Wages Rise as Respect for Women Falls — If You’re a Man

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A depressing study written up in the Washington Post today that shows men with “traditional attitudes” towards women earn more than men with “egalitarian” views. And while women as a group earn less than either, women with egalitarian attitudes toward, er, themselves earn more women with traditional views.

The study used information from Labor Department’s National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, and compared wages among people in similar jobs, so many of the usual theories about wage disparity don’t apply. As one of the study’s authors puts it:

“Some would say, ‘Of course traditional men earn more than traditional women — they are both fulfilling their desires to play different roles in the home and workplace,’ ” said Judge, emphasizing that the researchers compared working men with working women, not working men with women who stay home. “Our results do not support that view. If you were a traditional-minded woman, would you say, ‘I am fine working the same hours as a traditional-minded man in the same industry with the same education but earning substantially less’? I don’t think traditional-minded women would say that.”

Sadly, if Sarah Palin adopts McCain’s views on the equal pay act, she pretty much would be saying exactly that.

And if can drop the snark for a moment: I am actually really curious about what kind of conversation Palin and McCain would have — if, you know forced to — about equal pay. Palin’s “Title IX” response at their joint town hall (and to Charlie Gibson) was a bit of nonsequitor but if we interpret that to mean that she is in favor of federal intervention to force proportionate spending on women, is she also in favor of federal intervention to force equal payment of them?

UPDATE: And I guess they don’t agree on Title IX, either. McCain, last May:

The U.S. Department of Education under President Clinton took liberties in interpreting the law and without debate determined that universities must fund men’s and women’s sports programs in proportion to the ratio of male to female students, or else lose federal funding for any part of the university including financial aid. In doing so, the adverse consequence of this interpretation unfortunately has been that many schools have adopted policies of strictly equal funding for male and female athletic programs. Unfortunately, many popular athletic programs have been cut because the overall amount of funding available for athletics programs will not sustain identical men’s and women’s programs in every sport.

Well, that would be a tragedy. Though demanding “strictly equal funding for male and female athletic programs” it is not actually what Title IX does. I am sure many female athletes wish it was!