potential hotel for the week + takeout versus showering at gym + buying non-perishables + plug-in stovetop + space heater.

    My husband’s immediate response was “we’ll just lick each other clean like cats” and resumed whatever show he was enjoying.

    The only thing we have control over is how we react to something

    The struggle is real. When our building notified everyone of a gas/heat shutdown for a week recently, I immediately went into high alert and pulled up my laptop to do a cost-benefit on a potential hotel for the week + takeout versus showering at gym + buying non-perishables + plug-in stovetop + space heater.

    My husband’s immediate response was “we’ll just lick each other clean like cats” and resumed whatever show he was enjoying.

    The only thing we have control over is how we react to something. How do we train ourselves to change that initial stress response? That’s the million dollar question.

  • Grace Bacon
    Grace BaconSenior Operations Director at Quartz

    Can’t say I disagree with the “ways women can fight back” more. My strong female mentors typically don’t date or marry men who don’t carry the emotional labor as well. I can’t stand when women say “I’m lucky I found someone who does chores and worries about others,” every woman deserves that. The place this arises the most is the workforce and then women are so tired when they come home to their families it puts them over the edge. Is “knowing your triggers” and “self-care” hiding the emotions even

    Can’t say I disagree with the “ways women can fight back” more. My strong female mentors typically don’t date or marry men who don’t carry the emotional labor as well. I can’t stand when women say “I’m lucky I found someone who does chores and worries about others,” every woman deserves that. The place this arises the most is the workforce and then women are so tired when they come home to their families it puts them over the edge. Is “knowing your triggers” and “self-care” hiding the emotions even more? What about sticking up for yourself, accepting that perfect isn’t always achievable, and giving feedback when others need to carry the weight??

  • Jay Lauf
    Jay LaufCEO at Quartz

    There’s no question this stress gap is real - exacerbated by the additional hurdles women face. But it’s also true that stress and clinical anxiety are on the rise generally and we need to recognize and be supportive of ways to help colleagues and loved ones cope. It would be interesting to hear more on whether there is a significant difference in effective coping mechanisms for women and men.

  • Reshma Saujani
    Reshma SaujaniproFounder and CEO at Girls Who Code

    Love this - and the advice of embracing self care, self awareness, and seeking validation are spot on. I talk a lot about this in my book - learning to be brave in the little things can help us get so much closer to joy.

  • My favorite example here is the couple that arrives to an event 2 hours late. The woman had decided to put the simple act of getting there on time in the hands of her male partner- so it was on him and she should let him take control and trust he can step up for something so basic. But when they arrived late the blame was put on her. That’s a lot of the reason women ‘choose’ not to relinquish even these simple logistical duties- when things that seem simple don’t work out (arriving reasonably on

    My favorite example here is the couple that arrives to an event 2 hours late. The woman had decided to put the simple act of getting there on time in the hands of her male partner- so it was on him and she should let him take control and trust he can step up for something so basic. But when they arrived late the blame was put on her. That’s a lot of the reason women ‘choose’ not to relinquish even these simple logistical duties- when things that seem simple don’t work out (arriving reasonably on time) they are still the ones on the hook. It is emotionally exhausting- and the reason for so much unnecessary stress.

  • John Commons
    John CommonsEditor and Writer at RCM News

    If women have been found to experience higher levels of stress than men, is it a result of women being exposed to greater levels of stress, or is it because women for whatever reason dont cope with stress as well as men? This article and many of the comments are blatantly sexist. Towards men.

  • Eva  Scazzero
    Eva ScazzeroProduct manager at Quartz

    Another example of “surface acting” that I notice is the superficial composure that comes over me when being sexually harassed. It’s a survival instinct I was unaware I used until recently.

    It can happen when being catcalled on my way to work or being spoken to inappropriately by someone fixing my faucet.

    The tightness women feel in their chest after incidents like this is far from the experience of most men.

  • Catherine Tannahill
    Catherine Tannahillprof, teacher

    I think part of the problem is that women are more likely to take responsibility than to delegate & make that person responsible. I had a good friend, who stayed home & did everything. When circumstances changed & she had to work outside the home, her family couldn't do anything. She had never delegated & then made them responsible for what they supposed to do. Training husbands is no different than training kids. Except, you have to be willing to live with how they do it, however, as they probably won't do it your way.

  • Debra Byars
    Debra Byars

    I have been telling my husband this for years but he dismisses me.

  • bill bowers
    bill bowers

    Why did you ever get married you poor stressed out victim?.

  • Homer Harkins
    Homer Harkins

    Emotional labor? Really?

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