We recently solicited your questions for Hanna Rosin, author of the new book The End of Men (and the Rise of Women). Here now are her replies, which include an explanation of the book’s title and possible solutions to the wage gap. Thanks to everyone for playing along, and especially to Rosin for fielding so many of your good questions.
Q. What do you think about the feminization of higher education; that is, more female faculty and administrators resulting in more policy creation by women or influenced by them? -Gary
A. This has been the conservative explanation for why boys are having trouble in schools. It was advanced, for example, by Christina Hoff Sommers in her 2000 Atlantic story “The War Against Boys.” I think it’s a valid but somewhat limited explanation. For one thing, it’s not new. Psychologist G. Stanley Hall began promoting this theory in 1908 in his influential essay “Feminization in School and Home.” The problem with it is it implies a kind of coordinated conspiracy by women to influence young minds. The truth is that women have taken over teaching because, as has happened often in our economy, once women start to enter a profession the men tend to flee. That’s really the men’s problem, as I see it, not the women’s. It would be fabulous and solve a lot of problems if more men would become teachers. It also has to do with the fact that teaching is one of the rare profession in the U.S. that allows for enough flexibility for a parent to be able to spend a reasonable amount of time with his or her family, both on a weekly basis and on summer vacations. That’s the fault of the American workforce, which is so resistant to flexible working and a reasonable amount of vacation time. Read More »
“In the Great Recession, three-quarters of the 7.5 million jobs lost were lost by men,” writes Hanna Rosin, author of the new book The End of Men (and the Rise of Women). “The worst-hit industries were overwhelmingly male, and deeply identified with macho: construction, manufacturing, high finance. Some of those jobs have come back, but the dislocation is neither random nor temporary. The recession merely revealed — and accelerated — a profound economic shift that has been going on for at least thirty years, and in some respects even longer.”
Rosin’s book (here are some reviews), based on her controversial 2010 Atlantic essay, explores the new American marriage divide, the education gap between young men and women around the world, and the new Asian power women. Read More »
We’ve written before about Claudia Goldin and Larry Katz‘s research on the persistent gender wage gap in the U.S. Now Goldin and Katz are back with a new working paper (abstract; PDF) on “the most egalitarian of all U.S. professions today”:
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Pharmacy has become a female-majority profession that is highly remunerated with a small gender earnings gap and low earnings dispersion relative to other occupations. We sketch a labor market framework based on the theory of equalizing differences to integrate and interpret our empirical findings on earnings, hours of work, and the part-time work wage penalty for pharmacists. Using extensive surveys of pharmacists for 2000, 2004, and 2009 as well as samples from the American Community Surveys and the Current Population Surveys, we explore the gender earnings gap, the penalty to part-time work, labor force persistence, and the demographics of pharmacists relative to other college graduates. We address why the substantial entrance of women into the profession was associated with an increase in their earnings relative to male pharmacists. We conclude that the changing nature of pharmacy employment with the growth of large national pharmacy chains and hospitals and the related decline of independent pharmacies played key roles in the creation of a more family-friendly, female-friendly pharmacy profession. The position of pharmacist is probably the most egalitarian of all U.S. professions today.
What do girls think when they see their favorite soccer start posing in Sports Illustrated in a bikini instead of a soccer jersey? A new study, summarized by the BPS Research Digest, surveyed girls after they viewed five images of either “female athletes in a sporting context in their full sporting attire,” “female athletes in a sexualized context,” or “bikini-clad magazine models given random names.” Here’s the BPS Digest:
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The key finding is that the girls and undergrads who viewed the sexualized athlete images tended to say they admired or were jealous of the athletes’ bodies, they commented on the athletes’ sexiness, and they evaluated their own bodies negatively. Some also said they found the images inappropriate. The participants who viewed the bikini-clad glamour models responded similarly, except they rarely commented on the inappropriateness of the images, as if they’d come to accept the portrayal of women in that way…
The male-female wage gap narrowed considerably during the 1980s and 1990s, thanks to increased educational attainment among women and an influx of women into high-earning fields. Factors such as the Women’s Movement and the 1964 Civil Rights Act are often cited as the drivers of this shift, but economists are also narrowing in on another influence: the Pill. Economists have linked the Pill to “delays in marriage (among college goers) and motherhood, changes in selection into motherhood, increased educational attainment, labor-force participation, and occupational upgrading among college graduates.” Now, a new working paper (ungated version) by Martha J. Bailey, Brad Hershbein, and Amalia R. Miller examines the effect of the Pill on the male-female wage gap. Read More »
In honor of International Women’s Day, Foreign Policy has a roundup of five surprisingly good places to be a woman. The Philippines, Spain, South Africa/Lesotho, Latvia, and Cuba all make their list. While it may be hard to believe that women fare well in the very same country that hosted a “Blonde Weekend” back […] Read More »
Research indicates that women are generally more risk-averse than men, and this risk-aversion is often cited as a partial explanation for the shortage of women in high-level corporate positions. A new essay by Alison Booth, Lina Cardona Sosa, and Patrick Nolen suggests that single-sex education may change women’s risk preferences. In a recent paper, the researchers conducted a controlled experiment:
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[W]e designed a controlled experiment using all incoming first year economics and business students at a British university. The subjects were asked to make choices over real-stakes lotteries at two distinct dates – the first week of term and the eighth week of term…
Prior to the start of the academic year, students were randomly assigned to classes. Our ‘nurturing’ environment is the experimental peer-group or class to which students were randomly assigned by the timetabling office. The class groups were of three different types – all female, all male, or mixed gender.
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Two experiments were undertaken. For the first, 65 men and 65 women, all of an average age of 21, anonymously played a cooperation game where they could donate money via a computer program to a group fund. Donations were selfless acts, as all other players would benefit from the fund, whilst the donor wouldn’t necessarily receive anything in return.
Players did not know who they were playing with. They were observed by either someone of the same sex or opposite sex — two physically attractive volunteers, one man and one woman. Men were found to do significantly more good deeds when observed by the opposite sex. Whilst the number of good deeds made by women didn’t change, regardless of who observed.
For the second experiment, groups of males were formed. Males were asked to make a number of public donations. These increased when observed by an attractive female, where they were found to actively compete with one another. When observed by another male, however, donations didn’t increase.