Monday, November 20, 2006

Where is the Bias

Commenting on a study that looks at gender differences in tenure Matt Yglesias is pretty confident on where the bias lies.

You say the gap is explained by "fertility decisions" I say it's explained by "structural sexism." Here, as in much of life, women and men are now allowed to compete on "equal" terms. The terms, however, were set up long ago -- by men -- before that was the case, operating under the implicit assumption that the competitors would be men who, if they had children, would have wives at home to take care of the children.
I don't get it though. If men and women are, essentially, equal until one of them decides to work less in order to take care of kids then the bias is clearly not in the work place. The bias is in the home.

From a policy stand point things look pretty good. It is no business of the government whether or not women choose to emphasize family over profession - and don't let them fool you, it is a choice. The only solution would be to forbid people to work hard and that doesn't seem like a terribly efficient solution to me.

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