The gender wage gap myth

I was once antagonistic to the idea that the gender wage gap we’re always hearing about was really a myth. I mean, I wasn’t totally against the notion; when the evidence was presented to me, I accepted it as far as I saw it go, which was from women making 72-77% of men to women making more like 92% of male earnings. But I now believe that number to be more like 95%. That’s still a problem, but not one that I think merits government intervention like it once did. It’s a problem that is borne of certain cultural conditions that are beyond what any law can change (and, indeed, some of it isn’t even a problem where it’s simply a matter of choice on the part of the individual). Moreover, boys are increasingly being left behind in grade school; their behavior is seen as quintessentially wrong and in need of correction (hence why it is boys, not girls, who are given more Ritalin prescriptions). Even moreover, enrollment in higher education is somewhere around 60% female at this point. Simply put, women are poised better now than ever to not only overcome the (real) wage gap, but to reverse the trend. (I don’t expect anyone to raise a stink when that happens, though – at the very least, the anti-egalitarian feminists won’t.)

So, inspired by a comment left here, I want to dispel the gender wage gap myth with this abridged article:

Why the Gender Pay Gap is a Complete Myth

Men are far more likely to choose careers that are more dangerous, so they naturally pay more.

Men are far more likely to work in higher-paying fields and occupations (by choice).

Men are far more likely to take work in uncomfortable, isolated, and undesirable locations that pay more. Men work longer hours than women do.

Men are more likely to take jobs that require work on weekends and evenings and therefore pay more.

Even within the same career category, men are more likely to pursue high-stress and higher-paid areas of specialization.

Despite all of the above, unmarried women who’ve never had a child actually earn more than unmarried men, according to Nemko and data compiled from the Census Bureau.

Women business owners make less than half of what male business owners make, which, since they have no boss, means it’s independent of discrimination.

Each one of the claims is backed up either with a direct citation or in reference to other cited work. Now, one may argue, for instance, that women choosing to spend more time caring for children than men do is a remnant of a patriarchal society. Then, if one is a feminist caricature, one may say the word “privilege” a half dozen times. Finally, one may conclude that traditional male and female roles are in and of themselves sexist and ought to be changed. However, one would be talking about an entirely different issue than the gender wage gap. Because, as we can all see based upon the clear and convincing evidence, the gender wage gap is almost entirely a myth.

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3 Responses

  1. Stuff like this is why I am no longer a supporter of Atheists of Maine.. there is a gap even when its for the same job.. 7-10% Its real. No matter how you try to deny it.. Numbers don’t lie..

  2. You aren’t a supporter of an entire group because I believe the gender pay gap is 5%, but you think it’s 7%? Really?

    As for Forbes, I’ve found multiple articles about the pay gap. Some cite the false 77% number. Others talk about the myth. I’ll let you guess which ones look at comparisons of pay for the same work.

  3. As I have said before and will undoubtedly say again, Michael, some peoples politics require inequality. Mine do not. I think, on the whole, yours do not. However anniemarin’s certainly seem to.

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