Behaviours, Social science

PPFF #160: gender

Good morning,

The 8th of March was the International Women’s Day, a day singled out to celebrate women’s achievements, womanhood in general and to promote gender equality etc. For the purpose of gender equality, the 19th of November is the International Men’s Day also devoted to double-underlining their own under-represented issues and achievements, or something along that line.

Being a social dissident albeit a moderate one, I’ve never been able to pay or maintain much attention to the mainstream celebrations and events, not for lack of trying but my proclivity, whether predisposed or acquired, for all things unimportant and irrelevant, often lead me astray to something just about related but slightly offbeat. This week, I was led to articles reporting skewed gender ratios at work place, and how these drive our behaviour.

We’ve all heard this before; ‘sex sells’. The now old adage that refers to  the use of sex appeal/pronounced and exaggerated secondary sexual characteristics in advertising to help sales of products and services. But there’s a new (antithetical) phrase in town; ‘lack of sex earns’ (rubbish tagline, I know). But let me elaborate; this article published in Association for Consumer Research, with little or no significant gender differences, with regard to gender ratio in the U.S. showed that a (perceived) scarcity of available mates (in their locality) was strongly related to people entering high-paying careers and/or pursuit of monetary rewards.

One of the studies conducted for this paper involved female and male participants being (falsely) led to believe one of the following three things about their local population:

  • male-skewed
  • female-skewed, or
  • equal sex ratio.

Predictably, when asked to indicate their desire to pursue high-paying careers versus starting a family, findings showed a scarcity of the opposite sex for both genders, prioritised earning money relative to investing in family.

Where does that leave us? Well, some of us who work in gender-screwed industries such as engineering/construction, often wonder why some folks in our offices are so money-obsessed and reward-driven, (and to our dismay how we’re becoming the same as years go by). Wonder no more. Lack of sex earns.

Have a gender-ratio-balanced Friday