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Gender Pay Gap Statistic is Deceptive

Objectivity
Posts: 1,073
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5/16/2014 9:34:48 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
According to a Hudson Institute report, the gender pay gap is only 3 cents compared to the much larger gap that is more commonly cited by the U.S Census Bureau of 22 cents. The difference is that the Census Bureau only uses two factors, the number of hours worked (full time), and the wages accumulated annually. The Hudson Institute Report includes over a dozen factors. You can read for yourself here:

http://www.jec.senate.gov...
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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5/16/2014 5:31:11 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 5/16/2014 9:34:48 AM, Objectivity wrote:
According to a Hudson Institute report, the gender pay gap is only 3 cents compared to the much larger gap that is more commonly cited by the U.S Census Bureau of 22 cents. The difference is that the Census Bureau only uses two factors, the number of hours worked (full time), and the wages accumulated annually. The Hudson Institute Report includes over a dozen factors. You can read for yourself here:

http://www.jec.senate.gov...

What statistic isn't deceptive, especially when politics is involved?
My work here is, finally, done.
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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6/2/2014 4:12:24 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I think it depends on how its used. There is a substantial difference in pay between women and men for the same hours worked. It would be deceptive to suggest that this difference arises on account of sexism by employers who arbitrarily decide to pay men more -- when you adjust for other factors such as profession and work experience the pay difference the pay difference shrinks dramatically. But demonstrating that in the same jobs with the same experience women are paid roughly the same as men is different from demonstrating that the pay difference found by the US Census doesn't exist. Why are men so much more inclined to go into high paying professions such as engineering or science? This question isn't answered by suggesting that salary-based sexism doesn't exist.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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6/7/2014 10:53:58 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
The Hudson Institute study has it right. The gender pay gap is now due to different choices made by men and women, not by discrimination. The main choice is women choosing to spend more time with families than with career. In the case of the sciences, men tend to work a lot more hours. That can be viewed as men being more dedicated to science or, looked at differently, to choosing "not to have a life." Among new grads in computer science, women are earning more then men. Another discrepancy is the higher paying trades: carpenters, plumbers, and the like. Very few women choose to go into engineering. Women dominate some high paying trades, like nursing.

I think it is good to ensure equal opportunity, so that women who want to join a trade union or whatever are not discriminated against. There are laws in place against such discrimination. However, attempting a grand experiment in social engineering to try to make more women want to be plumbers seems to me a misuse of government. Male and female psychology is inherently different, and trying to force them to be the same is a waste of time and likely to make many people unhappy.
Volkov
Posts: 9,765
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6/8/2014 3:37:05 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/7/2014 10:53:58 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
The Hudson Institute study has it right. The gender pay gap is now due to different choices made by men and women, not by discrimination. The main choice is women choosing to spend more time with families than with career. In the case of the sciences, men tend to work a lot more hours. That can be viewed as men being more dedicated to science or, looked at differently, to choosing "not to have a life." Among new grads in computer science, women are earning more then men. Another discrepancy is the higher paying trades: carpenters, plumbers, and the like. Very few women choose to go into engineering. Women dominate some high paying trades, like nursing.

I think it is good to ensure equal opportunity, so that women who want to join a trade union or whatever are not discriminated against. There are laws in place against such discrimination. However, attempting a grand experiment in social engineering to try to make more women want to be plumbers seems to me a misuse of government. Male and female psychology is inherently different, and trying to force them to be the same is a waste of time and likely to make many people unhappy.

Not once, ever, except among people who don't know any better, have I heard people say that the gender pay gap was about "a grand experiment in social engineering," but instead about the systemic discrimination in income between the genders working the same jobs and the same hours.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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6/8/2014 4:17:26 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/8/2014 3:37:05 AM, Volkov wrote:
Not once, ever, except among people who don't know any better, have I heard people say that the gender pay gap was about "a grand experiment in social engineering," but instead about the systemic discrimination in income between the genders working the same jobs and the same hours.

I've never heard it either. The pay gap between men and women with equal qualifications working the same jobs with the same hours is at most three cents. The larger gap comes from women making different professional and life choices than men. That's what the study shows. I said that it would be a mistake for government to attempt to get women to make the same choices as men.

Currently, women are approaching 60% of the population of college students. It's likely that women will exceed male incomes in a decade or two, due to the education disparity. The only explanation I've heard for the disparity in student population is that currently colleges provide a hostile environment for male students.
Khaos_Mage
Posts: 23,214
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6/8/2014 10:49:41 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/7/2014 10:53:58 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
The Hudson Institute study has it right. The gender pay gap is now due to different choices made by men and women, not by discrimination. The main choice is women choosing to spend more time with families than with career. In the case of the sciences, men tend to work a lot more hours. That can be viewed as men being more dedicated to science or, looked at differently, to choosing "not to have a life." Among new grads in computer science, women are earning more then men. Another discrepancy is the higher paying trades: carpenters, plumbers, and the like. Very few women choose to go into engineering. Women dominate some high paying trades, like nursing.

I think it is good to ensure equal opportunity, so that women who want to join a trade union or whatever are not discriminated against. There are laws in place against such discrimination. However, attempting a grand experiment in social engineering to try to make more women want to be plumbers seems to me a misuse of government. Male and female psychology is inherently different, and trying to force them to be the same is a waste of time and likely to make many people unhappy.

Do you think the issue intelligent people (not pundits or the general populace) are trying to make with this figure is the gap is due to sexism by society, not the employer?

Women are more expected to take care of the child, not men. Ergo, men try harder to get promoted, especially if married and/or with kids.
Women are more likely to be single parents, thus unable to work more hours.
Things like this that affect the ability, desire, and perception of equal effort.
My work here is, finally, done.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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6/8/2014 11:49:00 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/8/2014 10:49:41 AM, Khaos_Mage wrote:
Do you think the issue intelligent people (not pundits or the general populace) are trying to make with this figure is the gap is due to sexism by society, not the employer?

Society has gotten to the point where many people want to be thought of as victims, both to get sympathy and to get benefits. Some people really are victims, but there a driving force to try increase victimhood.

Men and women share an instinct to protect women from harm. There are seven government agencies devoted to women's health and none devoted to men's health, even though men die younger than women. It's natural to be concerned that women are being harmed. They are not.

Women are more expected to take care of the child, not men. Ergo, men try harder to get promoted, especially if married and/or with kids.
Women are more likely to be single parents, thus unable to work more hours.
Things like this that affect the ability, desire, and perception of equal effort.

It's a fair choice to spend more time raising children and less time working. But working longer gains more valuable work experience, so people who work harder are worth more to employers and should be paid more. That applies not just to men, but to women who choose not to have children and to pursue careers instead.
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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6/8/2014 1:34:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/7/2014 10:53:58 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
However, attempting a grand experiment in social engineering to try to make more women want to be plumbers seems to me a misuse of government. Male and female psychology is inherently different, and trying to force them to be the same is a waste of time and likely to make many people unhappy.

As someone who was encouraged to engage in maths and science as a girl, I disagree (maybe not so much with the misuse of government part though); I think programmes encouraging women and minorities to pursue STEM education are great.

As far as I'm aware, there's no demonstrable difference in men's and women's capability or happiness in STEM fields, so you'll have to elaborate on why you think male and female psychology is inherently different and why that makes men better suited to be scientists and engineers than women.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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6/8/2014 7:29:46 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/8/2014 1:34:07 PM, Enji wrote:
As someone who was encouraged to engage in maths and science as a girl, I disagree (maybe not so much with the misuse of government part though); I think programmes encouraging women and minorities to pursue STEM education are great.

No problem with that. Encouragement is a good idea. The problem comes at the point of setting quotas and demanding the quotas be met through some kind of preferential affirmative action, like adding points to test scores.

As far as I'm aware, there's no demonstrable difference in men's and women's capability or happiness in STEM fields, so you'll have to elaborate on why you think male and female psychology is inherently different and why that makes men better suited to be scientists and engineers than women.

I don't know why the differences exist, I just observe them. Women seem to like the social sciences more than men. The physical sciences seem to attract more men than women. Engineering is not even close; there are very very few women engineers. I don't see any significant difference in computer science.

So which of these differences reflect basic psychological differences, and which are just cultural artifacts? I'm not sure. When social barriers were removed, women rushed into the legal profession, so now there are many more women than men graduating law school. Computer science is similar. But that hasn't happened in, say, engineering. I'm inclined to think there is some basic psychology at work. This is not an excuse for maintaining barriers; everyone should feel free to pursue whatever interests them.

There was a "Real Man" quiz on the Car Talk radio program. One of the questions was:

An alien comes from outer space and gives a man a small device that produces infinite pollution-free energy. What does a real man do:

a. He gives it to the President of United States for the benefit of the country.

b. He gives it to Secretary General of the United Nations to benefit humanity.

c. He takes it apart to try to see how it works.

Everyone knows the answer.
Enji
Posts: 1,022
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6/9/2014 5:14:22 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/8/2014 7:29:46 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 6/8/2014 1:34:07 PM, Enji wrote:

As far as I'm aware, there's no demonstrable difference in men's and women's capability or happiness in STEM fields, so you'll have to elaborate on why you think male and female psychology is inherently different and why that makes men better suited to be scientists and engineers than women.

I don't know why the differences exist, I just observe them. Women seem to like the social sciences more than men. The physical sciences seem to attract more men than women. Engineering is not even close; there are very very few women engineers. I don't see any significant difference in computer science.

So which of these differences reflect basic psychological differences, and which are just cultural artifacts? I'm not sure. When social barriers were removed, women rushed into the legal profession, so now there are many more women than men graduating law school. Computer science is similar. But that hasn't happened in, say, engineering. I'm inclined to think there is some basic psychology at work. This is not an excuse for maintaining barriers; everyone should feel free to pursue whatever interests them.

The trend in computer science is actually the opposite. Women consisted of a higher proportion of computer science degrees a few decades ago (around when women started being awarded more than half of all degrees) than currently; in 1984, 37% of computer science degrees were earned by women, by 1994 this dropped to 28% and today the percentage of women in computer science is somewhere around 12%. This is surprising because in other STEM fields the proportion of women has been steadily increasing over decades - even fields which have rapidly grown like computer science.

I'd be hesitant to conclude that there are psychological factors at work simply because a gap exists. Minorities are also under-represented in STEM fields, and I wouldn't attribute that to inherent psychological differences between white students and black students. The racial gap in STEM fields is perhaps more easily explainable because sociocultural differences, and economic differences are more apparent; I'm inclined to believe there's an alternative explanation for why STEM majors are predominately male.

There was a "Real Man" quiz on the Car Talk radio program. One of the questions was:

An alien comes from outer space and gives a man a small device that produces infinite pollution-free energy. What does a real man do:

a. He gives it to the President of United States for the benefit of the country.

b. He gives it to Secretary General of the United Nations to benefit humanity.

c. He takes it apart to try to see how it works.

Everyone knows the answer.

I think the question still makes sense when replacing the real man with a gender-ambiguous engineer.
RoyLatham
Posts: 4,488
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6/10/2014 12:34:59 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 6/9/2014 5:14:22 AM, Enji wrote:
At 6/8/2014 7:29:46 PM, RoyLatham wrote:
At 6/8/2014 1:34:07 PM, Enji wrote:

The trend in computer science is actually the opposite. Women consisted of a higher proportion of computer science degrees a few decades ago (around when women started being awarded more than half of all degrees) than currently; in 1984, 37% of computer science degrees were earned by women, by 1994 this dropped to 28% and today the percentage of women in computer science is somewhere around 12%. This is surprising because in other STEM fields the proportion of women has been steadily increasing over decades - even fields which have rapidly grown like computer science.

Interesting, I didn't know that. The decline cannot be due to lack of opportunity to enter the field. Women must have discovered they don't like it.

I'd be hesitant to conclude that there are psychological factors at work simply because a gap exists. Minorities are also under-represented in STEM fields, and I wouldn't attribute that to inherent psychological differences between white students and black students. The racial gap in STEM fields is perhaps more easily explainable because sociocultural differences, and economic differences are more apparent; I'm inclined to believe there's an alternative explanation for why STEM majors are predominately male.

A way to tell the difference is that Blacks and Hispanics are in lower numbers across the board, whereas women are a substantial majority of college students and dominate some fields, like teaching and health care. Asians are a smaller minority than Blacks and Hispanics, but they are in the STEM professions in a higher relative proportion that Whites. This tells me that minorities are responding to cultural pressures and women are making choices. When California abolished affirmative action by ballot proposition, the percentage of Asians in the top state universities increased.

I think the question still makes sense when replacing the real man with a gender-ambiguous engineer.

Yes, so that's why men are more likely to be engineers.

There are many studies of gender dependent psychology. To me the most convincing is a study of boys born without external genitals due to a type of birth defect. From birth they were treated by everyone as if they were girls. Nonetheless, they had all the attributes of male psychology like risk-taking and rough play.
neptune1bond
Posts: 400
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6/11/2014 7:49:10 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
It's interesting to notice the difference between men and women's choices. It is ridiculous to automatically assume that it's because of some problem. I've heard people all getting upset that women are "underrepresented" in the STEM jobs but no one ever seems to notice many women actually feeling like they PERSONALLY did not have the opportunity to choose those jobs if they had desired to do so (unless they have some ridiculous delusion). If women actually want to do those jobs, then they should simply do so. But if women just aren't choosing it for themselves, then why should anyone actually give a sh*t? There's absolutely no reason we can't just let people make their own choice as to what job they want. So, if a woman doesn't like her life and the choices she's made, then she should grow up, put on her big girl panties, and do something about it instead of acting as though it's anyone else's fault but her own. But, if women are already choosing the jobs they prefer, then there really isn't a problem and everyone just needs to get over the statistics.