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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Women Are Not Men

Some economics are trying to figure out the difference between men and women:
Our latest Freakonomics Radio podcast is called “Women Are Not Men.” ...

Equality of the sexes has long been a goal, and in many ways that goal is being met. But, as you’ll hear on this program, the variance between men and women on some dimensions is still large. … We’re not trying to start any arguments. We’re just trying to look at the data that show differences between men and women to figure out why those differences exist, and how meaningful they are.
Among the sex differences, they mention two that are overwhelming male even tho they are sex-blind: US patents and Wikipedia edits. Nevertheless they quote scholars who are looking for some sort of invidious sex discrimination. One of them sought out a matriachal tribe on the other side of the world where the women are more willing to take risk than the men. All that to try to show that obvious sex differences are cultural.

The biggest unexplained paradox of all is that feminism has been making women unhappy ever since about 1970:
DUBNER: So how do you explain it, Betsey? I mean, women were given a larger choice set, which economists tell us larger choice sets to a degree are really good. Women were given and accomplished in a lot of other areas that we would associate with, you know, benefits of different kinds: financial benefits, psychic benefits, and so on. How do you account for the decline? How do you account for the paradox? What are the mechanisms by which that paradox exists?

STEVENSON: Well you know, first of all, we call it a paradox because we don’t know the answer. What we found was this decline in women’s well-being relative to men was seen not just in the United States, but was seen in Europe, it was seen in every country where we were able to get a long-enough time period to be able to look at several decades of trends in well-being. And it occurred in countries where the gains for women differed substantially. So I know a lot of people would like to say, Oh, this goes to show that, you know, women entering the labor force has been very difficult for them and it’s reduced their well-being. But, you know, our research doesn’t make that case because we saw the declines in well-being relative to men in countries where women had very little change in their labor force participation, and similar changes in countries where women had very large gains in their labor-force participation.
The best explanation came from this comment, which was hidden because it was so heavily disliked:
Women are designed to seek out men who they deem above them in status. So by elevating the status of women you are shrinking the number of partners they consider suitable. As a result, this has created a lot of lonely and unhappy women. They either drop out of the dating market because they cannot get commitment from the men they desire or they settle for someone who isn’t really above them in status (hence why they initiate 70% of divorce proceedings). It shows in statistics that when a woman contributes 50% or more to household income the marriage is very shaky. When there is a huge disparity in contribution to household income in the men’s favour both sexes are happier and the marriages have lower divorce rates.

The Wall Street journal did a piece on female desire to marry upwards, you can check it out here.
The feminist response was to blame the patriarchy for any desire to marry up:
The only reason there is a desire to marry upwards is that for thousands of years in so many cultures women were not allowed to accumulate their own wealth. Often they could work, but their paychecks went to their husbands who could go and collect it from the employer.

The same applied here in the USA for many decades.

That is what a Patriarchal culture dictates, women and children as property and a woman must be under the care of her nearest male relative. Father first, brother or husband, etc.

No wonder they would try and marry up…
These feminists refuse to accept that anything could be human nature.

Here is some of that new academic research:
The notion that a man should earn more than his wife not only impacts marriage rates, the researchers show, but also influences how much a married woman works outside the home and how household chores are divided. Moreover, women who deviate from that norm pay a social price.

Women outearn their husbands in nearly a quarter of households with spouses between 18 and 65 years old, according to data from the 2010 American Community Survey. But their increased paycheck comes at a price, as the researchers show. They find that marriage rates decline when a woman has the potential to outearn her husband. Using US Census Bureau data from 1970 to 2010, Bertrand and her coauthors find that the more likely it is that a wife can earn more than her husband, the less likely she is to work outside the home.

Moreover, among adults age 25 to 39, marriage rates have declined from about 81 percent in 1970 to 51 percent in 2010. The authors calculate that as much as 29 percent of that decline may be linked to aversion to a wife earning more than her husband.

A married woman earning more increases the probability of unhappiness in her union. Using data from 4,000 married couples surveyed as part of the US National Survey of Families and Households, the researchers show that the percentage of people who report being “very happy” with their marriage declines when a woman earns more money than her husband.
The Half Sigma blogger offers this better explanation:
But the big problem with this article is that it just assumes that all these problems are because men are intimidated by women who earn more money than them.

I think there’s a good chance that it’s the exact opposite that’s happening. There are many (most?) women who are only sexually attracted to men who earn more money and they look down upon men who can’t even earn as much money as a woman as losers who are unworthy husbands.
Here is my theory. Women are happiest when they have a lasting marriage to a man they can look up to. Feminism has taught them that they will have more choices in life if patriarchal marriage is destroyed. Someday they will realize that feminissm has made them worse off.

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