Paper: Biological Sex Differences in the Workplace: Reports of the End of Men Are Greatly Exaggerated (As Are Claims of Women’s Continued Subordination)
decent paper about sex differences in jobs.
Common examples of what is perceived as workplace inequality–such as the “glass ceiling,” the “gender gap” in compensation, and occupational segregation–cannot be well understood if the explanation is limited exclusively to such social causes as discrimination and sexist socialization. Males and females have, on average, different sets of talents, tastes, and interests, which cause them to select somewhat different occupations and exhibit somewhat different workplace behaviors. Some of these sex differences have biological roots. Temperamental sex differences are found in competitiveness, dominance-seeking, risk-taking, and nurturance, with females tending to be more “person-oriented” and males more “thing-oriented.” The sexes also differ in a variety of cognitive traits, including various spatial, verbal, mathematical, and mechanical abilities. Although social influences can be important, these social influences operate on (and were in fact created by) sexually dimorphic minds. It is almost axiomatic that substantial changes in the environment of a complex organism will result in changes in its behavior. Therefore, we should not be surprised when changes in the economy or changes in the nature of work are followed by changes in workforce behavior and hence changes in workplace outcomes. For those keeping track of the “numbers,” these changes may be characterized as either increasing or decreasing equality, depending upon the particular definition of equality selected. Whether one views a particular outcome as a harbinger of “the end of men” or a reflection of continued sexual inequality of women may be a consequence of whether the focus is on group averages or the tail end of distributions, as it may turn out, for example, that even if women may do better as a group on some measures, men may still dominate at the top.