Monday, 26 November 2012

A lack of men boost women's careers in the US

One of the very few studies looking at operational sex ratios today and their social consequences. (Kristina Durante has many other interesting articles, among the most popular is, for some peculiar reason, "Why do the wrong men feel so right?")

Sex Ratio and Women's Career Choice: Does a Scarcity of Men Lead Women to Choose Briefcase Over Baby?.
DOI: 10.1037/a0027949
Durante, Kristina M. 1; Griskevicius, Vladas 2; Simpson, Jeffry A. 3; Cantu, Stephanie M. 3; Tybur, Joshua M. 4

"Although the ratio of males to females in a population is known to influence behavior in nonhuman animals, little is known about how sex ratio influences human behavior. We propose that sex ratio affects women’s family planning and career choices. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences women’s career aspirations. Findings showed that a scarcity of men led women to seek high-paying careers and to delay starting a family. This effect was driven by how sex ratio altered the mating market, not just the job market. Sex ratios involving a scarcity of men led women to seek lucrative careers because of the difficulty women have in finding an investing, long-term mate under such circumstances. Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate. These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby."

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