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The Gender Wage Gap Lie

Bigfoot 88

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This is from Slate, a very liberal magazine.

Gender pay gap: The familiar line that “women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar” simply isn’t accurate.

The truth is, saying women make 77 cents for every dollar men make, such as what Obama referenced in the SOTU, is a very crude way of analyzing the facts. There is no such thing as "equal pay for equal work", but the gap is a lot closer than what is being put out there, and there is little evidence to suggest that is due to sexism.

Here is another article from The Daily Beast on this as well: No, Women Don
 

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I'm not upset by the wage gap. What get's me is career choice and interest in STEM topics. It's downright offensive that more women don't end up in the math and sciences.

Or, you know that National Science Foundation survey about the sun revolving around the Earth in the news? Women/men are more or less the same when it comes to biology questions, but when it comes to physical science ...

Physical science index - % correct
1999 2001 2004 2006 2008 2010 2012

Male ......................................72 73 73 74 74 73 75
Female ..................................57 59 55 59 61 60 61
Oof.
 

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This is from Slate, a very liberal magazine.

Gender pay gap: The familiar line that “women make 77 cents to every man’s dollar” simply isn’t accurate.

The truth is, saying women make 77 cents for every dollar men make, such as what Obama referenced in the SOTU, is a very crude way of analyzing the facts. There is no such thing as "equal pay for equal work", but the gap is a lot closer than what is being put out there, and there is little evidence to suggest that is due to sexism.

Here is another article from The Daily Beast on this as well: No, Women Don
It is an interesting dilemma. In my experience women are often better than men in the office. Also in my experience it is risky to put young women in important jobs, because of the probability of pregnancy.
 

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I'm not upset by the wage gap. What get's me is career choice and interest in STEM topics. It's downright offensive that more women don't end up in the math and sciences.

Or, you know that National Science Foundation survey about the sun revolving around the Earth in the news? Women/men are more or less the same when it comes to biology questions, but when it comes to physical science ...



Oof.
That's because of a fundamental difference in the brains of woman and men. It's not that they're less capable in the sciences and engineering, it's that they care less about those things. Men's brains are usually oriented towards things, while women are generally more socially oriented. For instance, I'm an engineer and my wife is a school teacher. Neither of us would ever want to trade jobs because it would be the exact opposite of what we want.

Like I said, it's not that they can't, it's that they don't want to. Walk into a freshman level electrical engineering course to see all the new students choosing electrical engineering, and you'll find about 95% men. Then go walk into an elementary school teaching degree classroom, and you'll find it full of 95% women. That's not because of any kind of sexism, that's just what the gender's tend to choose.
 

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That's because of a fundamental difference in the brains of woman and men. It's not that they're less capable in the sciences and engineering, it's that they care less about those things. Men's brains are usually oriented towards things, while women are generally more socially oriented. For instance, I'm an engineer and my wife is a school teacher. Neither of us would ever want to trade jobs because it would be the exact opposite of what we want.

Like I said, it's not that they can't, it's that they don't want to. Walk into a freshman level electrical engineering course to see all the new students choosing electrical engineering, and you'll find about 95% men. Then go walk into an elementary school teaching degree classroom, and you'll find it full of 95% women. That's not because of any kind of sexism, that's just what the gender's tend to choose.
Just as a side note, I always felt that I got a lot more out of male teachers in high school than the female teachers. But I don't think they would have done well in earlier grades.
 

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That's because of a fundamental difference in the brains of woman and men. It's not that they're less capable in the sciences and engineering, it's that they care less about those things. Men's brains are usually oriented towards things, while women are generally more socially oriented. For instance, I'm an engineer and my wife is a school teacher. Neither of us would ever want to trade jobs because it would be the exact opposite of what we want.

Like I said, it's not that they can't, it's that they don't want to. Walk into a freshman level electrical engineering course to see all the new students choosing electrical engineering, and you'll find about 95% men. Then go walk into an elementary school teaching degree classroom, and you'll find it full of 95% women. That's not because of any kind of sexism, that's just what the gender's tend to choose.
That may be true, except that aggregating the data from OECD countries proves your assumption wrong. In several of those countries (e.g. Iceland, Sweden) women don't do as well as men in the sciences and engineering, they perform as well or actually do better. It means that the gender gap stem does not stem from a "fundamental difference," but is almost entirely explainable by cultural differences across countries. If you daughter is born and raised in the United States, she's more likely to be "uninterested" in the sciences and engineering than if she were born elsewhere.

http://research.chicagobooth.edu/IGM/docs/ZingalesCulturGenderMath.pdf

In addition look at Google scholar (which ... paywalls) with studies like this one in regards to performance: Reducing the Gender Achievement Gap in College Science: A Classroom Study of Values Affirmation

In many science, technology, engineering, and mathematics disciplines, women are outperformed by men in test scores, jeopardizing their success in science-oriented courses and careers. The current study tested the effectiveness of a psychological intervention, called values affirmation, in reducing the gender achievement gap in a college-level introductory physics class. In this randomized double-blind study, 399 students either wrote about their most important values or not, twice at the beginning of the 15-week course. Values affirmation reduced the male-female performance and learning difference substantially and elevated women's modal grades from the C to B range. Benefits were strongest for women who tended to endorse the stereotype that men do better than women in physics. A brief psychological intervention may be a promising way to address the gender gap in science performance and learning.
By telling women that there is no achievement gap between males/females, the researches were able reduce the achievement gap between males/females.

So when RabidAlpaca says, "that's because of a fundamental difference in the brains of woman and men," what effects do you think that has on your nieces/daughters/friend's kids when you say that? Are those young girls going to be more interested in STEM careers, or are you just adding to the stereotype and making it a self-fulfilling prophecy?
 

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That may be true, except that aggregating the data from OECD countries proves your assumption wrong. In several of those countries (e.g. Iceland, Sweden) women don't do as well as men in the sciences and engineering, they perform as well or actually do better. It means that the gender gap stem does not stem from a "fundamental difference," but is almost entirely explainable by cultural differences across countries. If you daughter is born and raised in the United States, she's more likely to be "uninterested" in the sciences and engineering than if she were born elsewhere.

http://research.chicagobooth.edu/IGM/docs/ZingalesCulturGenderMath.pdf

In addition look at Google scholar (which ... paywalls) with studies like this one in regards to performance: Reducing the Gender Achievement Gap in College Science: A Classroom Study of Values Affirmation


By telling women that there is no achievement gap between males/females, the researches were able reduce the achievement gap between males/females.

So when RabidAlpaca says, "that's because of a fundamental difference in the brains of woman and men," what effects do you think that has on your nieces/daughters/friend's kids when you say that? Are those young girls going to be more interested in STEM careers, or are you just adding to the stereotype and making it a self-fulfilling prophecy?
People can go off and say whatever they want. I think telling girls they can be scientists is a great idea, but I don't support any kind of program that gives females more priority over males. I don't really think the government should be using tax dollars to do promote something like that. (Not saying you support that)

I think everyone should follow whatever makes them happy, and if more girls want to do social careers than scientific careers, I don't feel like it's my right to try to convince them otherwise. The college in Germany I went to had automatic admission for Electrical Engineering majors, but very few women decide to take it because they just aren't interested.
 

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That's because of a fundamental difference in the brains of woman and men. It's not that they're less capable in the sciences and engineering, it's that they care less about those things. Men's brains are usually oriented towards things, while women are generally more socially oriented. For instance, I'm an engineer and my wife is a school teacher. Neither of us would ever want to trade jobs because it would be the exact opposite of what we want.

Like I said, it's not that they can't, it's that they don't want to. Walk into a freshman level electrical engineering course to see all the new students choosing electrical engineering, and you'll find about 95% men. Then go walk into an elementary school teaching degree classroom, and you'll find it full of 95% women. That's not because of any kind of sexism, that's just what the gender's tend to choose.

Do you think the reasons are innate, or culturally driven?

Take the race gap in basketball. Is that because some races are better than others, or is it a cultural phenomenon?
 

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People can go off and say whatever they want. I think telling girls they can be scientists is a great idea, but I don't support any kind of program that gives females more priority over males. I don't really think the government should be using tax dollars to do promote something like that. (Not saying you support that)

I think everyone should follow whatever makes them happy, and if more girls want to do social careers than scientific careers, I don't feel like it's my right to try to convince them otherwise. The college in Germany I went to had automatic admission for Electrical Engineering majors, but very few women decide to take it because they just aren't interested.
Again, I'm curious, does your opposition to additional funding with the goal of increasing female performance in sciences stem from the fact that you simply don't support funding anyone this way, or you think that women are less capable at the sciences, therefore it's a waste of resources? (or both).
 

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I'm not upset by the wage gap. What get's me is career choice and interest in STEM topics. It's downright offensive that more women don't end up in the math and sciences.

Or, you know that National Science Foundation survey about the sun revolving around the Earth in the news? Women/men are more or less the same when it comes to biology questions, but when it comes to physical science ...



Oof.
Same question as above...Do you think the results you've given have anything to do with innate ability or do you think the results are driven by cultural factors? The implication of which is, cultural factors can be influenced, while innate ability cannot.
 

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Do you think the reasons are innate, or culturally driven?

Take the race gap in basketball. Is that because some races are better than others, or is it a cultural phenomenon?
I think it is definitely cultural.
 

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Do you think the reasons are innate, or culturally driven?

Take the race gap in basketball. Is that because some races are better than others, or is it a cultural phenomenon?
I think it's possibly both, but I don't think it's a bad thing. I don't look at basketball and say "This sport needs more white people", just like I don't look at engineering and say "This needs more women". You're best at what you're passionate about, and not that many women are passionate about engineering and science, and I don't see why that's a problem.

Again, I'm curious, does your opposition to additional funding with the goal of increasing female performance in sciences stem from the fact that you simply don't support funding anyone this way, or you think that women are less capable at the sciences, therefore it's a waste of resources? (or both).
I don't think it's proper to fund anyone for that reason. The women who are in science and engineering are just as capable as men. The (alleged) problem is quantity, not quality. If women are happier doing other things, then they should do those things. I don't think it's our place to convince them otherwise, just like it's not really our place to convince more white people to love basketball.
 

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I think it's possibly both, but I don't think it's a bad thing. I don't look at basketball and say "This sport needs more white people", just like I don't look at engineering and say "This needs more women".
I suppose I asked for that by throwing in a partially relevant example. I would agree that the sport of basketball, or any sport for that matter, doesn't "need" more or less of any race, I wouldn't necessarily agree when it comes to certain fields that have such impact on our national well-being.

You're best at what you're passionate about, and not that many women are passionate about engineering and science, and I don't see why that's a problem.
It's a problem because we have too many teachers and not enough people in the sciences. If we can encourage some teachers to become scientists that would, in my mind be a good thing.

I don't think it's proper to fund anyone for that reason. The women who are in science and engineering are just as capable as men. The (alleged) problem is quantity, not quality. If women are happier doing other things, then they should do those things. I don't think it's our place to convince them otherwise, just like it's not really our place to convince more white people to love basketball.
A program to make women as strong as men would be a waste, but programs that attempt to reallocate human capital based on need seem to me to be positive.

Right now in the US we are importing workers in the sciences because we don't have enough qualified people here. While I think both men and women deserve the opportunity to have access to sciences, when one looks where money can have the greatest bang for the buck, it would seem to me that enticing women may have the greatest potential return.

If (in an outrageous hypothetical) Afghanistan were to suddenly become a forward thinking modern society. A place where women are much less educated than men, do you think in an instance like that, it would be beneficial to spend government money to increase education for women?
 

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Same question as above...Do you think the results you've given have anything to do with innate ability or do you think the results are driven by cultural factors? The implication of which is, cultural factors can be influenced, while innate ability cannot.
I think it's completely cultural:

In several of those countries (e.g. Iceland, Sweden) women don't do as well as men in the sciences and engineering, they perform as well or actually do better. It means that the gender gap stem does not stem from a "fundamental difference," but is almost entirely explainable by cultural differences across countries. If you daughter is born and raised in the United States, she's more likely to be "uninterested" in the sciences and engineering than if she were born elsewhere.
I can't fathom that any student would intentionally limit their ability in maths/science, but apparently it's common for young girls to do so because it's seen as unattractive or unfeminine to be smart.
 

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I suppose I asked for that by throwing in a partially relevant example. I would agree that the sport of basketball, or any sport for that matter, doesn't "need" more or less of any race, I wouldn't necessarily agree when it comes to certain fields that have such impact on our national well-being.



It's a problem because we have too many teachers and not enough people in the sciences. If we can encourage some teachers to become scientists that would, in my mind be a good thing.



A program to make women as strong as men would be a waste, but programs that attempt to reallocate human capital based on need seem to me to be positive.

Right now in the US we are importing workers in the sciences because we don't have enough qualified people here. While I think both men and women deserve the opportunity to have access to sciences, when one looks where money can have the greatest bang for the buck, it would seem to me that enticing women may have the greatest potential return.

If (in an outrageous hypothetical) Afghanistan were to suddenly become a forward thinking modern society. A place where women are much less educated than men, do you think in an instance like that, it would be beneficial to spend government money to increase education for women?
Well now we're getting back to what I said in the first page. I do see an advantage to beating the drum promoting the hard sciences, but as I stated, this should be gender and race neutral. Just like your example, we should be saying "We should try to get more people interested in basketball." instead of "We should try to get more white people interested in basketball."

I think despite knowing they could do it if they wanted, most women do not want to be in the hard sciences, and that's ok. We don't have quotas per race or gender to meet, we just need more engineers and scientists in general, whether they be male, female, black, white, etc.

As far as your Afghanistan question, I think everyone should be given an education. I spent 15 of the worst months of my life in that horrible country. We even built a girl's school in the local village that ended up getting burned down by the Taliban one night. Education is extremely important, for everyone.

Lastly, as a personal example, my wife is a teacher. No amount of convincing would make her happy to be an engineer. We just need to inform everyone about how awesome the hard sciences are, and let them all choose for themselves.
 

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definitely not just culture.
It's a combination of nature/nurture.

I am good primarily at what I am interested in doing a lot, and thinking a lot about, and that dictates primarily what I spend my life energy trying to do.

The notion that culture dictated to me that I would be entirely entranced by video games, before they were even invented, is absurd (for example).
 
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By telling women that there is no achievement gap between males/females, the researches were able reduce the achievement gap between males/females.

So when RabidAlpaca says, "that's because of a fundamental difference in the brains of woman and men," what effects do you think that has on your nieces/daughters/friend's kids when you say that? Are those young girls going to be more interested in STEM careers, or are you just adding to the stereotype and making it a self-fulfilling prophecy?
What's more, this could be under representing the cultural gap. Not every woman may have believed this claim, causing some of still fall into this trap. I didn't read this study (don't have access) but how the HELL could you control for this problem? I feel like asking women if they believed this gap would cause more to doubt it!
 
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definitely not just culture.
It's a combination of nature/nurture.

I am good primarily at what I am interested in doing a lot, and thinking a lot about, and that dictates primarily what I spend my life energy trying to do.

The notion that culture dictated to me that I would be entirely entranced by video games, before they were even invented, is absurd (for example).
How could nature make you more interested in say astronomy? I could understand how nature could make you more interested in interacting with people as woman have more parts of their brains to do this, however, studying astronomy hardly seems like a "natural" behavior.
 

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That may be true, except that aggregating the data from OECD countries proves your assumption wrong. In several of those countries (e.g. Iceland, Sweden) women don't do as well as men in the sciences and engineering, they perform as well or actually do better. It means that the gender gap stem does not stem from a "fundamental difference," but is almost entirely explainable by cultural differences across countries. If you daughter is born and raised in the United States, she's more likely to be "uninterested" in the sciences and engineering than if she were born elsewhere.
The reason for this disinterest is biological, not cultural. This Norwegian documentary covers this topic in depth.

 
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The reason for this disinterest is biological, not cultural. This Norwegian documentary covers this topic in depth.

I've watched that documentary. If you listen to the good experts in it, they say things like "of course culture matters, we just have evidence that biology matters too." So no, these are just hard biological differences.
 

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I've watched that documentary. If you listen to the good experts in it, they say things like "of course culture matters, we just have evidence that biology matters too." So no, these are just hard biological differences.
To the rescue ...

The reason for this disinterest is biological, not cultural. This Norwegian documentary covers this topic in depth.
I am skeptical of this claim, because I just don't see the evidence there. What, if any, possible biological difference could drive someone's interest in taxonomy or calculus? Or what explains the outlier women-dominated geographic areas/countries and the outlier women-dominated STEM fields, like forensic science? It just doesn't make sense.

I haven't yet watch the documentary, but I will.

definitely not just culture. It's a combination of nature/nurture. I am good primarily at what I am interested in doing a lot, and thinking a lot about, and that dictates primarily what I spend my life energy trying to do. The notion that culture dictated to me that I would be entirely entranced by video games, before they were even invented, is absurd (for example).
Ha - I didn't know that Malcolm Gladwell was a DP-er!

Anyhow, ever give it thought that culture may not dictate whether you'd be fascinated by video games, but it may be what directs you towards it? Like you may have an equal potential for a fascination in giving manicures and bargain bin shopping as you do playing video games, but since you're a skirt-chaser and not a skirt-wearer, you've never given a thought to the former.

I mean, it's a whole mess of "what-if thinking" that could distract us for hours.
 

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Ha - I didn't know that Malcolm Gladwell was a DP-er!
I suppose I will find out who that is, curiosity has been triggered!

Anyhow, ever give it thought that culture may not dictate whether you'd be fascinated by video games, but it may be what directs you towards it? Like you may have an equal potential for a fascination in giving manicures and bargain bin shopping as you do playing video games, but since you're a skirt-chaser and not a skirt-wearer, you've never given a thought to the former.
As long as it's not exclusively, or predominantly culture, then he's wrong and my case is made.

As to whether I've thought about all the things I may be interested in that I wasn't immediately exposed to in my youth, of course. I think most humans as they get older, in our very free society, explore as much of what life has to offer as they can to see what sticks and what they were missing out on, etc. I had a mother and two sisters, I didn't find nails and foofoo stuff interesting at all. Except the magazines that sometimes had European ads with topless models. It was like finding hidden treasure. I swear one was a Nivea ad and she had these perfect yet amazingly large, gravity defying....
 

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How could nature make you more interested in say astronomy? I could understand how nature could make you more interested in interacting with people as woman have more parts of their brains to do this, however, studying astronomy hardly seems like a "natural" behavior.
The most natural of behaviors I would argue.

How could it not be primarily nature? And since when has our culture, and basically all cultures in all of human history, pushed astronomy? Looking up at the sky and wondering where we are, why we are here, what's out there....that's as natural as natural comes. I feel a measure of peace and wonder when I look up at the stars on a clear night, I can't find any connection to culture there at all personally. Culture if anything does not value astronomy financially, or in popular culture, or with this industry output that obscures the view.
 

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I suppose I will find out who that is, curiosity has been triggered!
Gladwell's a writer. One of his more popular books was called Outliers, which tried to figure out what contributes to high levels of success.

If you're interested: Here's a Radiolab podcast of a discussion with Gladwell. It's a bit long (28 mins), but what it boils down to is Gladwell's theory that high success comes not from "natural talent," but exceptional interest in a particular subject.

He goes as far as to argue that there's a golden "10,000-Hour Rule," meaning that he believes the key to greatness/success in any field requires enormous 10^3 hours of invested time - natural ability or talent being almost irrelevant.

As long as it's not exclusively, or predominantly culture, then he's wrong and my case is made.

As to whether I've thought about all the things I may be interested in that I wasn't immediately exposed to in my youth, of course. I think most humans as they get older, in our very free society, explore as much of what life has to offer as they can to see what sticks and what they were missing out on, etc. I had a mother and two sisters, I didn't find nails and foofoo stuff interesting at all. Except the magazines that sometimes had European ads with topless models. It was like finding hidden treasure. I swear one was a Nivea ad and she had these perfect yet amazingly large, gravity defying....
Well, I doubt you (and I) were THAT exploratory to try out things that were entirely female-oriented.
 
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The most natural of behaviors I would argue.

How could it not be primarily nature?
Sentience. If you treat people purely behaviorally (as argue hard core naturalist due, thinking they respond to nature's incentives with no will of their own) you will find there are thing you cannot explain. For example, I believe punishing people is supposed to be less effective than behaviorist expect.

Also here is an example I found compelling. Consider a area that suffers harsh winters with many mammalian species. Would it be most evolutionarily benefictual to have a thick winter coat year round? Or to grow one quickly when it appeared cold was coming? #2 is the right answer, which shows adaptability to one's enviroment is perhaps the most "hard wired" thing in us. What do we call this in humans? CULTURAL EFFECTS.

And since when has our culture, and basically all cultures in all of human history, pushed astronomy? Looking up at the sky and wondering where we are, why we are here, what's out there....that's as natural as natural comes. I feel a measure of peace and wonder when I look up at the stars on a clear night, I can't find any connection to culture there at all personally. Culture if anything does not value astronomy financially, or in popular culture, or with this industry output that obscures the view.
We have a different definition of natural. What I mean by natural is inserted in us by the process of evolution. This is what evolutionary psychologist mean too by natural. How would looking up at the stars and wondering be evolutionary beneficial? It wouldn't. In fact, the only way I can think to twin this with evolution is to suggest that evolution does not favor hard wiring, instead preferring it when individuals try to adapt to their environments.

One more thing, to anyone who argues that making things is more biologically hard wired in men, while interacting with people is more hard wired in women. I have just one question for you. Wouldn't creating foods (having innate understanding of chemical processes etc.) then be the domain of MEN?
 
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