Thursday, May 24, 2012

A nice breakdown of the wage gap by Forbes

Hat tip goes to Reddit for that one. I do not want to copy that much so to give you the data. It is a great article though, straight to the point so I suggest you read it:

81:100 Median Wage Gap - based on 2010 data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics - compares median weekly earnings of full-time wage and salary workers over 16

86.5:100 Weighted Median Wage Gap - based on BLS data - weighted according to the number of women in each occupation

84.8:100 Weighted Mean Wage Gap - see above

94.6:100 Weighted Median Wage Gap excluding non-discriminatory factors - based on 2010 U.S. Senate testimony from Heather Boushey, a senior economist with the Center for American Progress Action Fund, who cites an analysis by labor economists Francine Blau and Lawrence Kahn - about 60 percent of the gender pay gap can be attributed to factors other than gender discrimination, such as choice of industry, choice of occupation, years of work experience, and union status - this does not mean that the remaining 40 percent are discrimination, just that the remaining 40 percent can not be explained by the data

92.4:100 Weighted Mean Wage Gap excluding non-discriminatory factors - see above

This reminds me of the CONSAD report that I did cite several times before:

An Analysis of Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women - CONSAD - 2009

There are observable differences in the attributes of men and women that account for most of the wage gap. Statistical analysis that includes those variables has produced results that collectively
account for between 65.1 and 76.4 percent of a raw gender wage gap of 20.4 percent, and thereby leave an adjusted gender wage gap that is between 4.8 and 7.1 percent.

The difference we see with the above (4.8 vs 5.4 and 7.1 vs 7.6) might be the difference between 2010 and 2009 numbers. Anyhow, interesting analysis. It also included a critic of how this issue is handled in the msm:

The statistic you should not be using is the 81:100 claim, and if you do use that statistic (even though you should not be using it), you should not imply that the gap is entirely or even mostly attributable to gender discrimination. To do so is beyond purposefully misleading — it’s purposefully lying. [...] I say this as someone who shares the goal of eliminating unjust discrimination against women in the workplace … but who is concerned that the inaccuracies and unfounded inferences made by movements like Narrow the Gapp and the NWLC ultimately undermine the credibility of the cause.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Predicting the use of Sexual Initiation Tactics in a Sample of College Women

Study found via Tamen, a NSWATM commenter:

Predicting the use of Sexual Initiation Tactics in a Sample of College Women - 2004 - Peter B. Anderson, Maria Newton

Significant attention has been focused on women’s initiation of sexual contact with men and the point at which this initiation becomes sexual aggression. The purpose of this study was to examine possible predictors of the use of three conceptually distinct sets of sexual initiation tactics: seduction, coercion, and force. [...] Survey respondents were 272, mostly white women students with a mean age of 26 years.[...]

The use of physical force tactics is an unusual behavior in women; only 12% of the respondents reported ever using any type of force strategy while 43% reported using a coercion strategy and 92% reported using a seduction strategy to initiate sex. [...] The results of this study can, with caution, be used to generalize beyond this population to college women, but not to other groups. These results also reflect the complexity of women’s sexual behaviors and motivations. Despite ten years of regular research in this area, we are just beginning to scratch the surface of understanding women’s initiation of sexual contact with men.

Anything that a woman can do, a guy can do.

Via the NYT:

The trend began well before the crash, and appears to be driven by a variety of factors, including financial concerns, quality-of-life issues and a gradual erosion of gender stereotypes. An analysis of census data by The New York Times shows that from 2000 to 2010, occupations that are more than 70 percent female accounted for almost a third of all job growth for men, double the share of the previous decade.

That does not mean that men are displacing women — those same occupations accounted for almost two-thirds of women’s job growth. But in Texas, for example, the number of men who are registered nurses nearly doubled in that time period, rising to 22,532 from 12,709, and increasing the percentage of male nurses to 10.5 percent, from 8.4 percent. Men make up 23 percent of Texas public schoolteachers, but almost 28 percent of first-year teachers.

The shift includes low-wage jobs as well. Nationally, two-thirds more men were bank tellers, almost twice as many were receptionists and two-thirds more were waiting tables in 2010 than a decade earlier.

Even more striking is the type of men who are making the shift. From 1970 to 1990, according to a study by Mary Gatta, the senior scholar at Wider Opportunities for Women, and Patricia A. Roos, a sociologist at Rutgers, men who took so-called pink-collar jobs tended to be foreign-born non-English speakers with low education levels — men who, in other words, had few choices.

Now, though, the trend has spread among men of nearly all races and ages, more than a third of whom have a college degree. In fact, the shift is most pronounced among young, white, college-educated men

An important factor in women's career aspirations is their perception of how easy or difficult it is to find a husband.

An abstract found via from the Atlantic's Study of the day:

PROBLEM: These days, American women receive 57 percent of all bachelor's and 60 percent of all master's degrees in college. Are there repercussions to having this gender imbalance on campus?

METHODOLOGY: Researchers led by University of Texas at San Antonio professor Kristina Durante examined historical data on the ratio of single men to single women in each U.S. state and Washington D.C. They also looked into the desire of hundreds of female college students to focus on career or family after they led them to believe that there were either more men or less men on campus by reading one of two news article about the student population.

RESULTS: As bachelors became scarce in college, the percentage of women in high-paying careers increased, women delayed having children, and had fewer kids when they finally started a family. As for the experiment, when women read that there were fewer men than women on campus, they became more motivated to pursue ambitious careers than to start a family.

CONCLUSION: The gender ratio dramatically alters women's choices about career and family. When men are scant, women delay having children and pursue high-paying careers.

IMPLICATION: An unconscious but important factor in women's career aspirations is their perception of how easy or difficult it is to find a husband.

SOURCE: The full study, "Sex Ratio and Women's Career Choice: Does a Scarcity of Men Lead Women to Choose Briefcase Over Baby?" is published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

Gaps in sexual health care and problems with prostate cancer screening

Coming back out of the holidays there is some stuff to write about. For the men's health potion there were 2 articles, one dealing with:

Marcell (Arik Marcell, MD, MPH, assistant professor with the Bloomberg School’s Center for Adolescent Health and a teen health expert with the Hopkins Children’s Center) pointed to gaps in research, the absence of uniform clinical practice guidelines and care providers’ lack of knowledge as contributing factors to a health care environment in which male teens often don’t receive basic sexual and reproductive health care—services that he said should be standard in primary care settings. These include taking a sexual history, STI/HIV screening and testing, a sexual development physical assessment, including a genital exam, and discussion of the male role in contraception and STI/HIV prevention.

“I think the bottom line is there’s a major research gap,” said Marcell.

“We have little data about sexual and reproductive health services delivered to boys and young men, and the few studies that we have show gender disparities, with fewer services being provided to males,” he said, noting that the imbalance reflects the longstanding traditional emphasis on women’s health in the family planning and sexual and reproductive health arena.
Yet research shows that it’s vital to reach this population.

Studies have found that compared to teen girls male adolescents become sexually active at a younger age and engage in high-risk sexual behaviors more often, including unprotected sex and sex while drunk or on drugs.

And in a 2010 study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, based on data from the 2002 National Survey of Adolescent Males, Marcell found that fewer than 1 in 5 young men reported receiving STI/HIV counseling, a finding that indicates no improvement over a 7-year period.

And one about prostate cancer:

"The problem is that in contrast to the small benefits, a significant number of men will be harmed by the test and treatments that follow prostate cancer screening," [...] The PSA is unreliable, giving a falsely positive result 80 percent of the time. Prostate cancer is typically diagnosed in older men, and the disease usually progresses so slowly they die of something else. [...] It (a task force) cited an 11-year study of over 180,000 men. The study showed more than 1,000 need to be screened to detect 37 cancers and prevent a single prostate cancer death.

Friday, May 11, 2012

The divorce / male suicide link...

Certainly an interesting topic. A recent article (found via Reddit) led me to some interesting studies. The article:

American men are four times more likely than women to take their own lives. It's a troubling phenomenon, rooted in such factors as genetics, upbringing and even career choice. But a growing body of research suggests that divorce is one of the major culprits in suicides among adult males.

Women, however, seem immune to the stress and sadness that can be wrought by the end of a marriage.[...]

Denney's* research, published last year in Social Science Quarterly, concluded that men who are divorced are 39 percent more likely to commit suicide than those still married. The difference increases to 50 percent when a man is a widow.

Among women, differences in suicide risk among those who were married, divorced or widowed were statistically insignificant. [...]

And while married women often balance employment with child rearing, Denney said statistics suggest they're coping quite well. "Women remain the primary caretakers in most households," he said. "They're working more, yet feeling better."

That might be what explains a divorced or widowed woman's relatively low suicide risk. Denney's subsequent research, published in February's Journal of Marriage and Family, concluded that children offered a major protective effect against suicide. For each additional child in a household, adults were 6 percent less likely to commit suicide

*Dr. Justin Denney, a sociologist at the University of Colorado

The studies by Denney:

Denney, J. T., Rogers, R. G., Krueger, P. M. and Wadsworth, T. (2009), Adult Suicide Mortality in the United States: Marital Status, Family Size, Socioeconomic Status, and Differences by Sex. Social Science Quarterly, 90: 1167–1185. doi: 10.1111/j.1540-6237.2009.00652.x

Objective. This article addresses the relationship between suicide mortality and family structure and socioeconomic status for U.S. adult men and women.

Methods. We use Cox proportional hazard models and individual-level, prospective data from the National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality File (1986–2002) to examine adult suicide mortality.

Results. Larger families and employment are associated with lower risks of suicide for both men and women. Low levels of education or being divorced or separated, widowed, or never married are associated with increased risks of suicide among men, but not among women.

Conclusions. We find important sex differences in the relationship between suicide mortality and marital status and education. Future suicide research should use both aggregate and individual-level data and recognize important sex differences in the relationship between risk factors and suicide mortality—a central cause of preventable death in the United States.

Denney, J. T. (2010), Family and Household Formations and Suicide in the United States. Journal of Marriage and Family, 72: 202–213. doi: 10.1111/j.1741-3737.2009.00692.x

Family support systems have been theoretically linked to suicide risk. But no research to date has investigated the effects of detailed living arrangements on individual risk of suicide. Using data on 825,462 adults from the National Health Interview Survey Linked Mortality File reveals that living in families with stronger sources of social support and integration decreases risk of suicide. These effects persist despite controls for important individual level characteristics. Risk of suicide decreases for persons in married as well as unmarried families when children are present and risk increases for persons living with unrelated adults. These results reveal the structural importance of family formation on the social integrative forces that contribute to an individual's risk of suicide.

The UK Study mentioned in the article:
Suicide rates in young men in England and Wales in the 21st century: time trend study - BMJ 2008 - Lucy Biddle, Anita Brock, Sara T Brookes, David Gunnell

Objectives To explore trends in suicide in young people to investigate the recent observation that after year on year rises in the 1970s, 1980s, and early 1990s, rates in young men are now declining.

Design Time trend analysis.

Setting England and Wales, 1968-2005.

Population Men and women aged 15-34 years.


One of the most striking features of the epidemiology of suicide in the late 20th century was the epidemic rise in suicide among young men in most industrialised nations.1 From 1950 to 1998 in England and Wales, rates of suicide in men aged under 45 doubled, while rates in women and older men declined.2 During the 1990s, rates in young men aged 15-24 reached an all time high and were at their highest since the 1920s in men aged 25-34 years. Suicide accounted for about a fifth of all deaths in young men,3 and men aged 25-34 had the highest rate of all age-sex groups.2 Such trends have led to suicide becoming a major contributor to premature mortality4 and are thought to indicate deteriorating mental wellbeing in younger people.

The cause for these rises is uncertain, though time series data show parallel increases in a range of risk factors including unemployment, divorce, substance misuse, and income inequality.2 Furthermore, changes in the availability and use of common methods of suicide, particularly domestic gas, barbiturates, and motor vehicle exhaust gases, have had an important impact on suicide rates and trends in the past 50 years.5 6 7 [...]

With the exception of the marked increase in divorces in 1972 after the Divorce Reform Act 1969 came into effect, rates of divorce closely followed trends in suicide in young men at the end of the 20th century. Both increased into the 1990s and then showed a decline up to 2001 (fig 2)⇓. Unlike the trends seen for suicide, however, divorce rates increased from 2001 to 2004 but have since fallen once more.

And finally a huge article on suicide:

Suicide - The Epidemiology Of Suicide

Marital status has a strong association with rates of completed suicide. Suicide rates are higher in the divorced and widowed than in single people, who in turn have higher suicide rates than married people. This protective effect of marriage on suicide is stronger for men than for women, although it is found for both men and women (Gove 1972).

The strong association of divorce with suicide is found at the societal level as well as at the individual level. For example, nations with higher divorce rates have higher suicide rates, U.S. states with higher divorce rates have higher suicide rates and, within nations, years with higher divorce rates have higher suicide rates. This association is probably the most robust association found in suicidology. The associations between marriage rates and suicide rates and between birth rates and suicide rates are not as consistent, although they do tend to be negative associations more often than positive associations.

[...] Christopher Cantor and Penelope Slater (1995) found that the suicide rate in Queensland, Australia, was highest for men who were separated, as opposed to men who were single, married, divorced, or widowed. For women, the divorced had the highest suicide rate. The increase in the suicide rate in separated men was greater in those who were younger (age 15–19) than in those who were older (over the age of 55). These results suggest that the time during the breakdown in the marriage may be more stressful for men than for women, whereas the state of divorce may be stressful for both men and women.

The higher rate of suicide in widows as compared to those married of the same may be because bereavement increases the risk of suicide or because widows and widowers who are prone to suicide are less likely to get remarried. Some old data from Brian MacMahon and Thomas Pugh (1965) indicate that it is bereavement—and not differential remarriage rates—that is the factor responsible. However, research (for example, a study by Arne Mastekaasa [1993] in Norway) also indicates that, once age is taken into account, the higher suicide rate in the widowed as compared to the divorced is no longer found.

Even though those who are married have lower suicide rates than those in other marital statuses, Walter Gove (1972) has documented that marriage is more beneficial for men than for women, in that the reduction in the suicide rate (and also in rates of psychiatric disturbance) is greater for married men than for married women.

The presence of children appears to have a protective effect with regard to suicide. In a study of a large sample of women in Norway, Georg Hoyer and Eiliv Lund (1993) obtained a sample of almost one million single and married women in Norway in 1970 and identified which of them had completed suicide by 1985. They found that unmarried women had a higher suicide rate than married women without children for those aged twenty-five to sixty-four, but not for those over the age of sixty-four. Thus, marriage appeared to reduce the suicide rate in women.

Hoyer and Lund also found that married women with children had lower suicide rates than married women with no children for all age groups. Thus, the presence of children further reduces the risk of suicide in women above and beyond the protective impact of marriage per se. Furthermore, the more children, the lower the suicide rate of the married women.

This study is the best study on the topic reported hitherto, but it confirms the results of earlier studies on smaller samples and without such detailed analyses. For example, in Portugal women with children were found to have a lower suicide rate than childless women, and those with more than five children had the lowest suicide rate (de Castro and Martins 1987).

There is also some evidence that the presence of children reduces the severity of suicidality in suicidal women, for example, making attempted suicide relatively less common and suicidal ideation relatively more common.

And while we are at it, google scholar provided me also with:

Marital status and suicide in the National Longitudinal Mortality Study - Augustine J Kposowa - 1999

OBJECTIVES The purpose of the study was to examine the effect of marital status on the risk of suicide, using a large nationally representative sample. A related objective was to investigate the association between marital status and suicide by sex.

METHODS Cox proportional hazards regression models were applied to data from the National Longitudinal Mortality Study, based on the 1979–1989 follow up. In estimating the effect of marital status, adjustments were made for age, sex, race, education, family income, and region of residence.

RESULTS For the entire sample, higher risks of suicide were found in divorced than in married persons. Divorced and separated persons were over twice as likely to commit suicide as married persons (RR=2.08, 95% confidence intervals (95% CI) 1.58, 2.72). Being single or widowed had no significant effect on suicide risk. When data were stratified by sex, it was observed that the risk of suicide among divorced men was over twice that of married men (RR=2.38, CI 1.77, 3.20). Among women, however, there were no statistically significant differentials in the risk of suicide by marital status categories.

CONCLUSIONS Marital status, especially divorce, has strong net effect on mortality from suicide, but only among men. The study showed that in epidemiological research on suicide, more accurate results would be obtained if samples are stratified on the basis of key demographic or social characteristics. The study further observed that failure to control for relevant socioeconomic variables or combining men and women in the same models could produce misleading results. [...]

Data analysis revealed that marital status is associated with the risk of suicide, and that divorce and separation have the strongest association. Indeed, when adjustments were made for such potential confounders as age, race, education, income, and region of residence, divorce/separation was the only status category that showed a significant increased risk of suicide. [...]

Results have also shown that while marital status, especially divorce increases the risk of suicide in men, the same cannot be said of women. In other words, the effect of marital status on suicide depends on sex. One possible explanation for the observed differentials by sex is that perhaps women form greater supportive networks, such as meaningful friendships at a higher level than men, and regardless of their marital status. Accordingly, even if a marriage ends in divorce or widowhood, women can fall back on their friendship networks for emotional and social support. It may be that men form less meaningful and fruitful supportive social bonds and networks. Accordingly, when a marriage breaks, men have no safety net. [...]

It is important to note that socioeconomic status affects men and women differently in terms of suicide risk. Low educational attainment and income are significant risk factors for men, but not for women.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Poverty in the USA / Census 2011

I looked at the poverty gap, before. I was surprised how small the gap was, even though one does often hear that more women live in poverty, and not that almost the same number of men and women live in poverty. So as the last time I looked I had 2008 data and now we have detailed 2011 data, let us have another look.

Source: Current Population Survey (CPS) - Poverty Status in 2010 | Here is the link to the nice table creator I used

Male           All   00-17   18-64   65-80+
Total      150,413  38,112  95,220   17,081
In Poverty  21,012   8,454  11,406    1,153
Percentage  14.0%   22.2%    12.0%    6.8%

Female         All   00-17   18-64   65-80+
Total      155,275  36,382  96,795   22,098
In Poverty  25,167   7,947  14,852    2,368
Percentage  16.2%   21.8%    15.3%   10.7%

F-M (%)     +2.2%   -0.4%    +3.3%   +3.9%
M/F%        46.4%   50.5%    44.0%   38.9%

(Numbers in Thousands)
** The Current Population Survey Annual Social and Economic Supplement is an annual survey of approximately 78,000 households nationwide. Therefore, use extreme caution when making inferences when the cell sizes are small.
** Some CPS questions, such as income, ask about the previous year. Others, such as age, refer to the time of the survey. The column labels indicate any subject with a reference year which differs from the survey year.

The difference again, not that dramatic. The question that keeps puzzling me is however how does paying child support / alimony affect those numbers as it is not counted via the official poverty statistics. A helpful lady at the census pointed me to "Alternative Poverty Measures" that started to collect this data. After a bit of searching on the CDC site I came across this:

"The Supplemental Poverty Measure: Examining the Incidence and Depth of Poverty in the U.S. Taking Account of Taxes and Transfers in 2010 - Kathleen S. Short - March 15, 2012":

The current poverty thresholds use family size adjustments that are anomalous and do not take into account important changes in family situations, including payments made for child support and increasing cohabitation among unmarried couples.

The above is one point they are addressing, which is exactly what I was looking for. Sadly in their analysis there was no sex gap, which still keeps me guessing (I emailed the author and asked if she could point me in the right direction - we will see how that goes). What I noticed though is that in their data (see table 3) using the supplemental poverty measure the percentage of female headed units living in poverty increases via 0.3% while the percentage of male headed units living in poverty increased by 4.3%. This is about 14 times the rate of the female headed units. There is still a gap of about 6.3% here, but how this translates to the overall sex gap, as they also introduce new units, I can just guess. So I hope I will get an answer to that email.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Women Charge Ahead At Work, While Men Lag Behind... the slightly sensationalist title of this Huffington Post article. Some numbers:

In the CNN story, reporter Jessica Dickler writes that "a growing number of dads... are staying home with the kids." The story cites statistics from the Census showing that 32 percent of fathers with a wife in the workforce took care of their children at least one day a week in 2010, an increase from 26 percent in 2002. [...] BusinessWeek's story cited different statistics from the Census: Women hold more than half of all managerial and professional positions and 23 percent of wives now out-earn their husbands.

A list of definitions for feminism

Just for shits and giggles:

The advocacy of women`s rights on the grounds of sexual equality (OED) (seen via the finallyfeminism101 blog)

Feminism is a collection of movements aimed at defining, establishing, and defending equal political, economic, and social rights for women. (Wiki)

Feminism: 1. the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes / 2. organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests. (Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary)

I myself have never been able to find out what feminism is; I only know that people call me a feminist whenever I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a prostitute. (Rebecca West)

Feminism is the struggle to end sexist oppression. (bell hooks)

Feminism is the radical notion that women are people (Cheris Kamarae & Paula Treichler)

The reason racism is a feminist issue is easily explained by the inherent definition of feminism. Feminism is the political theory and practice to free all women: women of color, working-class women, poor women, physically challenged women, lesbians, old women –as well as white economically privileged heterosexual women. Anything less than this is not feminism, but merely female self-aggrandizement. (Barbara Smith)

There are just two pieces of dogma in my feminist tent: Society deals with gender in a way that, on balance, harms women. This is a problem that must be corrected. You’ll notice that they have nothing to do with: men, race, class, liberty, religion, teleology, biology, consumerism, violence, sex, or shoes. This is deliberate. (yami, a feminist blogger)

Feminism is not a monolith, nor is it a dogma. The only thing you have to believe in order to call yourself a feminist is that ensuring women's freedom and equality of opportunity in all spheres of life is a crucial priority. That's it. (via The Happy Feminist (a blogger), interesting post btw)

If you believe in, support, look fondly on, hope for, and/or work towards equality of the sexes, you are a feminist. (Sarah D. Bunting)

A feminist:
1. Advocates for the social, political, and economic equality of the sexes.
2. Believes that there is current, significant, society-wide inequality and sexism.
3. Doesn’t believe that men are the primary victims of inequality and sexism. (via Ampersand, aka Barry Deutsch)

And from what I have seen on reddit:

Feminism as a concept only exists under the assumption that in the large arena of sexual equality, women are behind men. The colloquial definition of feminism is 'equality of the sexes'.

Feminism is about equality. For everyone.

Feminism is a view that biology is not destiny and that stratification by gender is wrong and should be resisted.

Feminism is a movement encompassing a broad range of beliefs and ideas that all focus on one common goal: the end of women as second-class citizens.

Feminism is a collection of movements with varying methods for reaching the common goal of ending sexism.

I see feminism as an agent combating patriarchy and its resulting harms--not only pertaining to women, but to any gender. It's a pursuit of understanding how we're not so different across the gender, and self-actualizing in that regard.

Pick one...

EDIT 20-05-12: 2 more via reddit:

Maybe "The belief that there are injustices based in gender, and these injustices should be stopped"? Or, more specifically though more restrictively, "The belief that women face injustice on the basis of gender, and this should be stopped"?

"the desire to achieve equity between men and women"

EDIT 23-05-12: Well one that is slightly un-feminist

Feminism is the idea that we can make both sexes equal by focusing solely on the issues of one of them. (a youtube vlogger with the name of TJ Kincaid)

EDIT 29-06-12: More via reddit:

Feminism is recognizing society has treated men and women different, and women have been unable to participate fully because of this, and having a desire to change that fact.

Feminism is the recognition that patriarchal, gender-hierarchical structures exist in our society which serve to unfairly and unevenly oppress women as compared to men. It is also the recognition and acceptance of the responsibility to work against these social structures such that they no longer have the power to oppress women.