Why Do Chauvinists Earn More?

  • Do Chauvinists Earn More?The Find: Men who hold traditional ideas of gender roles such as "a woman's place is in the home" earn more than men with more egalitarian views.
  • The Source: Research from University of Florida organizational psychologists Timothy Judge and Beth Livingston recently published in the Journal of Applied Psychology.
The Takeaway: Between 1979 and 2005 dedicated researchers Judge and Livingston interviewed more than 12,000 people in a nationally representative sample about their ideas about the proper roles of women and men, as well as about their earnings, education and religious beliefs.

What conclusions came out of this massive pool of data? Sexism just might pay. Men in the study who said they had more traditional views of gender roles made an average of about $8,500 more annually than those who had less traditional attitudes controlling for job complexity, number of hours worked and education level.


The situation for women was reversed. More traditional views on gender correlated with decreased earnings -- about $1,500 a year less. The researchers note that the findings cannot simply be explained by the type of work traditional women choose. Judge explains:

"These results cannot be explained by the fact that, in traditional couples, women are less likely to work outside the home. Though this plays some role in our findings, our results suggest that even if you control for time worked and labor force participation, traditional women are paid less than traditional men for comparable work."
The researchers conclude by speculating that the gender pay gap may have as much to do with psychology as it does with economics, but also note that more research is needed to suss-out a full explanation of the phenomenon.

The Question: Why do you think more traditionally minded men earn more?

(Image of King of His Castle joke gift by Mike Willis, CC 2.0)