‘Sexist’ Men Earn a Lot More Than ‘Liberal’ Men: Study

by Thilaka Ravi on Sep 22 2008 2:26 PM

Men with traditional views who believe their women’s place is the home and hearth may be considered old-fashioned, but they earn a lot more than men who consider men and women equal, according to a new US study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.

The massive study by researchers at the University of Florida, interviewed 12,686 men and women, first in 1979, when they were aged between 14 and 22 years. They were subsequently interviewed thrice in the following two decades, and finally in 2005.

The participants were asked whether they believed a woman’s place was the home, or whether women going to work was a reason for higher rates of juvenile delinquency and whether the woman should take care of the home and family.

Excluding factors such as education, job complexity and the number of man-hours put in, the researchers found that sexist men who preferred their women to stay at home and look after the family, earned an average of $8,500 (£4,600) a year more than men who viewed women as workplace equals.

The study found feminist women earned around $1,500 (£820) more than women conservative women.

According to Dr Timothy Judge, one of the researchers, “More traditional people may be seeking to preserve the historical separation of work and domestic roles - our results prove that is, in fact, the case.”

Explaining the higher income of sexist men, Dr Magdalena Zawisza, a psychologist from Winchester University, said,  “It could be that more traditionally-minded men are interested in power, both in terms of access to resources - money in this case - and also in terms of a woman who is submissive.”

“Another theory suggests that employers are more likely to promote men who are the sole earner in preference to those who do not - they recognize that they need more support for their families, because they are the breadwinner,” Dr Zawiska added. 

The study also found that couples who both supported the view that the ideal place for a woman was the home, earned  more than couples who disagreed with the view. It also emerged  that people whose parents had both worked outside the home held less traditional views on gender roles. Married couples as well as men and women who had a religious orientation, were found to have more traditional gender role views.