Sunday, September 28, 2008

It pays to be male

Economists study gender equality in the workplace and find this not so surprising statistic:
We use the workplace experiences of transgender people – individuals who change their gender typically with hormone therapy and surgery – to provide new insights into the long-standing question of what role gender plays in shaping workplace outcomes. Using an original survey of male-to-female and female-to-male transgender people, we document the earnings and employment experiences of transgender people before and after their gender transitions. We find that while transgender people have the same human capital after their transitions, their workplace experiences often change radically. We estimate that average earnings for female-to-male transgender workers increase slightly following their gender transitions, while average earnings for male-to-female transgender workers fall by nearly 1/3. This finding is consistent with qualitative evidence that for many male-to-female workers, becoming a woman often brings a loss of authority, harassment, and termination, but that for many female-to-male workers, becoming a man often brings an increase in respect and authority. These findings challenge the omitted variables explanations for the gender pay gap and illustrate the often hidden and subtle processes that produce gender inequality in workplace outcomes.

Read it here.


dr.primrose said...

Yesterday, the editorial page of the New York Times (perhaps unsurprisingly) came out against California's Proposition 8 - Preserving California’s Constitution.

The Times said in part:

"California voters will have a chance in November to protect the rights of gay men and women, and to preserve the state's Constitution. They should vote against Proposition 8, which seeks to amend that Constitution to prevent people of the same sex from marrying.

"The measure would overturn a firmly grounded State Supreme Court decision that said everyone has a basic right 'to establish a legally recognized family with the person of one’s choice.' It said the state's strong domestic partnership statute was inadequate, making California the second state to end the exclusion of same-sex couples from marriage. Massachusetts did so in 2004.

"Whether this important civil rights victory endures is now up to California voters. Opponents of giving gay couples the protections, dignity and respect that come with marriage are working furiously to try to overturn the court ruling through Proposition 8. It is our fervent hope that Californians will reject this mean-spirited attempt to embed second-class treatment of one group of citizens in the State Constitution."

Cany said...

We wimmins still have a long way to go, obviously. The only time I new for sure there was parity in pay was when working for a non-profit and they STATED on paper what each position paid.

Sad that is ever even has to be an issue. McCain voted against equal pay, BTW.

Thanks for the head's up on the LA Times, Dr. Primrose. Glad they took it to task and did the right thing.

Grandmère Mimi said...

I know it pays to be male, especially white male. I think about the times I was patronized or passed over, but I don't say much, because I'd feel that I was whining. That's the kind of bind in which women and anyone else who experiences discrimination are placed. We're conditioned to stuff it. Younger generations are better stepping out of their assigned roles, but we still have a long way to go.

David |Dah • veed| said...

Cany, that was the NY Times!
One thing that this atudy does not mention or take into account is the phenomena inherent in transgender situations whereby M2F persons are now women who have already lived in a "mans world," have previously been socialized as men and know the ropes.

Whereas a F2M person is now a man who was previously socialized to a woman's position and often does not know the ropes of being a man in a man's world.

Anonymous said...

A powerful voice in favor of women in science issues is Ben Barres, a professor at Stanford.

Barres has a unique view, being an FTM transgender. As a result he has experienced science both as a woman and a man.

He reports one of the most stunning indictments of gender bias after he transitioned; he gave a seminar somewhere, and overheard two male scientists talking. One of them told the other that Ben's work was much sharper, better, and more developed than his sister's.

Of course, Ben doesn't have a sister. What the other scientists were saying that THE SAME WORK done by THE SAME PERSON is evaluated much better if it has a man's name on it.

There are studies showing this is true.

None of this surprises me. I know that I have not been paid as well as my male colleagues as I have scraped my way up the tenure ladder. I know I have not gotten deals as good as theirs when I've been hired. I haven't got the administrative or teaching breaks that they've gotten for their research.

I know of situations where women faculty were told they didn't need the same raise as a man because they weren't married, whereas they guy has a family, or they didn't need the raise because they WERE married, but their husband works so they don't need a raise. Or that tenure didn't matter (for similar reasons).

It's hardly a surprise that in my profession only a handful of women stick it out to full professor.

Where men continue to tell us we are only here because we are women.



JCF said...

2008, and as predictable as clockwork: I took a good friend out for her birthday Saturday night, to a chain restaurant.

(Though I don't ID that way) we're seen as two women.

So where are we seated?

Right next to the swinging kitchen doors.

Of course.