Score One for the Troglodytes

Via Ampersand, a study (summary by the Washington Post, full text as PDF) finding that men with traditional views about gender roles made much more money than men with nontraditional views after controlling for type of work, educational attainment, and hours worked per week*. There was an opposite but weaker effect for women---women with gender-egalitarian views earned more than women with traditional views.

Naturally, some of the lefty commenters immediately suspect discrimination against insufficiently masculine men. I guess it's possible, but wouldn't there also be discrimination against women who don't fit into traditional gender roles? Yet they make more money than those who do. Note also this delightfully self-congratulatory comment from nojojojo:

I think men with egalitarian attitudes are probably men who have made themselves see the inequity of the world, and committed themselves to doing something about it....So you’ll see egalitarian men in fields like education and health care, where *nobody* makes much money (even though they should, considering their contribution to society).

Really? Nobody makes much money in health care? Anyway, as Les points out in the following comment, this explanation is ruled out by the fact that the study controlled for field of work. Robert, a traditionalist himself, proposes an explanation based on the idea that traditional parental division of labor is more efficient.

Being the mercenary bastard that I am, my mind went straight to incentives. Here are some hypotheses I haven't seen anyone else mention:

  • People are more likely to hold traditional views when the cost of doing so is low. At the margin, a man is more likely to hold traditional views when his income is high and he can easily afford to support a stay-at-home wife. Conversely, a woman is more likely to hold traditional views when she doesn't make much money and the cost of giving up her job is low.
  • A man is more likely to get used to the idea of women working outside the home if his wife has to work outside the home for financial reasons. Likewise women.
  • If a man has a stay-at-home wife, or wants to have one someday, this spurs him to work harder. To a traditionalist, to be unable to support a family single-handedly is to be less of a man. He works harder because he has to. Conversely, a woman expecting to leave the job market in 5 years or so doesn't really have any good reason to knock herself out.

I haven't completely read the study, so some or all of these may be ruled out on closer inspection.

Note that in the chart of raw correlations, earnings correlated most strongly (.38) with cognitive ability as measured by the ASVAB.

*However, this doesn't mean that traditionalist men actually make more than men with nontraditional views; only that they make more when you add these controls. I'm not sure what the raw correlation is—the chart gives it as -.11, but there's a footnote saying that this isn't meaningful because of the way the variables were averaged over time. So the title of this post may not be correct, strictly speaking. But I like it, and you can't make me change it.

Share this

Too Busy Changing Diapers to Suceed?

If you are a big boss you promote people who will take work off your shoulders and who vigorously and competently pursue and solve problems you give them. Positive initiative is the key.

Given that traditionalism is the default position people effortlessly take, who is best equipped to help and impress the big boss? Everyone is for all the good things, such as women voting, equal protection and so on which we already have. Are people obsesses about irrelevancies such as eliminating each and every trace of supposed gender equality that have nothing to do with the business at hand and take up his time , really effective?

In other words, all else being equal, are navel gazing idealists or business like realists most effective at getting the job done? As a guy pretty high on the food chain I will tell you crap like gender equality has nothing to do with anything we do at work, even though there are many women in high positions. Hence being out front on this issue is of no value and apparently, if this study is right, is positively harmful to your career. Evidently hyper- egalitarians have a deficit the career promoting initiative that prevents their economic advancement. It is true that they may be too busy at home changing diapers, but the result is the same.
Dave

Dismissing gender equality

Dismissing gender equality as an irrelevant obsession makes a great case for Affirmative Action. If civil society can't deal with addressing discrimination in a non-coercive fashion, and enough people believe this sort of discrimination is wrong, they will demand that "something be done", and they will be more likely to vote for that something to be enforced by law.

Paleolibertarians and other right-leaning libertarians, in what is now called fusionism, appealed to social conservatives and tried to argue that a free society is compatible and conducive to their aims. Libertarians might consider appealing to the other side of the culture war. It's little wonder that self-described libertarians are predominantly white males; women and non-whites (who aren't already social conservatives) see little reason to ally with a group who sees nothing wrong with keeping them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

The truth is what it is, not whatever we say

Paleolibertarians and other right-leaning libertarians, in what is now called fusionism, appealed to social conservatives and tried to argue that a free society is compatible and conducive to their aims. Libertarians might consider appealing to the other side of the culture war. It's little wonder that self-described libertarians are predominantly white males; women and non-whites (who aren't already social conservatives) see little reason to ally with a group who sees nothing wrong with keeping them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

Whether libertarianism is "compatible and conducive" to the aims of social conservatives is a question of fact, not a question of tactic. It is either true, or false, and not merely a matter of how libertarians choose to align themselves politically, that a free society (free in the libertarian sense) will tend to gravitate toward what social conservatives envision or what social progressives envision.

Personally, I think it's a mix. There is much to be said for social conservative lifestyles. But today we are wealthy enough that we have the luxury to choose otherwise. Even if the alternatives tend to come with a price - and I think they do - we are well enough off that we can survive that price. And by the way, I give credit to our new wealth (which comes from our productivity which comes from technological advance) for the social progress that we have been experiencing. I do not give much credit to "social progressives", who are for the most part merely tracking the social upheavals and, illegitimately, trying to take credit for it (much as labor unions illegitimately try to take credit for the economic improvement of the average worker when in fact the cause is - again - increased productivity stemming from technological advance).

[...] non-whites (who aren't already social conservatives) see little reason to ally with a group who sees nothing wrong with keeping them barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen.

Much as I would like to keep my Mexican neighbor barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen, my attempts to impregnate him have so far proven unsuccessful.

The fact that the effect is

The fact that the effect is reversed for women makes me suspect that the factor at work is self-esteem, self-assertion, or confidence.

It seems likely that men who consider themselves entitled to lord it over women will tend to have higher opinions of themselves than men who do not. (I’m not aware of any research data on this topic, but I’d be shocked if I was wrong.) Similarly, it seems likely that women who want equality for themselves will tend to have higher opinions of themselves than women who believe their own sex should be subordinate, as well as more confidence in defending their own interests. People with high-self esteem will in turn be more likely to be assertive, even dominating, in the workplace and thus more likely to get positions of authority, more aggressive in their negotiations for higher salary, and so on.

Excellent comment.

Excellent comment.

ewuHDBxqgmTHNOadaga

i've recently got into canldes too. i loove them! i'm currently burning a candle that smells of black tea and lychee. sooo good. i have to work on saturday too, but at least i get paid double time and a half! i hope you do too. i love working public holidays!

I lean towards explanation

I lean towards explanation 3. Traditional men are more likely to have a strong focus on being the breadwinner, and this devotion will eventually show up in paycheck form.

Note that men's "traditionalism bonus" is much larger than women's "traditionalism penalty" - meaning a traditional couple will earn significantly more than a "progressive" one. I leave the explanation of this difference as an exercise for the reader.

This reader performed the

This reader performed the aforementioned exercise:

Traditional gender roles obviously involve specialization and a division of labor of sorts, which may make these rigid roles more productive under some circumstances, but their greater efficiency does not necessarily make them just, fair, or wise. Under strict adherence to these roles, women are denied the freedom to pursue careers other than homemaking, and may have much less freedom to escape abusive relationships, and much less freedom within the relationship if they aren't "bringing home the bacon."

I'll also note that traditional gender roles deny stay-at home fathers the same sorts of opportunities as denied to working mothers. From the perspective of specialization and division of labor, it shouldn't make a difference which gender works inside the home and which works outside the home. Unless, of course, you believe that women evolved with a natural comparative advantage for diaper changing, vacuuming, and cooking. I do not.

Choices reduce choices but not retroactively

I'll also note that traditional gender roles deny stay-at home fathers the same sorts of opportunities as denied to working mothers.

In one sense this is true - but in that sense, it is true of all choices. In another sense this is false.

If you make a choice, you do close off alternative opportunities. But that is the nature of choice. If you decide to invest in X, then your money is tied up and you lose the opportunity to invest that same money in Y (unless you can get somebody to buy your investment in X off you but that's more difficult than simply not having invested in X in the first place.

In this sense, sure, a woman who chooses to stay at home, and therefore who chooses what we're calling a "traditional gender role", closes off some of her own opportunities in doing so. But that makes it no different from any other choice.

In another sense, a retroactive sense, a choice does not retroactively close off the alternative opportunities. If you can do X or Y and you choose to do X, this does not retroactively close off the opportunity you had to do Y. Similarly, if women choose to stay at home, that does not mean that they didn't have the choice to work, that they were victims of "traditional gender roles".

What you may have meant is something like, "social pressure to conform to traditional gender roles". We live, however, in a society in which women have plenty of opportunity to work in any number of jobs if they choose to do so. Women today who nevertheless choose to stay at home, therefore, are not in the same position as women in a hypothetical time when there were no opportunities to do otherwise. So if you want to talk about social pressure to conform to traditional gender roles the relevance of your comments to the current situation is doubtful.

Unless, of course, you believe that women evolved with a natural comparative advantage for diaper changing, vacuuming, and cooking.

I believe that women evolved with a much greater natural inclination than men to take care of the baby - not slightly greater but impressively, awesomely greater. Conceivably this is learned, but I doubt it, considering the play behavior of boys and girls. Taking care of the baby is much easier to do at home than in the workplace. Over the past few days I've been watching Jon & Kate Plus 8. The wife stays at home to take care of the 8 kids, and the husband leaves the house for 12 hours a day to make a living (or so we are told in one of the early episodes). A nice example of traditional gender roles (and also a nice example - since they decided to have all six sextuplets - of a committed anti-abortion stance, in the personal, not political sense). Speaking demographically, the iron laws of mathematics will, ceteris paribus, forever favor those who will not abort over those who will.

One more distinction I want to make. Growing up with "traditional gender roles" impressed in one's mind is not the same as society pressuring one into a "traditional gender role". There's a difference between a person who personally is inclined to a "traditional gender role" for whatever reason (e.g. because Mom and Dad were that way), and a person who wants to do something different but who does is pressured to go against their own inclination.

What you may have meant is

What you may have meant is something like, "social pressure to conform to traditional gender roles". We live, however, in a society in which women have plenty of opportunity to work in any number of jobs if they choose to do so. Women today who nevertheless choose to stay at home, therefore, are not in the same position as women in a hypothetical time when there were no opportunities to do otherwise. So if you want to talk about social pressure to conform to traditional gender roles the relevance of your comments to the current situation is doubtful.

Yes, I am speaking of social pressures to conform to traditional gender roles, including the implied "efficiency" defense of them given by Anonymous_coward. Yes, opportunities for women have increased as the social pressures to conform to traditional gender roles (as understood in a relatively modern sense) have decreased. But this does not mean opportunities (in the marginal sense of a significantly higher paycheck for the same work) are not being closed off by social pressures to conform to traditional gender roles. And as I said, the additional benefits of specialization cannot explain why traditional couples are more "productive" than progressive couples in which the woman works outside the home and the man cooks, cleans, and raises children, unless you believe that women evolved with a natural comparative advantage for homemaking.

Jon & Kate Plus 8 is indeed a great show. Although Kate's OCD is sometimes just a little bit ridiculous.

Inclination counts for a lot

And as I said, the additional benefits of specialization cannot explain why traditional couples are more "productive" than progressive couples in which the woman works outside the home and the man cooks, cleans, and raises children, unless you believe that women evolved with a natural comparative advantage for homemaking.

I don't know about homemaking - I think that women are more inclined to take care of the baby, and inclination counts for a lot - that is, if two people are equally good at math but one of them loves it and the other thinks it is torture, then the first will ultimately make a better mathematician than the second. Women may also be inclined to care about the home. Well, evidently a lot of them are, so the question is whether this inclination is innate or learned. For example, it seems to be much more often the wife than the husband who decides what color to paint the different rooms of the house, what furniture to buy, and so on. Bachelors, in contrast, are famous for being slobs who take minimal interest in their home environment.

I do want to say, though, about this recent finding: I think there are so many different possible explanations at this point for the observed correlation that any guess is bound to be speculative.

Study Valid ?

Dismissing gender equality as an irrelevant obsession makes a great case for Affirmative Action. If civil society can't deal with addressing discrimination in a non-coercive fashion, and enough people believe this sort of discrimination is wrong, they will demand that "something be done", and they will be more likely to vote for that something to be enforced by law. Micha

The questions asked in the study did not address matters of justice. That is an assumption on your part.
I looked at the PFD of the original study. It doesn’t tell you the questions they asked the subjects but asked what their opinion was on traditional vs. non traditional roles, however that is defined. It did not discuss actual roles. For example, what if I were a subject? What if they asked. “Should men change as many diapers and cook the same number of meals as the woman? “ My answer would be no. I am the sole earner and for the most part that is Woman’s work. I mow the lawn and wash the car. If they asked do you ever do any of these things womanly chores, I would say yes. Do I sound like an oppressor who needs to be brought to heel by legislative action? The feminists and you might say yes. Intruding legislatively into the home is neither libertarian nor conservative.

I do want to say, though, about this recent finding: I think there are so many different possible explanations at this point for the observed correlation that any guess is bound to be speculative.—Constant

I briefly looked at the study itself and there are some methodological mysteries about the way it was done. See if you can spot them. I too wonder if it really means much. They adjust the data for so many parameters it would be easy for some hidden variables to creep in.
Dave

Nice

Thanks for sharing such an informative post. Really enjoy alot reading it.
Urban Vista condo
Urban Vista-Floor plans

awesome read

Where a person is associated with male erecticle dysfunction, they often aspect down in the mouth, exacerbated and lonely because man aren't able by means of. A lot of guys can hold relief in feeling that erectile dysfunction in addition to a subordinate libido can be turned. By taking the correct steps, a built in could get back your partner's libido in to a firm point that allows precisely the person will be able to have and now sex. phen375 cons

score one. wonderfully

score one. wonderfully written article. Vue 8 residence inflora Condo

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <img> <blockquote> <b> <i> <s> <del> <object> <embed> <script> <param> <center> <hr> <p>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.

More information about formatting options