The Instigator
Pro (for)
The Contender
Con (against)

While There is a Valid Wage Gap in America, It is not Based Upon Sexism

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 3/20/2017 Category: Economics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 1,240 times Debate No: 101129
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (12)
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I will be taking Pro on this one, and my opponent will be delegated as Con. We will be debating along the premises that follow.

1 - There is a wage gap
2 - It is justified
3 - Not based upon sexism

[Note] This debate should be impossible to accept. If you do manage to do so, you will automatically forfeit this debate. Please apply in the comments if you would like to debate this topic.

1 - No trolling
2 - First round acceptance only
3 - Empirical evidence
4 - No ad hominem
5 - No profanity
6 - Equitable conduct and courtesy

Thank you,


Wage Gap - (Noun) The wage gap is expressed as a percentage (e.g., in 2013, women earned 78.3% as much as men aged 16 and over) and is calculated by dividing the median annual earnings for women by the median annual earnings for men.

Valid - (Adj) The quality of being logically or factually sound; soundness or cogency.

Sexism - (Noun) Prejudice, stereotyping, or discrimination, typically against women, on the basis of sex.


I accept this debate. I assume that round one is acceptance, round two is a presentation of our arguments, and the remaining rounds are reserved for rebuttals, yes?
Debate Round No. 1


To Con - Yes, you assumed correctly.

I would like to also adress a loophole that Con may or may not try to take advantage of. While I am sure there are instances of sexism do occur in the modern day work force, it is not a staple trait.

The widely spread lie that modern wave feminism likes to spread about indiscriminately is the notion that women make a little more than 3/4 to the dollar that men make (0.77:1, Male and Female respectively) due to some overarching patriarchy or system of sexism. However, they fail to note numerous relevant statistics that explain this number, which is derived from broad averages across industries in terms of both Male and Female Wages.

The outline for my argument is as follows:
[1] Women work fewer hours, and are prone to leaving the work force due to child birth.
[2] Women choose lower paying fields
[3] Women tend to avoid some industries involving manual labor.

Consequently, this is why we see lower wages in these averages, not a oppressive system.

Recent data compiled from a variety of sources by the DOL and BOL (Dept. of Labor/Bureau of Labor) should leave no question that women on average work fewer hours than men. According to the DOL, 60% of women in the work force work part time, and 40% work full time. However, the opposite is true of their male counterparts. Stats according to the BOL tell a more complete story. On average, women work fewer hours a day than men on both the week and weekend, and consequently in total. To be specific, on the days men do work, the spend 52 more minutes present at the workplace than a female colleague. Even more interesting, while women are more likely to work part time, those that did work full time still worked less hours on average than men who worked full time, who clocked in at 8.4 hours to 7.8 hours. Even more indicative of how lifestyle choices effect employment, women who were married had a bigger likelihood of being unemployed, higher than their male spouses. This evidences different gender roles, and while women can act as proxies, men are typically the breadwinners. Unemployment among women who are of childbearing age is also dramatically higher, while men of the same age remain unemployed at roughly a steady rate. This is easy to explain, as it is most likely these women are giving birth during these periods, but this also shows that the different lifestyles and responsibilities between genders. Additionally, only 62% of mothers who have a child age 6 and under are in the work force, and of these most are part time. It is clear through all of this that women undeniably work fewer hours than men [1], which is not a wrong, just a result of a different preference in lifestyles. And in turn, this will effect wage averages, the very ones used to 'prove' a sexist system exists.

Secondly, I want to address the fact that women choose lower paying fields to pursue a career in. Its hard to deny that women choose lower paying fields, most of which relate to being caretakers or social workers. In this sense, they make the 'glass ceiling' for themselves by choosing their career fields. The biggest fields women go into according to the DOL are registered nurses, elementary and middle school teachers, and finally secretaries and administrative representatives. The majority of the runners up are also service oriented, such as customer service representatives. More men choose labor oriented jobs, but when it comes down to the higher paying fields such as engineering, software development, and a career in law, men dominate these fields, which are some of the highest paying in the country. You can make the argument that they are paid less by profession, but the argument above stands. Women work fewer hours, and are more likely to leave the workforce overall. So in total, women choose to pursue lower paying fields [2].

The other thing that locks women out in the economy is that they generally avoid labor intensive fields. Paired with the interest women show in higher paying fields (much lower than males), the effectively create their own glass ceiling.


To sum up my arguments, which I have provided stats and evidence to back, I maintain the same thesis: The Wage Gap is Not Based off of Sexism.

[1] Women work fewer paid hours.
[2] Women choose lower paying fields
[3] Women avoid labor intensive fields
[4] Given [3], women lock themselves our of certain areas of the work force.

I would also like to take this moment to point out the equitable opportunity does not mean equal outcome. This is why there is not equal representation of women.


I) Introduction
II) What is the Wage Gap?
III) What are the Root Causes of the Wage Gap?
IV) Sources

I) Introduction

Firstly, I would like to thank my opponent, RC-9282, for giving me the opportunity to debate this topic. For this debate, I will argue for the existence of a wage gap, and for it being sexist and unjustified.

I will first provide a definition of a wage gap, and provide the estimated gap according to multiple reliable sources. Then, I will assess the sexist nature behind it.

II) What is the Wage Gap?

The Wage Gap, by definition, is the average difference between a man's and a woman's average wages [1]. On average, the wage gap ranges around 70-80 cents for a woman to every dollar a male receives for the same occupation [2][3]. The average woman worker loses more than $530,000 over the course of her lifetime because of the gender wage gap. The average college-educated woman loses nearly $800,000 [4] The wage gap has even been recognized by the previous president, Barack Obama, in his State of Union Address [5]. According to the Census Burea, women working full time were paid 80 cents for every dollar men were paid. Another measure found that women's hourly pay and women in part-time jobs earned 83 cents for every dollar a man received [6]. This data cannot be ignored; this clearly demonstrates that the gender wage gap is real, and is persistent in our society.

III) What are the Root Causes of the Wage Gap?

What are the causes of the wage gap? Are women too undeserving and irresponsible to earn a paycheck equal to a man's salary, or is it blatant sexism? I will be arguing for the latter.

From a historical perspective, women in the past were undermined for their capabilities. Women were considered both naturally weaker and unintelligent to men. They were deemed perform work requiring muscular or intellectual development by the majority of society. [7] In most cases, women were reduced to being the bearers of babies and caretakers of children, and to clean up the house and cook the husband dinner. Women were limited in both educational and occupational opportunities. For example, in the 1910s, only 21.5% of females of 16 years or older had occupations [8]. It was only until Title IX of the Education Amendments was established in 1972 that women were given the same educational opportunities as men, and thus had the ability to pursue a formal college education [9]. Women did not attend college in equal numbers to men until as recently as 1980 [10]. This deep-rooted sexism is still present today in our society. Many people today still feel that women are less capable and intellectual than men, thus acting as one of the greatest causes of the wage gap. Additionally, many employers assume or expect that women will not work to their fullest capabilities or will decide to reduce their working hours or give birth to a child with nothing to indicate such aside from the person's gender [11].

As I have established previously, the deep-rooted sexism present in our society causes the undervaluing of a woman's work. More frequently, women earn less than men for doing jobs of equal value because people stereotypically think women will do worse, even in areas where women and men are equally well-qualified [12][13].

According to this graph, ( 41% of the gender wage gap is "unexplained," meaning that there is no obvious measurable reason for a difference in pay. This may suggest that the wage gap is a direct result of blatant gender-based discrimination [14]. This belief is confirmed by the official government website, United States Congress: Joint Economic Committee. According to the Joint Economic Committee, "as much as 40 percent of the pay gap may be attributed to [gender-based] discrimination," and also adds that "Women of color face even larger gender pay gaps. Compared to white, non-Hispanic men, African-American women, on average, are paid only 60 cents on the dollar and Latinas earn only 55 cents on the dollar," [15].

From this evidence, I can confidently conclude that there is a wage gap: from deep-rooted sexism in society, the undervaluing of a woman's capabilities and services, to one's ethnicity. Clearly there is a wage gap between both sexes that is subjective, discriminatory and unjustifiable.

IV) Sources

Debate Round No. 2
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Debate Round No. 4
12 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by RR-5L8S 3 years ago
May I be so bold to point out that [1] Con provides no proof that most employers are prejudiced against women, and [2] Pro has provided stats to confirm that women DO work fewer hours on average and DO leave the workforce due to childbirth.
Posted by TheMinorMiner99 3 years ago
I've seen 15 year olds more mature. Heck, I've been a 15 year old that was more mature. More like 6-10, when they start to get selfish and ignorant
Posted by CosmoJarvis 3 years ago
It's just hard to believe that this dude is older than 15 years of age based on his maturity.
Posted by RC-9282 3 years ago
Im not bothered by it. I have thicker skin than that. In the end he only makes himself look idiotic and uninformed.
Posted by IndestructibleAntilope 3 years ago

Why would you doubt that? Clueless and antagonistic 61 year olds do exist, you know.
Posted by CosmoJarvis 3 years ago
Agreed. FollowerofChrist, a supposed 61-year-old (though I doubt that) is antagonizing a 16-year-old. Though, this is typical of him. :)
Posted by CosmoJarvis 3 years ago
FollowerofChrist, you shouldn't be talking. In every debate you make or join, you seem virtually clueless. It's not a stretch to assume that you came into the debate with no knowledge of the topic.
Posted by TheMinorMiner99 3 years ago
Follower, I know you tracked him here to rat on him because you are older then him and need to complain about "today's youth". RC does a good job of finding sources, such that he doesn't need experience. this isn't your argument. Go home.
Posted by FollowerofChrist1955 3 years ago
Have you ever even HAD a job? What are you just bored you debate anything, even though you just a kid with no experience?
Posted by RC-9282 3 years ago
Its worth debating as long as there is someone to oppose it (which there clearly is).
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