Gender pay gap is all in the mind ... and very real

Gender pay gap is all in the mind ... and very real

If you're male and think women belong in the home, you earn more. If you're female and believe the same thing, you earn less.
Oct 23, 2008
By staff

Men who hold traditional views about the role of women in society—women should stay at home, working mothers increase juvenile delinquency, men should work outside the home while women should care for home and family—make more money than men who don’t. This is according to a new study published in the September 2008 issue of the Journal of Applied Psychology. Men with more traditional gender role attitudes earned roughly $8,500 more annually than those with less traditional, more egalitarian attitudes.

Women with more traditional views, however, made an average of $1,500 less than women with more egalitarian beliefs. Study results held true even when researchers controlled for factors such as job complexity, hours worked, education, occupation, and number of children. The study authors say the wage gap between men and women is about more than economics—it’s about psychology. “Our country’s policies have been leaning toward gender equality for decades now,” says researcher Timothy Judge. “But, according to our study, traditional gender role views continue to work against this goal.”

Other findings from the study include:

> People whose parents both worked outside the home had less traditional views on gender roles.

> Married, religious couples held more traditional gender role views.

> Younger people held less traditional views but became more traditional over time.

Researchers hope others will follow their work with studies on the relationship between happiness and job attitudes among people with specific gender-role views to show that more money doesn’t necessarily make people happy.