Gender gap in salary influenced by attitude about gender gap

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Gender gap in salary influenced by attitude about gender gap

Unread postby Idran1701 » Wed Sep 24, 2008 9:27 pm

This is wild. A 25-year study that just recently concluded suggests that attitude about the salary gender gap is a big factor in salary for both men and women. ... rss_nation

The differences found in the study were substantial. Men with traditional attitudes about gender roles earned $11,930 more a year than men with egalitarian views and $14,404 more than women with traditional attitudes. The comparisons were based on men and women working in the same kinds of jobs with the same levels of education and putting in the same number of hours per week.

Although men with a traditional outlook earned the most, women with a traditional outlook earned the least. The wage gap between working men and women with a traditional attitude was more than 10 times as large as the gap between men and women with egalitarian views.

The biggest surprise to me is the fact that although men with traditional views get paid more on average than men with egalitarian views, women with egalitarian views get paid more than women with traditional views. I guess that could be explained by the latter category of women being happy with their salaries and not pursuing higher pay, but even so, it's still something I wouldn't have expected to see.

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Unread postby PriamNevhausten » Thu Sep 25, 2008 12:13 am

There's actually been similar studies about differing social groups performing differently based on stereotypes and expectations. I don't remember the scientist's name, but he got a bunch of students (roughly equal parts Caucasian and African-American in ethnicity) in a lecture hall type setting, administered them a fairly difficult language test, and said "This is a test of your intellectual abilities," and let them have at it. You'd expect, stereotypically, the Caucasians to score higher, and that they did, by a significant margin. Something like 12 questions correct on average, versus the African-Americans' scores closer to 6 correct.

Then he got another group, similarly proportioned, in the same lecture hall, and said to them, "This is just some problems, doesn't really matter, do your best" kind of introduction that doesn't invoke stereotype pressure, and the groups scored about equally, at 9 to 10 questions correct on average.

The result is similar on math examinations between men and women (the stereotype prompt being something along the lines of "this test tends to show gender differences," where the other one is more "this test does not tend to show gender differences"), math examinations between white men and Asian men (though the Asians *did* outperform the white men under more neutral conditions, though not nearly in as great a margin), and many, many other group comparisons.

There's a lot to be said about expectations affecting outcomes. Norman Vincent Peale would even be shit-surprised.
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