One consistent complaint from feminists is that women aren’t represented proportionally in the sciences, and professions having to do with computer science and the like. The usual explanation for this is some variation on the idea that we’re a gender-biased society. But rather than some grand conspiracy against the fairer sex by a patriarchal oligarchy, maybe the the gender gap is best explained by women simply having different interests and priorities than men.
This chart, breaking down AP subject exams by gender (source here) is pretty revealing:
Mark Perry has more analysis, but even without digging further into the numbers the differences in academic interest are striking.
Maybe there is a “gender gap” in some areas of study/academia simply because women aren’t interested in those areas. And should we even be concerned about that? After all, where is the outrage that men are underrepresented in the humanities?
The gender wage gap too can, in a lot of ways, be explained by this same divergence in interests and priorities. Back in 2010, when President Obama was proposing policies to address gender wage equality, I noted that men and women tend to have different goals in their lives. Men tend to put a higher emphasis on take-home pay from a job, whereas women tend to value other benefits such as health care, vacation, sick leave and schedule flexibility. Men also tend to work their careers more consistently, whereas women often take long periods of time off for maternity leave or to stay at home with children.
Put simply, men tend to find more fulfillment from their careers than women do. Women tend to find more fulfillment from families. One is not superior to the other. They’re different and, though it’s not politically correct to say so, complimentary to one another.
Studies have shown that when men and women have the same work backgrounds – including time on the job, experience and education – women tend to make more.
It is an article of faith among our friends on the left that we must have equal outcomes. Men and women must be paid the same. Men and women must be represented, proportionally, in all career fields. If that equality is not achieved, then bigotry and bias must be at work.
But there is a simpler explanation. Boys and girls are just different.