‘The Real Gender Gap’ – Study finds men lagging in non-STEM fields

Men are doing well in STEM fields, but they are lagging in every other fields. So, where are the feminists?

According to a study by David Card (Berkeley) and Abigail Payne (McMaster University), males are succeeding in science, technology, engineering and mathematics, but they are falling behind in humanities, languages and all of the other non-STEM fields in school.

The report noted that boys and girls in the 12th grade are doing equally as well in STEM programs, but girls are getting the edge in non-STEM fields. This means there is underrepresentation in specific fields of the labor market, which is something that feminists shriek about on a constant basis, at least when it comes to fewer women than men in a particular area.

Alex Tabarrok, a high-profile Canadian-American economist, told the National Post:

“The conventional wisdom is that the gender gap is about women and the forces — discrimination, sexism, parenting, aptitudes and choices — that make women less likely to study in STEM fields,” he said.

“If we accept the results (of Card and Payne), the gender-industry gap is focused on the wrong thing. The real gender gap is that men are having trouble competing everywhere except in STEM.”

Douglas Todd, a Post columnist, ultimately makes a great point: it is about choice of work among genders; not sexism, discrimination, racism, Islamophobic, xenophobia and all of the other buzzwords of the day.

Here is what he writes:

My Vancouver Sun senior editors — Ann Barling, Shelley Fralic, Daphne Gray-Grant, Patricia Graham, Bev Wake, Adrienne Tanner and Valerie Casselton — all earned larger salaries than me.

Which is only fitting, since they were joining with males in taking on the headaches of managing staff (and I can assure readers that herding reporters and columnists is no walk in the park).

All of which goes to suggest a key reason that labour statistics often show women on average earning roughly 20 per cent less than men is not necessarily sexism — it’s that men and women make different choices about working outside the home.

Western labour markets, for instance, are dramatically “segregated” — with men tending to work in the private sector and women in the public.

Statistics Canada’s labour surveys reveal women are four times more likely than men to be employed in the health and social assistance sector — 1.6 million women compared to only 349,000 men.

Women are also more than twice as likely as men to have jobs in the taxpayer-supported realm of education — 876,000 females compared to 424,000 males.

These female-majority jobs are also often unionized, with such employees generally enjoying superior benefits and pensions, things are not always measured as wages.

Meanwhile, Canadian men are far more likely than women to work in the private sector, in, to put it broadly, outdoor jobs.

They’re seven times more likely than women to be in construction, four times more likely to labour in mines and oilfields. And men are a whopping 14 times more inclined to make a living driving trucks and plying various trades.

In the end, Todd suggests that society encourage both genders to go into fields that aren’t conventional for their gender. This is already going on for women and STEM. But what about men and early childhood education and social work?

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