Feminist group admits ‘pay gap’ is caused by women’s choices

www.campusreform.org | Toni Airaksinen

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has finally admitted that the “gender pay gap” is caused primarily by women’s choices, not discrimination.

 

  • In fact, the AAUW’s own research suggests that only about 7% of the observed pay gap can be attributed to discrimination, with simple economic factors accounting for the remainder.

 

The American Association of University Women (AAUW) has finally admitted that the “gender pay gap” is caused by women’s choices.

In a recent article on the gender pay gap, AAUW Senior Researcher Kevin Miller concedes that the pay disparity between women and men isn’t caused primarily by discrimination, but rather by the personal and professional choices that women make.

“The gender pay gap is…not an estimate of the effect of discrimination.”   

These choices include the tendency of women to work fewer hours to focus on “domestic work” and accept “reduced job tenure resulting from breaks in labor-force participation to raise children.”

[RELATED: AAUW tells white feminists to ‘confront your privilege’]

Miller even notes that women tend to choose lower-paying jobs than do men, pointing out that dangerous jobs such as “construction, manufacturing, and transport” are predominantly done by men, while “most workers in health care and education occupations are women.”

The problem is that male-dominated professions tend to offer higher pay, he says, asserting that “parking lot attendants (usually men) are paid more to watch cars than full-time child care workers (usually women) are paid to care for children, even though child care workers are increasingly being pushed to earn a college credential.”

Citing data from the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, though, he also confirms that not only are women more likely to work part-time, but also that “among full-time workers, men work longer hours on average than do women.”

[RELATED: ‘#FeministHalloween’ costumes defy ‘internalized misogyny’]

While Miller cites women’s choices as the cause of the pay gap, he doesn’t suggest that women’s choices can solve it.

In response to a common question the AAUW receives regarding whether women should “choose higher-paying jobs,” Miller is mum on whether this could make a difference, merely noting that women can’t avoid  “societal bias by choosing a career in an occupation that is higher paying.”

The AAUW, which celebrates seven different equal pay days, has campaigned relentlessly over the past few years to argue that the gender pay gap is due to discrimination, but this appears to be the first article in which the organization takes a more nuanced approach to the issue.

[RELATED: AAUW: Humans will ‘walk on Mars’ before gender gap closes]

Indeed, Miller acknowledges that to the extent that discrimination against women actually does influence the pay gap, only about “7 percent” is explained by gender, according to AAUW research, while another study pegged the figure at 8 percent.

“The gender pay gap is an estimate of the actual gap in pay between men and women, not an estimate of the effect of discrimination,” he explains, though he then goes on to argue that discrimination is still a problem.

“These estimates of the gap due to gender bias and discrimination are smaller than the overall gender pay gap, but the gap due to bias and discrimination is still substantial,” he concludes. “Regardless of how much of the pay gap is due to gender bias and pay discrimination, the size of the overall gap—the difference in actual pay received by women and men—is still an important indicator of the economic inequality faced by women in the United States.”

Campus Reform reached out to the AAUW for comment, but did not receive a response in time for publication.

Why do women still earn a lot less than men?

The Economist

Why do women still earn a lot less than men?

When they do the same job, though, their salaries are practically the same

PAYROLL clerks across Britain are busier than usual. By April next year large employers must publish data on the gap in pay between their male and female workers. Many have already complied. In America, by contrast, President Donald Trump recently halted a similar rule that would have taken effect next year. Such requirements are meant to energise efforts towards equal pay for men and women. The data suggest that a new approach is needed. In the OECD, a group of rich and middle-income countries, median wages for women working full time are 85% of those for men. Why do women still earn so much less?

Contrary to popular belief, it is not because employers pay women less than men for doing the same jobs. According to data from 25 countries, gathered by Korn Ferry, a consultancy, women earn 98% of the wages of men who are in the same roles at the same employers. Women, however, outnumber men in lower-tier jobs, such as secretarial and administrative roles, whereas men predominate in senior positions. And women cluster in occupations and industries that pay lower salaries overall. Primary-school teachers in the OECD, for example, earn nearly 20% less than the average for university graduates. In the European Union nearly 70% of working women are in occupations where at least 60% of employees are female. In America, the four jobs done by the biggest numbers of women—teacher, nurse, secretary and health aide—are all at l

The main reason why women are less likely than men to reach higher-level positions is that they are their children’s primary carers. In eight countries polled by The Economist and YouGov earlier this year, 44-75% of women with children living at home said they had scaled back at work after becoming mothers—by working fewer hours or by switching to a less demanding job, such as one requiring less travel or overtime. Only 13-37% of fathers said they had done so, and more than half of those men said their partner had also scaled back. This pattern means that men get a better shot at a pay rise or a promotion than their female colleagues, and are less likely to be in jobs for which they are overqualified. A recent study estimated that in America women’s future wages fall, on average, by 4% per child, and by 10% per child in the case of the highest-earning, most skilled white women. In Britain, a mother’s wages fall by 2% for each year she is out of the workforce, and by twice as much if she has good school-leaving qualifications.

Women’s lower salaries mean that they often fall into poverty when they divorce or are widowed. Lack of financial independence prevents some from leaving abusive partners. Policies and workplace norms that make it easier for men to split parental duties equally with their partners can tip the scale. Parents, for their part, need to instil in their children the idea that they can be anything—and not only if they are girls. Gender equality will remain elusive until boys are as excited as girls about becoming teachers, nurses and full-time parents.

Male and female brains wired differently, scans reveal

www.theguardian.com

Maps of neural circuitry show women’s brains are suited to social skills and memory, men’s perception and co-ordination.

Men women brains

Neural map of a typical man’s brain. Photograph: National Academy of Sciences/PA

Scientists have drawn on nearly 1,000 brain scans to confirm what many had surely concluded long ago: that stark differences exist in the wiring of male and female brains.

Maps of neural circuitry showed that on average women’s brains were highly connected across the left and right hemispheres, in contrast to men’s brains, where the connections were typically stronger between the front and back regions.

Ragini Verma, a researcher at the University of Pennsylvania, said the greatest surprise was how much the findings supported old stereotypes, with men’s brains apparently wired more for perception and co-ordinated actions, and women’s for social skills and memory, making them better equipped for multitasking.

“If you look at functional studies, the left of the brain is more for logical thinking, the right of the brain is for more intuitive thinking. So if there’s a task that involves doing both of those things, it would seem that women are hardwired to do those better,” Verma said. “Women are better at intuitive thinking. Women are better at remembering things. When you talk, women are more emotionally involved – they will listen more.”

She added: “I was surprised that it matched a lot of the stereotypes that we think we have in our heads. If I wanted to go to a chef or a hairstylist, they are mainly men.”

Female brain
Neural map of a typical woman’s brain. Photograph: National Academy of Sciences/PA

The findings come from one of the largest studies to look at how brains are wired in healthy males and females. The maps give scientists a more complete picture of what counts as normal for each sex at various ages. Armed with the maps, they hope to learn more about whether abnormalities in brain connectivity affect brain disorders such as schizophrenia and depression.

Verma’s team used a technique called diffusion tensor imaging to map neural connections in the brains of 428 males and 521 females aged eight to 22. The neural connections are much like a road system over which the brain’s traffic travels.

The scans showed greater connectivity between the left and right sides of the brain in women, while the connections in men were mostly confined to individual hemispheres. The only region where men had more connections between the left and right sides of the brain was in the cerebellum, which plays a vital role in motor control. “If you want to learn how to ski, it’s the cerebellum that has to be strong,” Verma said. Details of the study are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Male and female brains showed few differences in connectivity up to the age of 13, but became more differentiated in 14- to 17-year-olds.

“It’s quite striking how complementary the brains of women and men really are,” Ruben Gur, a co-author on the study, said in a statement. “Detailed connectome maps of the brain will not only help us better understand the differences between how men and women think, but it will also give us more insight into the roots of neurological disorders, which are often sex-related.”

Are women paid less than men for the same work?

www.economist.com

When all job differences are accounted for, the pay gap almost disappears

MEDIA organisations aspire to cover news, not make it. But the BBC, Britain’s public broadcaster, has found itself in an uncomfortable spotlight since July 19th, when it published the names of its employees who earn at least £150,000 ($195,000) a year. The ensuing furore was less over the absolute level of pay than about the differences between men’s and women’s incomes. Some female presenters discovered that they made much less than male colleagues they regarded as peers. Just over half of the BBC’s staff are men, but among the 96 high earners listed, two-thirds are male.

In a petition, female presenters said this was evidence that women at the BBC are paid less than men “for the same work”. If that were true for the company as a whole, it would make the BBC an outlier. Although the average woman’s salary in Britain is 29% lower than the average man’s, the bulk of that gap results from differences in rank within companies, firms’ overall compensation rates and the nature of the tasks a job requires. According to data for 8.7m employees worldwide gathered by Korn Ferry, a consultancy, women in Britain make just 1% less than men who have the same function and level at the same employer. In most European countries, the discrepancy is similarly small. These numbers do not show that the labour market is free of sex discrimination. However, they do suggest that the main problem today is not unequal pay for equal work, but whatever it is that leads women to be in lower-ranking jobs at lower-paying organisations.

Moreover, even if the bulk of the BBC’s 9,000 female employees are not underpaid relative to their male colleagues, the list does suggest a problem among the broadcaster’s top brass. That pattern is fairly common. Pay gaps between men and women in the same roles at the same employers are narrow across Europe for 15 of the 16 job levels in Korn Ferry’s database—but the highest one is the exception. In Spain and Germany, top-ranking women make 15-20% less than similarly high-flying men.

A new law in Britain requires all medium-to-large employers to publish data on the pay gap between their male and female workers by April 2018. The reactions to the BBC’s list suggest they would be wise to break these data down for comparable jobs. That will show more precisely where the problem lies.

Male victims of domestic violence are being failed by the system

www.independent.co.uk | Skylar Baker-Jordan

“According to a 2010 study by Parity, a men’s issues campaigning group, more than 40 per cent of victims of domestic violence are male. Yet startlingly, as BBC London reported last week, there are no refuges in London (and only 18 nationally) that serve men. That is despite a nearly 80 per cent increase in reports from male victims between 2012 and 2016.”

“Men who speak out are already facing patriarchal and societal backlash. When they do, they have few places in which to escape the violence they face at home. Unless society can address the stigma surrounding male victims and the Government can provide refuges dedicated to protecting and serving them, this epidemic will continue to grow, with violent and deadly consequences.”

The science behind why men like young, thin women

peerj.com | The relationship of female physical attractiveness to body fatness

“Fitness in evolutionary terms comprises two things: survival and the ability to reproduce,” Speakman explains. “What we wanted to investigate was the idea that when we look at someone and think they are physically attractive, are we actually making that assessment based on a hard-wired evolutionary understanding of their potential for future survival and reproductive ability?”

“Although most people will not be surprised that extreme thinness was perceived as the most attractive body type, since this prevails so heavily in media, culture and fashion, the important advance is that now we have an evolutionary understanding of why this is the case.”

 

 

A reason why white is beautiful?

This seems to provide some compelling evidence that the reason why whitening products are popular in S.E. Asia is not due to Western Imperialism but rather how we perceive what is feminine.

evoandproud.blogspot.co.uk | Peter Frost

A darker shade of pale

Human faces

Subjects identified the left-hand image as a woman and the right-hand one as a man. Yet the two images differ only in skin tone. Study by Richard Russell, Sinha Laboratory for Vision Research, MIT.

Skin color differs by sex: women are fairer and men browner and ruddier. Women also exhibit a greater contrast in luminosity between their facial skin and their lip and eye areas. These differences arise from differing concentrations of three skin pigments: melanin (brown); hemoglobin (red); and carotene (yellow). The cause is ultimately hormonal, as shown by studies on castrated and ovariectomized adults, on boys and girls during puberty, and on digit ratios (Edwards and Duntley, 1939; Edwards and Duntley, 1949; Edwards et al., 1941; Frost, 2010; Kalla and Tiwari, 1970; Manning et al., 2004; Mesa, 1983; Omoto,1965; Porcheron et al., 2013). Women are fairer than men in all human populations. The difference is greatest in people of medium color and least in very dark- or very fair-skinned people, apparently because of “floor” or “ceiling” effects (Frost, 2007).

This sex difference is used by the human mind for sex recognition. In fact, it’s more important for this purpose than other visual cues, like face shape. When subjects are shown an image of a human face, they can tell whether it is male or female even if blurred and differing only in hue and luminosity. Hue provides a “fast channel” for sex recognition. If the facial image is too far away or the lighting too dim, the mind switches to the “slow channel” and relies on luminosity (Bruce and Langton, 1994; Dupuis-Roy et al., 2009; Frost, 2011; Hill et al., 1995; Russell and Sinha, 2007; Russell et al., 2006; Tarr et al., 2001; Tarr et al., 2002).

Age differences

Skin color also differs by age. It can be used to distinguish younger from older women, since the contrast in luminosity between facial skin and the lip/eye areas decreases with age (Porcheron et al., 2013). It can also be used to recognize infants. All humans are born with very little melanin, and the resulting pinkish-white skin is often remarked upon in different cultures.

This is especially so where adults are normally dark-skinned, in striking contrast to newborns. In Kenya, the latter are often called mzungu (‘European’ in Swahili), and a new mother may ask her neighbors to come and see her mzungu (Walentowitz, 2008). Among the Tuareg, children are said to be whitened by the freshness and moisture of the womb (Walentowitz, 2008). The situation in other African peoples is summarized by a French anthropologist: “There is a rather widespread concept in Black Africa, according to which human beings, before ‘coming’ into this world, dwell in heaven, where they are white. For, heaven itself is white and all the beings dwelling there are also white. Therefore the whiter a child is at birth, the more splendid it is” (Zahan, 1974, p. 385). A Belgian anthropologist makes the same point: “black is thus the color of maturity […] White on the other hand is a sign of the before-life and the after-life: the African newborn is light-skinned and the color of mourning is white kaolin” (Maertens, 1978, p. 41).

This infant/adult difference is evolutionarily old, being present in nonhuman primates. In langurs, baboons, and macaques, the newborn’s skin is pink while the adult’s is black. This visual cue not only helps adults to locate a wayward infant but also seems to induce a desire to defend and provide care (Jay, 1962). Humans may respond similarly to the lighter color of infants and women. This would be consistent with a tendency by the adult female body to mimic the newborn body in other ways: face shape; pitch of voice; amount of body hair; texture and pliability of the skin; etc. Over time, women may have come to resemble this ‘infant schema’ because it is the one that can best reduce aggressiveness in a male partner and induce him to assume a provider role.

The sun-tanning fad: An aesthetic revolution

The sex-specific aspects of skin color have influenced the development of cosmetics in many cultures. Even in ancient times, women would use makeup to increase the natural contrast in luminosity between their facial skin and their lip/eye areas (Russell, 2009; Russell, 2010). They would also make their naturally fair complexion even fairer by avoiding the sun and applying white powders or bleaching agents.

This feminine aesthetic changed radically in the 1920s with the sudden popularity of sun-tanning throughout the Western world, initially as a health fad. Tanned skin then entered women’s fashion and became part of the flapper image, along with bobbed hair, broad shoulders, a relatively flat chest, narrow hips, and long legs. This fashion image was intended to be hermaphroditic, the aim being to energize the erotic appeal of the female body by masculinizing some of its key features (Bard, 1998; Segrave, 2005).

Has the tanning fad un-gendered skin color? Not wholly, to judge by the above studies on sex recognition. There still seems to be a tendency to prefer a lighter skin tone for women than for men. This was the conclusion of a recent study on how people perceive two skin pigments: melanin (brown) and carotene (yellow). When shown facial images with varying concentrations of melanin and carotene, the subjects had a greater preference for carotene than for melanin. This preference was stronger for female faces than for male faces, irrespective of the observer’s sex. Nonetheless, for both male and female faces, the preferred skin color was much darker than it would have been a century ago (Lefevre and Perrett, 2014).

Again, this aesthetic norm has darkened only in the Western world. The tanned look had some popularity among Japanese women in the postwar era up to the 1970s, but it has since gone out of fashion (Ashikari, 2005). It never did catch on elsewhere in Asia (Li et al., 2008). In North America and Europe, the tanned look seems much more persistent, and this persistence suggests that it is locked into place by something else in our cultural environment.

Such as …? One factor may be the conscious effort to promote images of dark-skinned people in advertising and, more generally, in popular culture. Another factor may be a half-conscious desire in popular culture for more aggressive, “harder” forms of eroticism. This is something that fair skin is less effective at delivering, having been originally part of the infant schema and thus less conducive to that kind of emotional response.

References

Ashikari, M. (2005). Cultivating Japanese whiteness. The ‘whitening’ cosmetics boom and the Japanese identity, Journal of Material Culture, 10, 73-91.

Bard, C. (1998). Les Garçonnes. Modes et fantasmes des Années folles, Flammarion, Paris.

Bruce, V., and S. Langton. (1994). The use of pigmentation and shading information in recognising the sex and identities of faces, Perception, 23(7), 803-822.

Dupuis-Roy, N., I. Fortin, D. Fiset, and F. Gosselin. (2009). Uncovering gender discrimination cues in a realistic setting, Journal of Vision, 9(2), 10, 1-8.

http://journalofvision.org/9/2/10/

Edwards, E.A. and S.Q. Duntley. (1949). Cutaneous vascular changes in women in reference to the menstrual cycle and ovariectomy, American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology, 57, 501-509.

Edwards, E.A. and S.Q. Duntley. (1939).The pigments and color of living human skin, American Journal of Anatomy, 65, 1-33.

Edwards, E.A., J.B. Hamilton, S.Q. Duntley, and G. Hubert. (1941). Cutaneous vascular and pigmentary changes in castrate and eunuchoid men, Endocrinology, 28, 119-128.

Frost, P. (2011). Hue and luminosity of human skin: a visual cue for gender recognition and other mental tasks, Human Ethology Bulletin,

http://www.researchgate.net/publication/256296588_Hue_and_luminosity_of_human_skin_a_visual_cue_for_gender_recognition_and_other_mental_tasks/file/72e7e5223eb2c3eb3b.pdf

Frost, P. (2010). Femmes claires, hommes foncés. Les racines oubliées du colorisme, Québec: Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 202 p.

Frost, P. (2007). Comment on Human skin-color sexual dimorphism: A test of the sexual selection hypothesis, American Journal of Physical Anthropology, 133, 779-781.

Hill, H., Bruce, V., and S. Akamatsu. (1995). Perceiving the sex and race of faces: The role of shape and colour, Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 261, 367-373.

Jay, P.C. (1962). Aspects of maternal behavior among langurs, Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences, 102, 468-476.

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1749-6632.1962.tb13653.x/abstract

Kalla, A.K. and S.C. Tiwari. (1970). Sex differences in skin colour in man, Acta Geneticae Medicae et Gemellologiae, 19, 472-476.

Lefevre, C.E. and D.I. Perrrett. (2014). Fruit over sunbed: Carotenoid skin colouration is found more attractive than melanin colouration, The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology,

http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17470218.2014.944194#tabModulehttp://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/17470218.2014.944194#tabModule

Li, E.P.H., H.J. Min, R.W. Belk, J. Kimura, and S. Bahl. (2008). Skin lightening and beauty in four Asian cultures, Advances in Consumer Research, 35, 444-449.

http://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/v35/naacr_vol35_273.pdf

Maertens, J-T. (1978). Le dessein sur la peau. Essai d’anthropologie des inscriptions tégumentaires, Ritologiques I, Paris: Aubier Montaigne.

Manning, J.T., P.E. Bundred, and F.M. Mather. (2004). Second to fourth digit ratio, sexual selection, and skin colour, Evolution and Human Behavior, 25, 38-50.

http://www.ehbonline.org/article/S1090-5138(03)00082-5/abstract

Mesa, M.S. (1983). Analyse de la variabilité de la pigmentation de la peau durant la croissance, Bulletin et mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris, t. 10 series 13, 49-60.

http://www.persee.fr/web/revues/home/prescript/article/bmsap_0037-8984_1983_num_10_1_3882

Omoto, K. (1965). Measurements of skin reflectance in a Japanese twin sample, Journal of the Anthropological Society of Nippon (Jinruigaku Zassi), 73, 115-122.

http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/130003726811/http://ci.nii.ac.jp/naid/130003726811/

Porcheron, A., E. Mauger, and R. Russell (2013). Aspects of facial contrast decrease with age and are cues for age perception, PLoS ONE 8(3): e57985

http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0057985

Russell, R. (2010). Why cosmetics work. In R. Adams, N. Ambady, K. Nakayama, and S. Shimojo. (eds.) The Science of Social Vision, New York: Oxford.

http://public.gettysburg.edu/~rrussell/Russell_SocialVision_cosmetics_chapter.pdf

Russell, R. (2009). A sex difference in facial contrast and its exaggeration by cosmetics, Perception, 38, 1211-1219

http://public.gettysburg.edu/~rrussell/Russell_2009.pdf

Russell, R. (2003). Sex, beauty, and the relative luminance of facial features, Perception, 32, 1093-1107.

Russell, R. and P. Sinha. (2007). Real-world face recognition: The importance of surface reflectance properties, Perception, 36, 1368-1374.

Russell, R., P. Sinha, I. Biederman, and M. Nederhouser. (2006). Is pigmentation important for face recognition? Evidence from contrast negation, Perception, 35, 749-759.

Segrave, K. (2005). Suntanning in 20th Century America, Jefferson (North Carolina), McFarland & Co.

Tarr, M. J., Kersten, D., Cheng, Y., and Rossion, B. (2001). It’s Pat! Sexing faces using only red and green, Journal of Vision, 1(3), 337, 337a

http://journalofvision.org/1/3/337/

Walentowitz, S. (2008). Des êtres à peaufiner. Variations de la coloration et de la pigmentation du nouveau-né, in J-P. Albert, B. Andrieu, P. Blanchard, G. Boëtsch, and D. Chevé (eds.), Coloris Corpus, (pp. 113-120), Paris: CNRS Éditions, 2008.

Zahan, D. (1974). White, Red and Black: Colour Symbolism in Black Africa, in A. Portmann and R. Ritsema (eds.) The Realms of Colour, Eranos 41 (1972), 365-395, Leiden: Eranos.

 

 

Short men and overweight women ‘earn £1,500 less at work’

Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development

“Study points to ‘awful but true’ unconscious biases among employers, say experts

Employers are being warned not to unwittingly discriminate against people because of their height or weight, after researchers at the University of Exeter found that short men and overweight women earn less.”

“A study that examined data from 120,000 people between the ages of 40 and 70 uncovered a link between body mass index, height and earnings, with men who are shorter than the national average of 5ft9 and women who are heavier than average (11 stone) found to earn around £1,500 a year less than their counterparts.”

“Professor Tim Frayling, from the university’s medical school, said: “This is the best available evidence to indicate that your height or weight can directly influence your earnings and other socioeconomic factors throughout your life.”

Is this a new intersection of discrimination? Or could it be that we look for protector qualities in men and fertility qualities in women. This is why being fat isn’t an issue for men and being short isn’t an issue for women…

Why men often die earlier than women

www.health.harvard.edu

“On average, women live longer than men. In fact, 57% of all those ages 65 and older are female. By age 85, 67% are women. The average lifespan is about 5 years longer for women than men in the U.S., and about 7 years longer worldwide.”

“There are many reasons why the ratio of men to women (which is roughly equal in young adulthood) starts to favor women over time. Among the most powerful factors? Men tend to

  • take bigger risks.
  • have more dangerous jobs.
  • die of heart disease more often and at a younger age.
  • be larger than women.
  • commit suicide more often than women.
  • be less socially connected.
  • avoid doctors.

I wouldn’t bother with the comments though, mostly uninformed, anecdotal, emotional responses.