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Traditional Men Earn More Than Egalitarian Males

Posted by Jane Akre
Monday, September 22, 2008 12:19 PM EST
Category: Protecting Your Family, In The Workplace
Tags: Gender Gap, Happiness, Living Well, Workplace Discrimination

Gender gap in salaries may have something to do with traditional alpha male attitude.

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IMAGE SOURCE:  ©iStockphoto/ Confident CEO/ author: francisblack

 

Society as a whole seems to value men in the workplace who hold more traditional views about being the family breadwinner.  

That is the finding of a study being reported today.

Men with a more egalitarian attitude about the role of women in society, tended to earn significantly less on average than men who believe a woman’s job is in the home taking care of his children.

This study out of the University of Florida looked at data collected from the Labor Department’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth. They began tracking more than 12,000 people in 1979 when they were ages 14 through 22.  They are now 43 to 51 years old.

Beth Livingston, who co-authored the study, said she was taken aback by the results.

"We actually thought maybe men with traditional attitudes work in more complex jobs that pay more or select higher-paying occupations," she said. "Regardless of the jobs people chose, or how long they worked at them, there was still a significant effect of gender role attitudes on income."

The differences were substantial.  

Traditional men earned nearly $12,000 more a year than men with egalitarian views and more than $14,000 more than women who shared their traditional attitudes. Women with a traditional outlook earned the least.

The gap between men and women who share a more egalitarian view was ten times smaller than the traditional group.

The comparisons were between people who not only worked the same kinds of jobs but with the same educational level.

It is the first time social scientists have looked at whether men too may be victims of gender biases. It raises the question as to whether the “gender-gap” disparity in salaries is really a bias between traditional versus more modern ideas about an expanded woman’s role.

It’s typically assumed that the disparity is the result of career choices that men and women choose or the different hours they work. High paying jobs for traditional men include the legal or medical or business professions. For women, education and social work tend to reflect the lower-paying professions.

"Some would say, 'Of course traditional men earn more than traditional women -- they are both fulfilling their desires to play different roles in the home and workplace,' " said Timothy Judge, co-author. "Our results do not support that view. If you were a traditional-minded woman, would you say, 'I am fine working the same hours as a traditional-minded man in the same industry with the same education but earning substantially less'? I don't think traditional-minded women would say that."

Livingston and Judge, both organizational psychologists,  say it’s possible that traditional men might negotiate harder for better salaries or that employers discriminate against women and men who do not subscribe to traditional gender roles.

The results appear in the September issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology but were not designed to analyze how these differences came about or who is happiest.  

It’s predicted that the wage gap may recede as more Americans hold an egalitarian view of gender.

“Traditional values do not have to be traditional gender role values,” Judge added. #


18 Comments

Anonymous User
Posted by Erik
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:23 PM EST

The perception and actions of the individual as "breadwinner" should be looked into as well. In my own experience, being single puts you at a disadvantage against a married man when it comes to raises, the perception is that you now have a family to support and you need the money more. Witness requests for a raise after an individual gets married. Again, when a married individual has children, the person is more likely to ask for a raise, more likely to get it, and is likely to get more money, both because it was asked for and the perceived "need" is greater. How does this affect gender roles? If you fulfill the role of sole breadwinner of a household, you are going to be more likely to ask for a raise, and it is going to be perceived that you need that raise more, and hence you are more likely to get that raise. Married households where the couple both work are probably going to ask for less raises and are going to be perceived as needing one less.

Anonymous User
Posted by Bob
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:36 PM EST

I would like to see this study's method of statistical analysis. As a holder of a Ph.D. in Sociology, I know very well that how the data is analyzed makes all the difference in the world. What was the degree of confidence used? Was descriptive analysis used or inferential statistics? Also, is the statistical analysis in sync with the manner in which the data was collected? These self-serving studies are loved by liberal activist groups like this one.

Anonymous User
Posted by Erik
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:36 PM EST

More to the point, what I am saying is that the wage disparity may not be because of cultural or personal biases of the employer regarding traditional roles themselves, but having to do with how the single man, sole male breadwinner and working couple's monetary needs differ, both in their own perception (leading to asking for more raises,) and the employer's perception (likelihood to agree and grant those raises.) In other words, not an unconscious "he's a good old boy, I'll give him that raise" but possibly "his wife doesn't work, they need that money more, I'll give him that raise."

Anonymous User
Posted by Erik
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:36 PM EST

More to the point, what I am saying is that the wage disparity may not be because of cultural or personal biases of the employer regarding traditional roles themselves, but having to do with how the single man, sole male breadwinner and working couple's monetary needs differ, both in their own perception (leading to asking for more raises,) and the employer's perception (likelihood to agree and grant those raises.) In other words, not an unconscious "he's a good old boy, I'll give him that raise" but possibly "his wife doesn't work, they need that money more, I'll give him that raise."

Anonymous User
Posted by Noe
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:37 PM EST

Erik - Your comments are spot on it. Perhaps I should hide the fact that I never married and don't have kids at my next job (in male dominated-engineering).

Anonymous User
Posted by Erik
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:38 PM EST

Stupid enter key submitted the form. Anyway, finishing what I was writing:

Anonymous User
Posted by Noe
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:39 PM EST

Bob - I *don't* hold a Ph.D in Sociology, but do remember my statistic and psychology courses from way back when.. Point being, you too make an *excellent* point....

Anonymous User
Posted by Erik
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:40 PM EST

Stupid enter key submitted the form. Anyway, finishing what I was writing: I bet if you studied single mothers and married mothers and adjusted for job performance, you would find that single mothers get paid more based on perceived need. That is my unsupported belief.

Anonymous User
Posted by brandon
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:44 PM EST

Erik - "In other words, not an unconscious "he's a good old boy, I'll give him that raise" but possibly "his wife doesn't work, they need that money more, I'll give him that raise.""

Does it matter the reason? Isn't the point being made that there IS a discrepency, not the reason behind the discrepency?

I'm definitely not an expert in this matter, but it seems to me that if people do the same job they should get paid the same amount and have equity in all aspects of employment opportunities and compensation. Or if real equity is a pipe dream, at least examine if this is being held up as legit.

Anonymous User
Posted by Noe
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:50 PM EST

Erik/Bob- To make my *final* point, per the "study", I am an anomaly. My background: (1) I am a thirty something female that holds *very* traditional views; ergo, man as a head of home, wife in most cases best suited to raise children, etc. (2) I have never married and am without children. (3) I contract in engineering. and I know that I make significantly more than my male married counterparts that hold traditional views. I believe this has more to do with my ability to negit

Anonymous User
Posted by noe
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:51 PM EST

arggg.. Stupid return key. What I was saying is that I believe my ability to garner more has to do with my strong negotiating skills. I stay on top of my game as I know that as a female, I am at a disadvantage. This is not to say that I have not been looked over for certain promotions, *but*, for the last 10 years in tech have been able to garner top dollar.

Anonymous User
Posted by Erik
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:53 PM EST

The reason matters for the conclusion of the study. It would be damaging to ascribe the monetary disparity to sexism when it's really being caused by perceptions about who needs the money more because of family monetary status. The difference is still there, there is still a discriminatory factor, but it may not be sexism and in fact may actually be a reasonable rule of thumb. Singles are perceived to need the money less than a married couple because they have less expenses, working married couples have two incomes and are perceived to need the money less that a single-income family. I bet this prejudice holds true very, very often. And if you really do need the money more, you are probably going to be more likely to ask for it, which is going to give you a better chance of getting it than if you didn't. I am just not willing to totally ascribe this to sexism until I see the actual study and see if they account for this.

Anonymous User
Posted by Noe
Monday, September 22, 2008 1:56 PM EST

I think it may have more to do with a person's ability/willingness to take risk. Ergo, As a financially sound individual, I am willing to decline any offer that doesn't meet my standard. Perhaps men with more traditional views are simply more aggressive in their negotiating skills..? Or perhaps traditional/nontraditional views don't matter at all.. At the end of the day, it boils down to your worth to the company AND your ability to negotiate your pay.

Anonymous User
Posted by Erik
Monday, September 22, 2008 2:01 PM EST

For a period of time out of school I was doing programming contracting at a couple different places. Someone clued me on to this very thing, if you say you have a wife and kids you get more money. I tried it and it worked. For a single, the ultimate "job hack." Noe, I suspect if adjusted for hours worked, years of experience and drive, you can find plenty of singles that make more than married couples. I have full time employment now. I can work the long hours, they know it, and I get compensated better. Basically what I did was said, I am salaried, you and I both know that I am in here 60+ hours a week, so I feel like I should be able to get some more money--and it worked! This is a strategy that simply will not work for the strict nine-to-fivers. These are all important variables in these types of studies.

Anonymous User
Posted by Calvin
Monday, September 22, 2008 2:19 PM EST

In a traditional family setting the husband typically will have much less to consider and task to preform when arriving home from work. This allows him to be more focused at work. When both husband and wife are in the workforce the home will have more stress. With the wife in a traditional role the home should be a more relaxed atmosphere. Meals more regular, kids in better order, etc. This will enable the traditional man to be more rested and attentive at work.

Anonymous User
Posted by Gabriel
Monday, September 22, 2008 2:33 PM EST

Keep in mind that there exists a whole host of other variables in these groups of men that go beyond their opinion on traditional roles. Traditional men may have other pressures (to provide) that go beyond the other group. Their career (be it good or bad) may play a more central role in their identity -- therefore having a positive impact on their performance and drive. Non-Traditional men may have an entirely different outlook about their career. You could probably have a long columnar list of attributes on these two groups that will lead to an understanding as to why the results are what they are. Such grand conspiracies of opinion-bigotry as the one suggested only shows the agenda (to confirm the opinion of the researcher) was forthought to the study rather than a true quest for knowledge. People do research (and read books, etc) for 2 reasons: 1. To gain knowledge, 2. to confirm what they think they already know. Most for the second.

Anonymous User
Posted by Bob Bowser
Monday, September 22, 2008 6:38 PM EST

Great comments. It also might be as simple as self actualization. That is, if you believe you are the sole bread winner, then you might work harder at making money. You might make different trade offs when your self worth is to make money for the family versus someone who thinks that is not so tied to their own identity. It is very important to understand this is correlation and does not imply an understanding of the casual link.

Anonymous User
Posted by shanewins
Tuesday, September 23, 2008 11:33 AM EST

Interesting arguments, but there is also the strong (I think stronger), possibility that all of you, and the study itself, have got the study backwords. It is obviously a correlational study, and really its findings don't make much sense as presented. Because you can not infer causation from corellation, I think they possibly got the causation backwards. That is to say that men who are more succesful and get paid more are less likely to feel they "need" the financial contributions of a working wife, and thus more likely to develope traditional views. I think the study and this article put the cart before the horse.

Comments for this article are closed.

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