Good News for Sexists: You Probably Earn More

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All this talk of sexism lately has got me to wondering, with all the negative things associated with being a sexist (you're a behind-the-times jerk, an oppressor of women, etc.), are there any positives? Turns out there might be one: according to a new study, you're likely to earn more money. The Journal of Applied Psychology found that such "old-fashioned" men consistently out-earned more liberal-thinking men (and women) by an average of $8,000 a year. Which may leave some of you asking: what's up with that?

The wide-ranging, wide-sampling study looked at people starting in 1979, tracking a group of more than 12,000 men and women throughout their careers since then. Subjects were asked whether "the place of women is in the home" and whether they believed that "working women contributed to the rate of juvenile delinquency." Not surprisingly, many more men answered yes to these questions than women, but strangely, the minority of "traditional-minded" women (who answered yes) also tended to out-earn their more liberated counterparts.

The BBC interviewed a series of experts to find out why this might be the case:

Dr Magdalena Zawisza, a psychologist from Winchester University, said that there were a number of theories which might explain the difference.

She said: "It could be that more traditionally-minded men are interested in power, both in terms of access to resources - money in this case - and also in terms of a woman who is submissive.

"Another theory suggests that employers are more likely to promote men who are the sole earner in preference to those who do not - they recognize that they need more support for their families, because they are the breadwinner."

It's a theory. Another theory, one subscribed to be lead researcher Dr. Timothy Judge, is that "More traditional people may be seeking to preserve the historical separation of work and domestic roles - our results prove that is, in fact, the case."

I'd love to hear from our readers on this one. What are some of your experiences in the workplace in regards to sexism and equal pay?

September 23, 2008 - 8:00am
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