Call it a self-fulfilling stereotype.
Men who believe a woman’s place is in the home, rather than in the workplace, are likely to earn substantially more than men who believe women deserve equal pay for equal work. That’s according to a new study, by University of Florida organizational psychologists Timothy Judge and Beth Livingston, of 12,686 Americans and how their understanding of gender roles affected their earnings over time.
That male chauvinism works to the advantage of men in a male-dominated marketplace shouldn’t be surprising. But the magnitude of the effect took the study’s authors by surprise: sexist men earned, on average, $11,930 more per year than their egalitarian male counterparts over a 25-year period.
The effect works in reverse for women. While they still earned slightly less than egalitarian-minded men, women who believed in gender equality earned $1,052 more per year than women who held more “traditional” views.
In other words, for both sexes, it pays to pick a side.
We can think of at least two other studies that seem to illustrate this effect.
A 2007 study found that female executives (who are outnumbered eight to one in corporate America) earn roughly $16,000 more per year than male executives. Presumably, female executives believe in gender equality. Considering how relatively thin their ranks are, they know what it means to have fought for it.
That same year, women living in major American cities earned substantially more than men in the same age groups (women in their 20′s earned 17 percent more in New York, and 20 percent more in Dallas, Tex.), according to a study by Andrew Beveridge, of Queens College. Beveridge attributed the flip-flopped wage gap to the fact that, in cities, more women tended to be college educated than men, and their lifestyle choices bucked traditional gender roles.