The income gap between men and women may actually be a gap between men with a traditional outlook on gender roles and everyone else. A new study finds that men who believe in traditional roles for women make more money than men who don't. The wage gap between men who think they should be making more than women was 10 times as large as the pay gap between men and women with more egalitarian views. Women with more egalitarian views don't make much more than women with traditional views, so both groups are equally screwed. "When workers' attitudes become more traditional, women's earnings relative to men suffer greatly," says study co-author Timothy Judge, an organizational psychologist at the University of Florida. "When attitudes become more egalitarian, the pay gap nearly disappears."The study, published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, found that men who said they believe in more traditional gender roles earned $11,930 more per year than men with more modern views. Women who held more traditional views made an average of $1,500 less than women with more equal views. Researchers came to this conclusion after analyzing data collected by a Labor Department survey that has tracked the changing attitudes of 12,000 people since 1979. Participants were polled four times from their late teens on and asked questions such as whether they believe a woman' place is in the home, or whether the employment of women is likely to lead to higher rates of juvenile delinquency. Critics of the gender-gap theory usually say that the difference between what men and women earn is due to men choosing higher paying professions in law or business while more women go into education or social work...or men working longer hours. But researchers say their conclusions in this study were based on men and women with similar jobs, education, and hours per week. Though the study was designed to prove a link between gender attitudes and pay, not to explain why or how those attitudes come about, researchers have suggested two possible explanations: Men with traditional beliefs may negotiate harder for pay raises, and/or employers may discriminate against employees who see gender roles more equally. The good news is that if this study is correct that the wage gap is partly a result of attitudes about gender roles, as more Americans adopt more progressive attitudes about women in the workplace, the differences in income may disappear. Study: Traditional Men Earn the Most [MSNBC] Men With Sexist Views Earn More [BBC]
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