No, Women Don’t Make Less Money Than Men

Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty

Photo by CBS Photo Archive/Getty

It’s the bogus statistic that won’t die—and president deployed it during the State of the Union—but women do not make 77 cents to every dollar a man earns.

Christina Hoff Sommers writes:  President Obama repeated the spurious gender wage gap statistic in his State of the Union address. “Today,” he said, “women make up about half our workforce. But they still make 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. That is wrong, and in 2014, it’s an embarrassment.”

What is wrong and embarrassing is the President of the United States reciting a massively discredited factoid. The 23-cent gender pay gap is simply the difference between the average earnings of all men and women working full-time. It does not account for differences in occupations, positions, education, job tenure, or hours worked per week. When all these relevant factors are taken into consideration, the wage gap narrows to about five cents. And no one knows if the five cents is a result of discrimination or some other subtle, hard-to-measure difference between male and female workers. In its fact-checking column on the State of the Union, the Washington Post included the president’s mention of the wage gap in its list of dubious claims. “There is clearly a wage gap, but differences in the life choices of men and women… make it difficult to make simple comparisons.”

Consider, for example, how men and women differ in their college majors. Here is a list (PDF) of the ten most remunerative majors compiled by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. Men overwhelmingly outnumber women in all but one of them:

1.   Petroleum Engineering: 87% male

2.   Pharmacy Pharmaceutical Sciences and Administration: 48% male

3.   Mathematics and Computer Science: 67% male

4.   Aerospace Engineering: 88% male

5.   Chemical Engineering: 72% male

6.   Electrical Engineering: 89% male

7.   Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering: 97% male

8.   Mechanical Engineering: 90% male

9.   Metallurgical Engineering: 83% male

10. Mining and Mineral Engineering: 90% male

And here are the 10 least remunerative majors—where women prevail in nine out of ten:

1.  Counseling Psychology: 74% female

2.  Early Childhood Education: 97% female

3.  Theology and Religious Vocations: 34% female

4.  Human Services and Community Organization: 81% female

5.  Social Work: 88% female

6.  Drama and Theater Arts: 60% female

7.   Studio Arts: 66% female

8.   Communication Disorders Sciences and Services: 94% female

9.   Visual and Performing Arts: 77% female

10. Health and Medical Preparatory Programs: 55% female

Much of the wage gap can be explained away by simply taking account of college majors. Early childhood educators and social workers can expect to earn around $36,000 and $39,000, respectively. By contrast, petroleum engineering and metallurgy degrees promise median earnings of $120,000 and $80,000. Not many aspiring early childhood educators would change course once they learn they can earn more in metallurgy or mining. The sexes, taken as a group, are somewhat different. Women, far more than men, appear to be drawn to jobs in the caring professions; and men are more likely to turn up in people-free zones. In the pursuit of happiness, men and women appear to take different paths…

Read the rest…

The Daily Beast


One Comment on “No, Women Don’t Make Less Money Than Men”

  1. Richard M Nixon (Deceased) says:

    Reblogged this on Dead Citizen's Rights Society.


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