Apr 242013
 

This Freakonomics Radio podcast: As Stephen Dubner says:

DUBNER: Equality of the sexes has long been a goal, and in many ways that goal is being met. But, as you’ll hear on this program, the variance between men and women on some dimensions is still large. … We’re not trying to start any arguments. We’re just trying to look at the data that show differences between men and women to figure out why those differences exist, and how meaningful they are.

The first story you’ll hear is about the gender gap among editors of the world’s biggest encyclopedia. Bourree Lam (the editor of this blog) looks at why only 16% of Wikipedia’s editors are female — which is puzzling in that women outnumber men on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even in online games.

Next, you’ll hear about female-male differences in competition. Economist Uri Gneezy and a group of researchers got to study competition in the Masai tribe in Tanzania (which is extremely patriarchal) and the Khasi tribe in India (one of the world’s few matrilineal societies). When it comes to competition, Gneezy says, nurture is key:

GNEEZY: It’s not that men and women are not born differently. I’m sure they are. And you can come up with good evolutionary stories about why men are more competitive than women. What we showed is that’s not the only factor that goes in, which is not a big surprise, but the other factor, the culture can be so big that it can just overturn the results.

Transcript:

DUBNER: More than half of all college students in the U.S., about 57 percent, are female. As of January, women are no longer barred from combat positions in the United States military. The male-female income gap is tightening. Women hold about 20 percent of the seats in both the U.S. Senate and the House of Representatives– the highest proportion ever. Three of the last five Secretaries of State were women. One of them, Condoleezza Rice, just became one of the first female members of Augusta National Golf Club, one of the oldest and goodest good ol’ boy clubs in America. Equality of the sexes has long been a goal, and in many ways that goal is being met. But, as you’ll hear on this program, the variance between men and women on some dimensions is still large. In other words: women are not men.

 

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Source: Freakonomics

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