“Why Ricky Martin’s Coming Out Wasn’t Big News” - Julia Baird’s recent Newsweek article – makes the important point that nations with more progressive attitudes toward homosexuality are also happier and healthier. She writes:
Still, while it may have been a wrenching decision for Martin personally, there was something refreshing about eye rolling replacing homophobic invective. We should want his coming out to not be a big deal in whichever country we might live in. New research shows that tolerance of homosexuality is likely to mean we live in a democratic, developed, wealthy country. It should also mean we live in a well-educated country. And it may well mean we live in a relatively happy country.
She kindly cites my own recent research with Charlotta Mellander and Peter Rentfrow on happiness, socioeconomic structures, and tolerance. And she quotes Will Wilkinson of the Cato Institute on findings from Ronald Ingelhart’s World Values Survey which looks closely at this issue. (more…)