Adventures in Gender #1

Like the centuries-old arguments over nature vs. nurture, arguments about the differences between the sexes have waxed and waned, with sides and arguments formed more by wishful ideals than anything approaching science. The state of available methodology to investigate this issue is not used to find the truth, but to buttress old claims, and the insidious influence of “gender studies” only exasperates this problem.

As a separate issue, journalists often place ironic counterpoints to main theses within articles, with apparent ignorance of how to factually and logically support the point they inevitably fail to make.

From the NYT: Why Women’s Voices Are Scarce in Economics:

Perhaps most telling was the question on pay: Only 14 percent of female economists said the gender wage gap is largely explained by differences in education and voluntary occupational choices while 54 percent of male economists agreed with that notion.

But one paragraph later:

Women economists tend to focus on different topics than men. While men dominate macroeconomics, women are more visible among those studying labor markets, health and education. The only majority-female economics conference I’ve ever attended was on the economics of children, a field focused on schooling, family structure and child well-being. If there were more female economists, more attention would surely be paid to these issues.

So women tend to focus on different topics than men within economics, but couldn’t possibly tend to focus on different topics (jobs, degrees) outside of economics, with subsequent resulting differences in pay. The author of the piece is obviously sympathetic to purported plight of female economists, yet winds up providing evidence against her position – presented as evidence for. Of course, the author is a woman. Maybe she should have been an economist.

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