Keeping it Professional

Kevin Lewis

November 03, 2011

The impact of race and rank on the sexual harassment of black and white men in the U.S. Military

Isis Settles, NiCole Buchanan & Brian Colar
Psychology of Men & Masculinity, forthcoming

Although most sexual harassment research has focused on women, men also are targets of sexual harassment, particularly in military settings. Building on the existing literature on women, the present study examines race and rank in the sexual harassment experiences of 1,925 Black and White men in the U.S. military. The results indicated that Black men reported more overall sexual harassment in the past year than White men, and that this relationship was mediated by rank. More frequent sexual harassment was associated with reporting more work role limitations and lower coworker satisfaction. However, these relationships were moderated by race. Specifically, the relationship between more sexual harassment and greater work role limitations was stronger for Black men than White men. In contrast, the relationship between more sexual harassment and lower coworker satisfaction was stronger for White men than Black men. Results are discussed in terms of social and occupational status and work roles for men in the military context.


Engendering Inequity? How Social Accounts Create vs. Merely Explain Unfavorable Pay Outcomes for Women

Maura Belliveau
Organization Science, forthcoming

Two studies examined how managers' pay decisions for male and female employees are affected by the opportunity to provide social accounts and how managers think about the value of accounts for men versus women. I theorized that managers would treat social accounts as substitutes for pay for women but not for men, paradoxically leading managers who could behave more procedurally fairly to create gender-based distributive injustice. Study 1 confirms this hypothesis. Practicing managers who learned before making pay decisions that they could provide a social account - here, an explanation of circumstances justifying low raises - paid women less than men and less than women for whom they could not provide this account. Also as hypothesized, when an account was available, experienced managers paid women less than did inexperienced managers. In addition to pay decisions, participants' explicit beliefs about the value of accounts as substitutes for pay (Study 1) and in motivating male and female employees (Study 2) were examined. When participants expected the account to make the employee feel that he or she had been treated with a high level of procedural fairness (Study 1), or the language of the account explicitly acknowledged and apologized for unfair treatment (Study 2), participants assumed that the account would be significantly more valuable for women than for men. This difference was greater for experienced participants than inexperienced ones. I discuss the implications of this "substitutability thesis" and these results for research on justice and gender as well as for achieving gender equity in the workplace.


The Pseudoscience of Single-Sex Schooling

Diane Halpern et al.
Science, 23 September 2011, Pages 1706-1707

In attempting to improve schools, it is critical to remember that not all reforms lead to meaningful gains for students. We argue that one change in particular - sex-segregated education - is deeply misguided, and often justified by weak, cherry-picked, or misconstrued scientific claims rather than by valid scientific evidence. There is no well-designed research showing that single-sex (SS) education improves students' academic performance, but there is evidence that sex segregation increases gender stereotyping and legitimizes institutional sexism.


Professional Role Confidence and Gendered Persistence in Engineering

Erin Cech et al.
American Sociological Review, October 2011, Pages 641-666

Social psychological research on gendered persistence in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) professions is dominated by two explanations: women leave because they perceive their family plans to be at odds with demands of STEM careers, and women leave due to low self-assessment of their skills in STEM's intellectual tasks, net of their performance. This study uses original panel data to examine behavioral and intentional persistence among students who enter an engineering major in college. Surprisingly, family plans do not contribute to women's attrition during college but are negatively associated with men's intentions to pursue an engineering career. Additionally, math self-assessment does not predict behavioral or intentional persistence once students enroll in a STEM major. This study introduces professional role confidence - individuals' confidence in their ability to successfully fulfill the roles, competencies, and identity features of a profession - and argues that women's lack of this confidence, compared to men, reduces their likelihood of remaining in engineering majors and careers. We find that professional role confidence predicts behavioral and intentional persistence, and that women's relative lack of this confidence contributes to their attrition.


The Gender Pay Gap Beyond Human Capital: Heterogeneity in Noncognitive Skills and in Labor Market Tastes

Wayne Grove, Andrew Hussey & Michael Jetter
Journal of Human Resources, Fall 2011, Pages 827-874

Focused on human capital, economists typically explain about half of the gender earnings gap. For a national sample of MBAs, we account for 82 percent of the gap by incorporating noncognitive skills (for example, confidence and assertiveness) and preferences regarding family, career, and jobs. Those two sources of gender heterogeneity account for a quarter of the "explained" pay gap, with half due to human capital variables and the other quarter due to hours worked and current job characteristics. Female MBAs appear to pay a penalty for "good citizen" behavior (choosing jobs that contribute to society) and characteristics (higher ethical standards).


The Disappearing Gender Gap: The Impact of Divorce, Wages, and Preferences on Education Choices and Women's Work

Raquel Fernández & Joyce Cheng Wong
NBER Working Paper, October 2011

Women born in 1935 went to college significantly less than their male counterparts and married women's labor force participation (LFP) averaged 40% between the ages of thirty and forty. The cohort born twenty years later behaved very differently. The education gender gap was eliminated and married women's LFP averaged 70% over the same ages. In order to evaluate the quantitative contributions of the many significant changes in the economic environment, family structure, and social norms that occurred over this period, this paper develops a dynamic life-cycle model calibrated to data relevant to the 1935 cohort. We find that the higher probability of divorce and the changes in wage structure faced by the 1955 cohort are each able to explain, in isolation, a large proportion (about 60%) of the observed changes in female LFP. After combining all economic and family structure changes, we find that a simple change in preferences towards work can account for the remaining change in LFP. To eliminate the education gender gap requires, on the other hand, for the psychic cost of obtaining higher education to change asymmetrically for women versus men.


The Malthusian intermezzo: Women's wages and human capital formation between the late Middle Ages and the demographic transition of the 19th century

Jan Luiten van Zanden
History of the Family, 24 October 2011, Pages 331-342

The paper offers a new explanation for 'the great conundrum', the acceleration of population growth in England in the second half of the 18th century. It is argued that it was not only population growth that was 'different' in England, but the stagnation of the rise of literacy and of human capital in general, seems to be an anomaly of this period. This 'conundrum' has been explained in the following way. It is demonstrated that in England the gender wage gap increased a lot during the early modern period, which was caused by: (a) the switch from post Black Death labour scarcity to labour surplus, which in particular harmed the economic position of women, and (b) changes in the structure of agriculture, leading to the rise of large-scale, capital intensive and labour extensive farms, which had a very limited demand for female (wage) labour. This is also suggested by the fact that on the Continent (in the Netherlands) a much smaller decline of female wages occurred, because there family farms continued to be quite important. Moreover, the decline of English wages had important effects on its demographic development. It helps to explain the decline of the average age of marriage of in particular women between 1600 and 1800, and the related increase in fertility that occurred in this period - resulting in a much faster rate of population growth after 1750 than elsewhere in Western-Europe. It also helps to explain the stagnation in human capital formation that occurred during the 18th and early 19th century - again a feature peculiar for the English development in these years. The explanation of 'the great conundrum' is therefore intimately linked to the changing position of women on the labour market and within marriage.


A Theory of Sex Differences in Technical Aptitude and Some Supporting Evidence

Frank Schmidt
Perspectives on Psychological Science, November 2011, Pages 560-573

In this article, I present a theory that explains the origin of sex differences in technical aptitudes. The theory takes as proven that there are no sex differences in general mental ability (GMA), and it postulates that sex differences in technical aptitude (TA) stem from differences in experience in technical areas, which is in turn based on sex differences in technical interests. Using a large data set, I tested and found support for four predictions made by this theory: (a) the construct level correlation between technical aptitude and GMA is larger for females than males, (b) the observed and true score variability of technical aptitude is greater among males than females, (c) at every level of GMA females have lower levels of technical aptitude, and (d) technical aptitude measures used as estimates of GMA for decision purposes would result in underestimation of GMA levels for girls and women. Given that GMA carries the weight of prediction of job performance, the support found for this last prediction suggests that, for many jobs, technical aptitude tests may underpredict the job performance of female applicants and employees. Future research should examine this question.


Distancing as a Gendered Barrier: Understanding Women Scientists' Gender Practices

Laura Rhoton
Gender & Society, forthcoming

Gendered barriers to women's advancement in STEM disciplines are subtle, often the result of gender practices, gender stereotypes, and gendered occupational cultures. Professional socialization into scientific cultures encourages and rewards gender practices that help to maintain gendered barriers. This article focuses more specifically on how individual women scientists' gender practices potentially sustain gender barriers. Findings based on interview data from thirty women in academic STEM fields reveal that women draw on gendered expectations and norms within their disciplines to discursively distance themselves from other women they perceive as having deviated from such norms and expectations. The types of distancing in which these respondents engage reflect and support gendered structures, cultures, and practices that ultimately disadvantage women and obscure gender inequality. I conclude by discussing the implications of women scientists' distancing practices for efforts to change the gendered cultures of STEM disciplines.


Unmasking the Myth of the Same-Sex Teacher Advantage

Martin Neugebauer, Marcel Helbig & Andreas Landmann
European Sociological Review, October 2011, Pages 669-689

Trend statistics reveal a striking reversal of a gender gap that has once favoured males: girls have surpassed boys in many aspects of the educational system. At the same time, the share of female teachers has grown in almost all countries of the western world. There is an ongoing, contentious debate on whether the gender of the teacher can account, in part, for the growing educational disadvantage of males. In this study, we use large-scale data from IGLU-E, an expansion of PIRLS in Germany, to estimate whether there is a causal effect of having a same-sex teacher on student outcomes. We estimate effects for typical 'female' subjects and typical 'male' subjects as well as for different student outcomes (objective test scores and more subjective teacher's grades). We find virtually no evidence of a benefit from having a same-sex teacher, neither for boys nor for girls. These findings suggest that the popular call for more male teachers in primary schools is not the key to tackling the growing disadvantage of boys.


Municipal Housekeeping in the American West: Bertha Knight Landes's Entrance into Politics

Tiffany Lewis
Rhetoric & Public Affairs, Fall 2011, Pages 465-491

As Seattle's mayor in 1926, Bertha Landes made history as the first woman elected to lead a large city in the United States. To respond to the complicated demands of female political leadership in the early twentieth century American West, Landes pragmatically appealed to expectations of both public men and domestic women by making arguments from both sameness and difference. Using a rhetoric of municipal housekeeping to justify her entrance into political office, Landes paradoxically asserted beliefs about the difference between men and women in leadership, while simultaneously suggesting her political service did not differ from a man's. Although her municipal housekeeping arguments essentialized women as moral and different, they also assisted her entrance into politics and attested to women's suitability for political leadership. She simultaneously employed a rhetoric of Western masculinity and sameness that reified masculine conceptions of political leadership, and suggested that women's roles in the nation functioned similarly to men's roles, thus expanding the role of women in politics beyond exclusively municipal housekeepers. This analysis not only illustrates the use of sameness and difference arguments in elective office, but also how they oxymoronically functioned together.


Women as Candidates: An Experimental Study in Turkey

Richard Matland & Güneş Murat Tezcür
Politics & Gender, September 2011, Pages 365-390

Patriarchal practices and understandings, especially those based on religious teachings, are seen as serious hindrances to women's access to political power. This obstacle often is seen as greatest in countries where Islam is the dominant religion. This study offers preliminary insights regarding how the sex of political candidates affects voting perceptions and behavior in Turkey, one of the few democratic countries with a Muslim majority population. We designed an experiment in which university students read speeches by candidates from the two major parties (AKP and CHP), randomly varying the sex of the candidates. We find that candidate sex influences respondents' evaluations of areas of competence and perceptions of individual characteristics. It has almost no impact, however, on voting decisions. When it comes to voting, party support and policy stands are vastly more important than candidate sex, even for religiously observant voters.


Gender differences in lying

Jason Childs
Economics Letters, forthcoming

Aversion to lying has been consistently observed in sender-receiver games. Women have demonstrated greater aversion to lying for a small monetary benefit in these games than men. We test the robustness of this gender difference in a sender-receiver game with larger stakes. We find no difference in lying by gender.


Status Incongruity and Backlash Effects: Defending the Gender Hierarchy Motivates Prejudice Against Female Leaders

Laurie Rudman et al.
Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, forthcoming

Agentic female leaders risk social and economic penalties for behaving counter-stereotypically (i.e., backlash; Rudman, 1998), but what motivates prejudice against female leaders? The status incongruity hypothesis (SIH) proposes that agentic women are penalized for status violations because doing so defends the gender hierarchy. Consistent with this view, Study 1 found that women are proscribed from dominant, high status displays (which are reserved for leaders and men); Studies 2-3 revealed that prejudice against agentic female leaders was mediated by a dominance penalty; and in Study 3, participants' gender system-justifying beliefs moderated backlash effects. Study 4 found that backlash was exacerbated when perceivers were primed with a system threat. Study 5 showed that only female leaders who threatened the status quo suffered sabotage. In concert, support for the SIH suggests that backlash functions to preserve male dominance by reinforcing a double standard for power and control.


Sexism and Gender Inequality Across 57 Societies

Mark Brandt
Psychological Science, forthcoming

Theory predicts that individuals' sexism serves to exacerbate inequality in their society's gender hierarchy. Past research, however, has provided only correlational evidence to support this hypothesis. In this study, I analyzed a large longitudinal data set that included representative data from 57 societies. Multilevel modeling showed that sexism directly predicted increases in gender inequality. This study provides the first evidence that sexist ideologies can create gender inequality within societies, and this finding suggests that sexism not only legitimizes the societal status quo, but also actively enhances the severity of the gender hierarchy. Three potential mechanisms for this effect are discussed briefly.


Outrunning the gender gap - boys and girls compete equally

Anna Dreber, Emma von Essen & Eva Ranehill
Experimental Economics, November 2011, Pages 567-582

Recent studies find that women are less competitive than men. This gender difference in competitiveness has been suggested as one possible explanation for why men occupy the majority of top positions in many sectors. In this study we explore competitiveness in children, with the premise that both context and gendered stereotypes regarding the task at hand may influence competitive behavior. A related field experiment on Israeli children shows that only boys react to competition by running faster when competing in a race. We here test if there is a gender gap in running among 7-10 year old Swedish children. We also introduce two female sports, skipping rope and dancing, to see if competitiveness is task dependent. We find no gender difference in reaction to competition in any task; boys and girls compete equally. Studies in different environments with different types of tasks are thus important in order to make generalizable claims about gender differences in competitiveness.


Social and Behavioral Skills and the Gender Gap in Early Educational Achievement

Thomas DiPrete & Jennifer Jennings
Social Science Research, forthcoming

Though many studies have suggested that social and behavioral skills play a central role in gender stratification processes, we know little about the extent to which these skills affect gender gaps in academic achievement. Analyzing data from the Early Child Longitudinal Study-Kindergarten Cohort, we demonstrate that social and behavioral skills have substantively important effects on academic outcomes from kindergarten through fifth grade. Gender differences in the acquisition of these skills, moreover, explain a considerable fraction of the gender gap in academic outcomes during early elementary school. Boys get roughly the same academic return to social and behavioral skills as their female peers, but girls begin school with more advanced social and behavioral skills and their skill advantage grows over time. While part of the effect may reflect an evaluation process that rewards students who better conform to school norms, our results imply that the acquisition of social and behavioral skills enhances learning as well. Our results call for a reconsideration of the family and school-level processes that produce gender gaps in social and behavioral skills and the advantages they confer for academic and later success.


Keeping Women in the Science Pipeline

Marc Goulden, Mary Ann Mason & Karie Frasch
ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, November 2011, Pages 141-162

Premier science largely depends on the quality of the pool of future scientists. Women now represent a large part of the talent pool in the United States, but many data sources indicate that they are more likely than men to "leak" out of the science pipeline before obtaining tenure at a college or university. The authors' research examines this issue in detail, drawing on multiple sources, including the Survey of Doctorate Recipients and several original surveys. Their findings show that family formation - most important marriage and childbirth - accounts for the largest leaks in the pipeline from graduate school to the acquisition of tenure for women in the sciences. The authors also find that researchers receive limited benefits when it comes to family responsive policies, such as paid maternity and parental leave, and that young scientists receive the least. Together, federal agencies and universities can make headway in solving this systemic problem.


Does a Picture Paint a Thousand Words? Evidence from a Microcredit Marketing Experiment

Xavier Giné, Ghazala Mansuri & Mario Picón
World Bank Economic Review, Fall 2011, Pages 508-542

Female entrepreneurship is low in many developing economies partly due to constraints on women's time and mobility, often reinforced by social norms. We analyze a marketing experiment designed to encourage female uptake of a new microcredit product. A brochure with two different covers was randomly distributed among male and female borrowing groups. One cover featured 5 businesses run by men while the other had identical businesses run by women. We find that both men and women respond to psychological cues. Men who are not themselves business owners, have lower measured ability and whose wives are less educated respond more negatively to the female brochure, as do women business owners with low autonomy within the household. Women with relatively high levels of autonomy shown the male brochure have a similar negative response, while there is no effect on female business owners with autonomy shown the female brochure. Overall, these results suggest that women's response to psychological cues, such as positive role models, may be mediated by their autonomy and that more disadvantaged women may require more intensive interventions.


How do female entrepreneurs perform? Evidence from three developing regions

Elena Bardasi, Shwetlena Sabarwal & Katherine Terrell
Small Business Economics, November 2011, Pages 417-441

Using the World Bank Enterprise Survey data, we analyze performance gaps between male- and female-owned companies in three regions-Eastern Europe and Central Asia (ECA), Latin America (LA), and Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). Among our findings are significant gender gaps between male- and female-owned companies in terms of firm size, but much smaller gaps in terms of firm efficiency and growth (except in LA). Part of the reason women run smaller firms is that they tend to concentrate in sectors in which firms are smaller and less efficient (in ECA and SSA). By contrast, we find no evidence of gender discrimination in access to formal finance in any of the three regions, although in ECA women are less likely than men to seek formal finance. Finally, while female entrepreneurs receive smaller loans than their male counterparts, the returns from each dollar they receive is no lower in terms of overall sales revenue.


Women's political leadership participation around the world: An institutional analysis

Amanda Bullough et al.
Leadership Quarterly, forthcoming

Understanding institutional systems is critical for the advancement of women's participation in leadership in varying contexts. A unique and global analysis of the contextual factors that affect women in political leadership, this paper extends prior research in the field. This is a cross-country study where we ask, "How are societal-level institutional forces related to women's participation in political leadership?" We collected data from 8 secondary sources on 181 countries and conducted linear regression analyses with six institutional influences: the business environment, societal development, the economic environment, physical and technological infrastructure, political freedom, and culture. Results indicate that to increase the political leadership participation of women, we need to evaluate the following: customs and trade regulations, graft, the gender gap in political empowerment, public spending on education, the economic viability of the country, access to power and the internet, political freedom, and cultural variables like performance orientation, collectivism, and power distance.



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