The Instigator
Atheistvoice
Pro (for)
Losing
0 Points
The Contender
Overhead
Con (against)
Winning
3 Points

The Gender Pay Gap Is Not Real?

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 1 vote the winner is...
Overhead
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/25/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 7 months ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,906 times Debate No: 104136
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (6)
Votes (1)

 

Atheistvoice

Pro

I will simplify what I mean in the debate topic. While their is a gender earnings gap between men and women it is not based on discrimination.

First Round Is Acceptance
Also can we please leave insults out of this debate for whoever accepts.
Overhead

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Atheistvoice

Pro

I thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

My first argument is simply to explain why men earn more than women and that it is not based on discrimination. The season why men earn about 20% more than women is because.....
1) Men work in higher paying professions than women.
2) Men work longer hours on average. 8.2 Hours to 7.8 Hours
3) Men ask for promotions more than women.
4) Women take longer holidays than men.

These facts skew the figures shown in the Gender Pay Gap.

I now await my opponents response.
Overhead

Con

Rebuttal

My opponent's argument falls flat for three reasons.

1) Pro presents no evidence. It is just baseless claims so far.

2) He doesn't show that gender discrimination isn't involved. For instance he states "Men work in higher paying professions than women." However he does not explain why this happens. Is it happenstance? Is it due to some biological difference in women? Or is it down to discrimination?

Pro doesn't even make the case for this being due to something other than gender discrimination.

3) Most importantly, even if he had backed up his arguments with evidence and made them relevant to the topic at hand it still wouldn't matter.

The standard understanding of gender pay gap assumes that there are reasons for the gender wage gap IN ADDITION to discrimination. The figure of women earning 25% less than men is known as the unadjusted pay gap and refers to both the ineuqality caused by discrimination and differences in human capital. However even when you take every other factor into account, it still leaves you with a (smaller) adjusted pay gap. [1]

Issues such as the ones Pro mentions are completely expected based on the normal understandings of the gender wage gap. To make them relevant to proving his point, Pro would need to show that the points he has raised constitute the entiery of the unadjusted wage and there is no gap left over once these human capital issues are taken into account. The problem is, that flies in the face of the evidence.

Evidence

Experts have been studying this for decades now and have continually found that the wage gap cannot be explained by the issues Pro raises. For isntance when congress looked into the matter, they accounted for factors which "include age, hours worked beyond full time, race and ethnicity, state, veteran status, education level, citizenship, marital status, and presence of children in the household" and even taking these into account women still only earnt approximately 80% of what men earned.

In truth it could be even more, because this tends to make assumptions about human capital - that it isn't based on discrimination. However, this is a mere assumption and there is evidence to suggest it is an incorrect assumption. As Professor H lips has stated:

" The human capital approach, in which various explanatory variables are used to shrink the perceived size of the gap, is often used to argue that much of the gap is due, not to discrimination, but to differing investments in employment by women and men. However, neither “investments” nor “outcomes” can be assessed in gender-neutral ways and the model’s underlying notion of rational choices made against the backdrop of a gender-neutral playing field is flawed. Discrimination appears to be entwined with gendered work patterns and behaviors; many of the human capital “explanatory” variables themselves require explanation"[3]

Global View
I assume Pro is from the USA. However I'm not from the USA and neither are most of the peopel on earth. Most people on earth live in Asia and the second most populous continent is Africa. [4]

Across the world, women face not just societal discrimination but legal discrimination too. The World Bank has found that in 155 out of 173 countries have legal barriers impeding their economic opportunities. [5] When countries like Saudi Arabia or Yemen exist, I have no idea how Pro can argue that the pay gap isn't real.

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] https://www.jec.senate.gov...
[3] https://link.springer.com...
[4] https://en.wikipedia.org...
[5] http://wbl.worldbank.org...
Debate Round No. 2
Atheistvoice

Pro

I would like to apologise to my opponent for not making the debate topic clearer. It is about the USA and not from a global perspective. Although I am British I would like to debate this from a USA perspective. Incidentally I would agree that for many countries a Gender Pay Gap based on discrimination does exist.

My opponent claims I have offered no evidence to back up my claim. So I will offer some evidence.
1) In 2009 the US Department of Labor released a paper that had examined 50 Peer reviews and concluded that the 23% pay gap may be entirely the work of individual choices by both male and female workers.
2) I did actually offer evidence in my earlier statement and that is that men work 8.2 hours compared to women who work 7.8 hours on average. This means men will earn more on a daily basis not because they are discriminated against but because they work less hours.
3) In terms of men working in higher paying fields a study was conducted at Georgetown university which looked at the five best paying college majors and the five worst paying.
Out of the five best paying majors they were all but one dominated by men.
Petroleum Engineering - 87% Male
Pharmaceutical Science - 48% Male
Mathematics And Computer Science - 67% Male
Aerospace Engineering - 88% Male
Chemical Engineering - 72% Male

Of the five worst paying these are how they shaped up.
Counselling and Psychology - 74% Female
Early Childhood Education - 97% Female
Theology and Religious Vocations - 66% Male
Human Services and Community Organisation - 81% Female
Social Work - 88% Female

Notice how women are concentrated at the lower paying degrees while men are concentrated at the higher paying degrees. These women are not being forced into this. This is university and they are making a choice to go into these professions and not the higher paying ones.

Furthermore if women were paid so much less simply based on nothing but their gender then businesses would be clamouring to higher more women. Even if there was a 5% or 10% pay gap based on discrimination most businesses would jump at the chance to cut their wage bill by 10%. But they don't usually go out of their way to hire women over men because it would not cut their costs in any real way.

My opponent used this quote by Professor H lips to back of his/her cause.
" The human capital approach, in which various explanatory variables are used to shrink the perceived size of the gap, is often used to argue that much of the gap is due, not to discrimination, but to differing investments in employment by women and men. However, neither "investments" nor "outcomes" can be assessed in gender-neutral ways and the model"s underlying notion of rational choices made against the backdrop of a gender-neutral playing field is flawed. Discrimination appears to be entwined with gendered work patterns and behaviours; many of the human capital "explanatory" variables themselves require explanation"
That is true to an extent. However of those Gendered patterns and behaviours most are not discriminatory. As I have previously shown women make the choice at university to go into particular careers while men make choices to go into other careers. No one is forcing women to make the career choices they do at university but they do anyway. It is also unlikely that on average women are being forced to work less hours. Again its a personal choice and I have no problem with men and women making different choice.

Incidentally you may have wondered why I have not released my sources yet. I plan to do that at the end of the debate.
Overhead

Con

My Opponent Concedes and tries to cheat

My opponent concedes TWICE that the gender pay gap is real.

Firstly he admits that the gender pay gap exists throughout the world. He tries to defend this conceccion by then trying to then exclude 95% of women in the world from our analysis and only looking at the example of a single country. Pro sets the terms of the debate in R1 and is now trying to shift them in his favour halfway through a debate, which is simply unacceptable behaviour in a debate.

Later he references my quote from a study of how the types of factor he mentions can still involve discrimination. Pro states "However of those Gendered patterns and behaviours most are not discriminatory." Now if most are non-discriminatory, that means that some still are discriminatory. Pro therefore implicitly concedes that at least some of the kinds of difference in human capital he cites are down to discrimination.

My Opponent still does not provide evidence

Pro states "I did actually offer evidence in my earlier statement and that is that men work 8.2 hours compared to women who work 7.8 hours on average."

It seems there is some confusion about what evidence is, because that is not evidence. that is an unevidenced and baseless claim. Simply using figures does not making those figures true - linking to a source which shows those figures are accurate would be evidence.

Probably the only piece of his argument that relies on "common sense" rather than simple empty claims is his statement that "Furthermore if women were paid so much less simply based on nothing but their gender then businesses would be clamouring to higher more women." We know this kind of simplisitic logic is false. For instance people might ask "Why wouldn't orchestras just pick the best musicians? If women aren't picked it's because they aren#t as good." Perfect common sense! Except when the hirers at orchestras started doing blind auditions, suddenly the rate of women hired shot up![1]

For the specific claim he makes, Pro seems to be missing the point. If women are paid less because they are discriminated against, they will be less likely to be hired for the good jobs because they are discriminated against, resulting in them having the worse lower paying jobs because they are discriminated against. I would also note that evidence shows that when women start to become populous in a paticular job role, that role and it's pay become devalued due to it's association with being a woman's role.[2]

My opponent engages in poor conduct

My opponent states "Incidentally you may have wondered why I have not released my sources yet. I plan to do that at the end of the debate." This is a ridiculous plan that stifles debate. For instance I suspect that Pro's claim that "In 2009 the US Department of Labor released a paper that had examined 50 Peer reviews and concluded that the 23% pay gap may be entirely the work of individual choices by both male and female workers" is complete nonsense. I would like to put together a rebuttal. I cannot because he has not actually provided any evidence to back up his source. I have no way of knowing which 2009 study he is talking about aside from guesswork. There is no way I can respond.

Now if he was going to leave it at that it would merely be poor debating on his part as it would be yet another unevidenced claim. However he specifically notes that he is going to provide all his sources in the final round, meaning I will have to respond to 4 rounds worth of evidence in 1 round, which will be a massive trial as it'll be a lot of work at once and will very possibly cause me to hit the character limit before I can properly respond to every point.

Debates are not conducted on this basis and it is poor conduct on Pro's part to do this as there is absolutely no good reason to do so.

Pro has conceded, makes no solid argument based on fact and has stated he will engage in this debate in an unsporting way. Please vote Con.

[1] https://scholar.harvard.edu...
[2] https://academic.oup.com...
Debate Round No. 3
Atheistvoice

Pro

Unsurprisingly my opponent complains rather than posts any solid argument.

I have already apologised for asking to only include the U.S in my earlier argument. However the fact is that I was asking, it is entirely cons choice whether he agrees or disagrees to that request since I concede that as I did not include it in the debate headline it would not be binding. It is entirely cons choice. I think con is simply overreacting by accusing me of cheating.

On the topic of evidence. - If my opponent feels that it is somehow unfair to release them at the end then of course I am more than happy to release them now.
https://www.bls.gov... for the 8.2 - 7.9 statistic
http://www.aei.org... - For the wage gap of 23%.
https://www.youtube.com... - One of my sources is a YouTube video but it is made by the a resident schlar at the American Enterprise Institute, Christina Hoff Summers.

While there is a smaller figure for the Gender Gap it is not proven to be down to discrimination so con will have to show some direct evidence that the unexplained gap is down to discrimination which he has so far been unable to do.

Please note that my opponent failed to combat my point about the individual choices by male and female students at university.

The debate is still going, I would ask con to stop complaining and start engaging in debate again.
Overhead

Con

If you're going to leave it in my hands then I say yeah, we stick to the original terms of the debate and there is no restriction on location. Changing the terms in the middle of the debate in such a massive way mid-way through the debate is a massive no-no.

If you want to start a new debate specifically about the gender pay gap in the USA I'll happily start from scratch there - although fair warning, as I pointed out in my last post you've also conceded the argument in general even in the USA.
Debate Round No. 4
Atheistvoice

Pro

If we stick to the global view rather than that of the USA then I concede I have no chance. I thank my opponent for accepting and debating me on this issue. If I start a new debate on the United States pay gap which I might in the future I would be happy to invite you.
Overhead

Con

Sounds good.
Debate Round No. 5
6 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 6 records.
Posted by Atheistvoice 7 months ago
Atheistvoice
LogicalOrange
how exactly did I insult my opponent
Posted by LogicalOrange 7 months ago
LogicalOrange
"Can we please leave insults out of this?"

Opponent proceeds to insult
Posted by LogicalOrange 7 months ago
LogicalOrange
"Can we please leave insults out of this?"

Opponent proceeds to insult
Posted by Atheistvoice 7 months ago
Atheistvoice
I would ask my opponent that when he/she posts their 4th round argument they will post all their new arguments rather than waiting till round 5 so I will have a chance to respond to them. This means we will not have a situation where one of us is unable to respond to a point the other makes. This is a request, not a demand.
Posted by Gator1013 8 months ago
Gator1013
Women also take more time off for there children.
Posted by Mayonnaise_Instrument 8 months ago
Mayonnaise_Instrument
Men and Women have different professions, so the pay gap is debunked.
1 votes has been placed for this debate.
Vote Placed by dsjpk5 7 months ago
dsjpk5
AtheistvoiceOverheadTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.