« Freakonomics Radio

116. Women Are Not Men

2013-02-24 | 🔗
In many ways, the gender gap is closing. In others, not so much. And that's not always a bad thing.
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More than half of all college students in the United States about fifty seven percent are female. as of January Whim are no longer barred from combat positions in the United States, military, the male female Income gap is tightening women hold about twenty percent of the seats in both the USA and the House of Representatives, the highest proportion ever three of the last five secretaries of state were and one of them, congolese rice just became one of the few, female members of Augusta National Golf Club, one of the oldest and goodest good ol boy clubs in America, A body of the sexes has long been a goal and in many ways that goal is being met. But as you'll hear on this programme, the variant between men and women on some dimensions is still large. In other words, women are not men
in some ways obvious, and, in other ways less so patents, for instance, women file. Only about seven and a half per cent of all tat well. I was amazed because in many other areas, women are really closing in on men, and this gap is just so enormous. That's Jennifer Hunt she's, an economist it. She are if more women were to patent, would add nearly three percent to our per capita gdp and why we asked to do so. Few women patent men, likely to be in jobs involving design, work or development work, so they d and they aren t see what else can I tell you about the differences between women and men? Did you women are far less likely to get.
struck by lightning perfectly eighty four eighty five and of the lady fatalities across the United States or man. That's John John Sinews liking, specialist national, whether service, we think the reason for that is men tenderly, applied more than women, and they also tend not to go inside when light threat. Men are also more prolific, drowned males have almost four times higher drawn rate than female. That's Julie, Gilchrist from the centre is reduced. control is not just that men spend more time in the water. They also overestimate swimming abilities and they drink more? What else? Women are half as likely as men, to become alcoholics, but twice ass, likely have a phobia and women are more likely to kill off a bad marriage. They file for roughly two thirds of divorces and here's an amazing
just got, I'm sure you dont know we uncovered one thing that women and men do in exactly the same purpose. listen all the way very and each episode Freak Economics, radio to have a seat. I'm happy. from W and Y see an ATM american public media. This is brief economics, radio, upon CAS that explores the hidden side of everything. Here's your house Stevens up man.
on three show we're talking about the ways in which women are not the man for better and worse, we'll start online. Here's John Riddle he's a professor computer science at the University of Minnesota. We know that women than increasing dramatically as a percentage of participation on just about any internet site. You can imagine the retreat. It's like viral called, because our couple things you need to know as a new member of Tumblr, hence the highest. So media sigh going, now so, for instance, females now outnumber mails on Facebook and Twitter, and that's been true just about across any aspect. you can imagine, including much too many people- surprise online games here. If you please,
incorrect stereotypes about female games. We are ugly, we don't like. Violence was scary games, we're only playing games because we lost our way to the kitchen. but there's one online realm where women are not so well represented. The re lamb. The editor of freak Anaemic sought come as the story, Wikipedia is by far the largest encyclopedia in history. It has more than twenty four million articles in two hundred and seventy five languages launched into some one its run by volunteers who call themselves Wikipedia and now what does this have to do with women for years? not much, but in two thousand eleven, a New York Times article by No M Cohen, argued that only one in six Wikipedia editors were women. John Reed all was a bit sceptical, so he decided to run a study much George
dark we found out that not only was his overall message right on, but that the best data we could get suggests that things were even worse in terms of the amount of female contribution it. He had reported that about. Sixteen percent of the editors were women and we found to be true, but we found that those females only made about nine per cent of the edits, which this even more surprising and disappointing it might help to explain how editing out Wikipedia works as a volunteer. You can click on any article and unless it's a controversial gated article you can edit it You information but later other Wikipedia can't delete your at its if they don't like her changes that called version and if your article deemed irrelevant, it can be the leader when I started getting Wikipedia. I never really thought that I was the only woman that Sarah search she's been Wikipedia
editor for nine years back then it We are one million articles, start remembers the first article she added it. My first article was deleted. I can proudly say I learned about a guy in a band of tat. I knew and that's no longer on Wikipedia this past year, starch has been serving as a community. Fellow for the wicked media foundation, she's been working on the gender balance, she's trying to get more women involved by hosting meet ups like this one, the Longo in Oakland, anybody. I haven't emissions tonight All's and mine, I'm taken my shoes, often get comes from these two equal signs, and then you write references you're, making the reference section. Basically I do in each I'm about to make
first article, but why are women so under represented on Wikipedia, especially when that's not the case on other big sites like Facebook and twitter Retail says that the Wikipedia Unbalanced bothers him because the first place we all go these days to Wikipedia and really worries me to think about half of all of humanity being left out, of creating misinformation resource which is the greatest encyclopedia in the history of humanity and half of humanity. Left out of writing. It, and we know for a fact that that half of humanity is getting short shrift. It turns out that even dominate the Wikipedia articles. That would seem to be of great interest to women. Sarah starch again, there's more trivial subjects: bracelets,
and women's films, revere Measurement, oh wow. This is not what it should be and there are the things that women know the most about next to our doctors, so to say: pregnancy, abortion. They just looked at miscarriage. That is a huge other pregnancy Erika. Whenever we there, I want that? Those articles are mainly written by men and there are contentious subject, oddly enough pregnancy, yes, a contentious subject, so that seems especially because one in four american doctors is female along with half the medical school population. So Why aren't women editing Wikipedia when I've looking with women around the world. The biggest reason I hear is often I don't have time that always treat me, I get it. I just wrapped up our full time masters working to jobs. You know I'm busy people who have children. You know rural busy people
We do in fact, typically have more daily leisure time than women in the. U S, it's about forty minutes a day. and women tend to do more housework, so maybe that's taking up their time, but John Riddle has another explanation. We know from a bunch of psychology that is that women tend to be made more uncomfortable by conflict. Then men are made uncomfortable by conflict and so one Ideas is maybe en Wikipedia where the fundamental nature The site is that if you want to correct what some Also done the way you do, that is you deleted and right and I really mean message what maybe that's creating a culture of conflict, those driving woman away. They they just don't find it a place that they enjoy and so they go places where their happier. I remember you told me that there are some backlash to your report. yeah, when we put the report out, one of the things we noticed was a bunch of bloggers
All male, we should say, came out and said This is a waste of time. No one needs to be told that there aren't woman editing Wikipedia there. They should just suck it up and be tougher and and come and enjoying their no technological limitations, and so it's their fault for not participating more a real says, there's something else built into the structure and ethos of Wikipedia discouraging women it's not a model that everybody has to agree on the content of any one piece of than from. On Facebook, and I think that on Wikipedia by contrast, there's this very different ethos witches the job. The community is to make sure that these articles are as high quality as they can That's a very good thing.
and the way we get there? Is we delete each other's work when we don't like it and that creates of a very different style of sight to place where people are constantly being engaged by other people rejecting their work, I'm not see very near to. Where can I find it not as perhaps rewarding as other people do what you now let's go. Sir John riddles evidence suggests that women and men may have very different appetites for conflict which might keep some away from a place like Wikipedia It would be nice to know if some Now there had looked at this in the context of woe of men
and women competing against each other we looked at competitiveness. There you go. That's worry uneasy. I'm always uneasy. I'm a b F rural economies did the rate, is good of management and you'll see Santiago. My Angry such interest is around incentives out. They affect people and gender differences, some deception, anything that someone can and interesting for economics producer Susie Lichtenberg has a story, or even uneasy has three kids to girls and a boy. really try to raise them in the gender neutral environment, so we bought our daughters, dolls and trucks and they were very happy. They put. The dolls and trucks saw. The truck was yours. Do you know is a stand, and my son was also very happy to get the dolls smashed into the wall, and you know random over with the car
but it was unclear to gain easy. How much of this gender differences nature and how much as nurture when we drove back from dolls beetle The baby's I drove in my wife's sat near the baby sources possession starts, you know it does, but or when you leave to hospital when the baby is few days old and it's almost impossible to disentangle differ from actual behaviour the news he began to think about the salary gap between women and men, its well known that women earn less the labour departments. As about eighty two cents, for every dollar. Man earns, but why well there's a lot of research up there. It suggests that, yes, there is discrimination, but also that women have different preferences than men and work and in family thought. If there was another overlooked factor that can help explain the gender gap. We
that may be a big and important differences are willing. Men and women are to compete, undoubtedly reactive, competitive incentives to test if men are more competitively inclined can easy, and some autonomous colleagues wanted to do a field study. They wanted to get away from western society to see how much culture is a factor in competitive we are we wanted to go to real cultures in the real world and see how they behave. So we took to very extreme caution, The first one was the Messiah in Africa in Tanzania. Uneasy and a group of researchers travelled to Russia in Tanzania are Russia's near the kenyan border not far from Mount Kilimanjaro from Russia. They plan to travel the two Messiah villages, the Messiah or cattle hurting nomads there. Perhaps the archetypal african tribe, with their beaded jewelry and brightly coloured robes and as organ
he says the psychology is very unkind to attaining the size of very extreme patriarch of society in which share. If you ask a man of many kids, he has, he will tell you how many boys he has a women cost about and caused so dark the property of the of their husband before him does been, doesn't like what the wife is doing. It can beat her, can abuse her Men are usually in their leak, twenties Thirty's when they marry and they often have multiple wives, their brides generally teens female genital mutilation before marriage. Women do much of the hard labour. As one woman said, men treat us like donkeys breed uneasy has studied competition before once he and some colleagues have.
What can be solving mazes on computers? He plans to do something similar with the Messiah, excepting have themselves amazes on paper, using pens right from the start, though, things didn't go according plan. The very first Messiah woman wasn't having it. She said. Looking thirty I've, never hell depending my life, I don't see a reason to start now. Clearly, they needed a plan b. The wooden maize that we came up with was the next solution. They spent twelve hours, building amazed that of salvaged would but I'm not good carpenter, I met him, not a carpenter, because that would have been really bad and we, u able solve your own may know. Not only data mistake, it was unsolvable, so this was a little bit stressful. Here. The researchers were ten thousand miles from home. We have hundreds of people waiting for us in the field, We don't have a task on the way to detail. I seed tennis balls in the bucket no wood
imagine that in Russia, you'll see tennis ball and the backing a store, but I did I fourteenth. Does tennis ball into buckets and turned out to be dusk? This is what they have people do. Participants were asked to toss a tennis ball underhanded into a bucket about ten feet away. They had ten chances, they were matched another unidentified person playing the same game on the other side of the building for experimental explained to them dusk, North Rhine. The ball into the bucket and ask them a very simple question, do you want to be paid say one dollar per every success, it wasn't a dollar, but it was equivalent to that or you can be paid three dollars forever.
success that you have every bald glance into profit, but only if you do better than the person behind the corner. Basically, if the player picked the more competitive option, they could get paid three times the amount of money can ease. It says it was long before we got around that these quotas, folk, ridiculous Americans were paying villagers to third tennis balls in the bucket people came from all over the village to play and what happened Many more man chose to compete than women about twice, as many men chose to compete than women did, which is very much in line with what we observe when we were on it, in the U S or in any western society. Fifty percent of Miss I men chose the mark. additive option, meaning they chose to be paid more money if they may more baskets than the person around the corner, the women had less appetite for risk. Twenty six.
percent of the women, chose the more competitive option. Now this may not come as a huge surprise that men raised at an extreme patriarchy are more competitive than women, so the next step was to go to our interpreters and send us them. What's the other extreme? Where can we find a society in which women are in charge All of these anthropologist friends pointed to the coffee in North EAST, India, the costs here, one of the world's you matter, lineal societies, where the guess: Cassie Daughter inherits the families, money and property. Move into their wives houses when they marry and children take their mothers family name over all life for the quasi women is pretty good, Then I used conceals where they leave, the clearly have a much higher stand, then, probably anywhere else in the world, the women are in charge,
women decide what kind of crops are going to raise their in charge of deciding how to the money to families money. The how Decisions are that they go to the market to sell Diadems Vienna. When you go to visit their home. They will greet you and they are just their views to being considered equal to the men. The coffee hills are really rain. The region holds the world record for the most annual rainfall. There's something unusual about the place, the Oregon easy noticed when he arrived. As an economist, I tried to quantify everything and try to say: oh, they are nice, seven or something that you can't. I dont know how to do that, but they were justified. was very nice, so we walked around in the night and day middle of the rice fields, and people are just nice to each other. People are so nice to each other. He says that one point at sixty
thousand dollars in cash in my suitcase, and they left him with the cook overbearing day in the house that we rented into village. Without any worry, you know the guy taken, demanded. That's like taken sixty million dollar for me and disappear somewhere in India, have to worry about that, and so in this place, where prize money left untended in a suit case is fine and the kindness is unmeasurably all the study began, same experiment as we did with the Messiah. Everything is the same. We took the same buckets the same balls from Tanzania all the way to India. They started with two opposing hypotheses. The first one is that culture is not important it's the same story is my kids and out, but we are born differently, and we just react to this, and alternative hypothesis is that when women are but in a culture in which dealing with money may
decision is part of the daily routine and that's why they observe, as girls they're going to be just as competitiveness. and what did they find it? That's what we front. We found that culture was extremely before we delve into the results. Remember how the game worked. Players had two options: they could get paid x amount for every time they made a basket or they could pick the more competitive option and get paid three times the amount if they did better than their anonymous opponent. So how did the quasi people do? Fifty four percent of quasi women picked the more competitive option. Thirty nine percent. Of course, he men made the same choice. Quasi women were more likely to choose to compete than even the super patriarchal Messiah men we heard about earlier. So the implications are clear: it's not the men and women are not wanted.
Please I should they aren't and you can come up with good of illusionary stories why men are more competitive than women. What we showed is that that's not the only factor did goes in, which again is not a big surprise, but the outer factor the contrary. So big can be so big that it can just overturned the result. So if you grow up in a mature lenient society, women actually more competitive than men, so it can completely override any evolutionary explanation. Emmy nature kind of reason, nurtured could beat debt beak, and I think that that's that's the main results of this
studied that indirect environment women are going to be just as competitive as men, in other words as Oregon, easy and his co. Author, John, let's say nurture is king or in this case, nurtures queen. So what's the solution, how do we begin to re socialize? Our girls can easy says not so fast. I am not convinced, for example, that we want my daughters to be more competitive and no true to its actually good. Maybe we should concentrate on making boys less competitive, Coming up unfit, radio, we take a look at something puzzling. It's happened to women's happy. Why first vote? We call it a paradox, because we don't know the answer and
later. If you rooting for women and men to become totally and completely equal, should you for women to commit more crimes. They look at all different types of crime that the police in force. Seventy five to eighty tens of those offenders, your mail Economics. Radio, sponsored by wonder is business movers podcast when cocoa Will it change their recipe to what they called new coke? In nineteen, five the backlash was swift and severe, and yet the man who drove the change Chairman Robert Goya's wetter, pulled new coke from the shelves
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from W and Y see and eight p M american public media. This is for economics, radio. Here's your host Stephen Governor today's programme women are not men now they're about a million ways to think about that simple sentence million ways to argue with it. We're not trying to start any arguments. Port is trying to look at the data that showed differences between men women try to figure out why those differences exist. How meaningful they are. We need to know for this next story is there is a lot of research. The ties income to happiness generally, more money means higher level of happiness or well being over the past thirty years, women have made big gains, in education and the workforce, which means they're making more money than ever before.
and so the thinking goes, women should also be happier than ever before night. Betsy Stevenson is a former chief economist at the Department of Labour. She now teaches at the unit the of Michigan, along with just in wolverines heard domestic partner and fellow economist Stevens and wrote a paper exploring female hapless. Women are reporting. Life, satisfaction levels that are lower than they were, and nineteen seventy now there's a couple things to no one is it. Women told that they were happier with their lives in the seventies than men were, so we had a happiness gap in the seventies where women reported greater well being then men and what we have now is a new gap where men,
or greater life satisfaction than women. The magnitudes here aren't huge, but it's a fact that the directional shift is the exact opposite of what we would have expected, given that its women's lives that have really become more expansive, more options in a greater ability for them to choose the type of that would make them best off. So how have you explain it? Betsy I mean women were given a larger choice, set which economist tell us larger choice as to a degree or really good. Women were given an accomplished a lot of other areas that we would associate with the you know benefits of different kinds, financial benefits, psychic benefits, and so on. How'd, you account for the decline how'd. You count for the paradox. What are the mechanisms by which a paradox exists? Leader, first vote. We call it a paradox, because we don't know the answer.
What we found was this decline in women's wellbeing. Relative to man 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 of trends and well being, and it occurred in country is where the gains for women different substantially. So I know a lot of people would like to say, well, there's just goes to show that no women entering the labour force has been very difficult for them and to reduce their well being bed. Yo R research doesn't make that case, because we see the declines and well being relative to men in countries where women had very little change in their labour force, participation and similar changes in kind for women had very large gains,
in their labour force participation? You you, you make the point that women's happiness declined as they entered the workforce in great in greater numbers and start to earn more money relative to men, although still less but if the men and that gains from women yielded greater happiness for men relative to the women Could it be in some way that men get happier for whatever reasons, because there are more women in the workforce? Will let me be clear, we put them out as a hypothesis and not that there is evidence that that's definitely what's happening, and we will no said the correlation is that over time period, where women have gained more autonomy, more financial power, more market power more
our responsibility in power within their families, that they have become less happy and men have become slightly happier, and so one possibility? Is that somehow this sort of revolution in our lives has actually benefited man more than its benefited? Women, and you know that the comment that Steve love it made to us was Of course, women have become less happy there living their lives like men, another just as happy as men, not as happy
Are you so Betsy no offense, but this is not a depressing, so give any good news, or at least advice about what can be done. What are some things that women can do to recapture or get more happiness in the modern world and either? I agree with you that the whole conversations a lot of it too saying, and I think that it will try to be maximizes into everything monopoly to the greatest happiness and so trying to figure out what it is that really important to us and letting other things slide and feeling ok about that feeling like it's. Ok that I'm doing the thing that most important to me
or that you know, I'm not giving my all at work, because I'm splitting my energy between work and my kids and I'm ok with an eye, but I also, I also hesitate to say that their definitely a problem here yeah. What about earning more money, though, would that be a good idea with the media and become a bit happier. She were able to earn more money. I think sometimes she will get a little bit confused about the data on this, but what we see really
strongly and every dataset you look at is that richer people are happier than poor people, and what we see is that over time, when countries get richer, their citizens get happier on average, and so women putting themselves and positions where they have a greater ability to earn an income is really important. Now there is this other thing which I think I should mention, which is that often women are underpaid and their underpaid, because they simply don't ask they don't ask for the rays. They should get, and there's really compelling research on this that women tend to not negotiate as hard tend to be less likely ass, Fer rays, and so, if you could be earning more during the exact same job at that you're doing, I think you'd be better off. So you should go out there and asked for that race.
That was the economist Betsy Stevenson on the gender gap in earnings and in happiness. Now there's one more difference. We want to look into today an activity that we should be very, very happy that we and do much much less frequently the men So? Where we see the Starkist, gender differences are for homicide, rape, robbery, those sorts of major felony types of violence, that's Jennifer, Schwartz she's, a sociologist at Washington, State University, and I study- gender and crime, and mainly I'm interested in why females offend why they don't offend if they have changed the type surmounted offending they do them. How much offending do women? Do they look at all different types of crime that the police in force? Seventy five to eighty percent of those offender?
your mail? There are only two crimes in the United States today, for which women get arrested more than men. Steve Levitt is my free economics friend and co author. One of those is prostitution and eternal the other one is being a runaway juvenile and you run away from home, can get arrested for that and turns. Girls could arrested more than boys are running away from home then that men run table on women when it comes to grant for Jennifer Schwartz. The idea of thinking about women in crime was a natural outgrowth of thinking about the feminist movement. I think the hook for me raise it are taking the common sense or what seemed by common sense. As women gain more freedoms as women and more access opportunities that they would engage in more crime in that seem to be where the common sense notion wise. But once I started looking at the data, it seemed the opposite is true, or at least there is no support-
This idea that women's liberation would increase their offending did so I think that sort of as all maybe want a noble wire women offending in the first place in. Why aren't they offending any more given that we think that women have come so far and have so many opportunities? What's holding him back from offending if they're, making gains and other avenues in in legitimate work. Why aren't they making gains in the underworld? I guess in so that, without the hook for me, trying to figure out that puzzle of why aren't women offending were given that their status in society has better for the most part. Now to be fair, women have started committing some crimes: more often forgery, embezzlement, even auto theft, the little but compared to and their rates are still very low. I know I have a limit of mixed feelings because that's it you don't think about it. I say
not rooting for women to become more criminal or to have more criminal opportunities. I guess it's just another form. another context in which women blocked for Roma Energy high levels by either it's sort of a difficult thing to unpack it. I guess it may be difficult when package, but let's be clear, it's a good thing. Women having closed the lot of gender gaps over the past few decades are rushing to close the crime gap. There are other gaps that one might hope will be preserved or better. Yet club whose but in the opposite direction another with men should aspire to get to where women already are. Did you know for instance, when a man is much less likely than a woman to do you a favor men our much worse at washing their hands, which, if you're thinking about a hospital setting in particular
bad news theirs. so research showing that men. If you ask them a question, are thoroughly income. of simply saying I dont know, even if in fact they don't know the answer now. Why is that? let me betray my gender here for a moment and simply say this. I don't know Freakin homage radio is produced by W and why see ATM american public Media and Dublin productions, our staff include Susie liked him. Bird Catherine well stated Herman for RE, Lamb and Chris banning calling Campbell is our executive producers. If you want more freakin onyx radio, you can subscribe to our Pakistan Itunes or go to freakin onyx outcome.
We'll find lots of radio, a blog, the books and war. So were sitting here where one of the journey prodigal son, the boss, my friend, immerse bracing, It's good to see my friend is good to see you also you and I have spent a lot of time talking about what it means to be a good. My audience looked back and saw America that they wanted to believe we come from such different places. It turns out. There is a lot of overlap raining. One in the USA and in spite of my original podcast from higher ground listening free online Spotify
Transcript generated on 2021-03-15.