My theory isn’t complicated at all. It says that there is not a scientific way to determine what women or men naturally or biologically prefer because you cannot study them removed from thousands of years of socialization.

So you don’t think that harassment is OK, but also don’t see 40–50% harassment as all that concerning. Your much more worried about proving that women act like victims, even though nearly half of them actually are. A really interesting take, I must say.

Different cultures have different dynamics. There are all kinds of reasons why women in Algeria might not report gender inequality in STEM. Muslim countries have had more women leaders than in Western countries. Explain that one!

No one in the world thinks that every profession has to be 50/50, but there is a huge difference between quotas and artificial barriers and if anyone male/female/non-binary is prevented from doing work that they have the interest in and aptitude for, that’s an issue. And if 50% of the women (or even 40%) in a profession are being routinely harassed, that’s an artificial barrier. That’s a nationwide culture of discrimination.

A decent person, which I will assume that you are, ought to care more about that rather than spending their time and effort to prove that women are falsely feeling like victims — particularly when you are quoting from the study that shows that they actually are victims much of the time.

Anyone actually concerned with fairness ought to care about this too:

“Once women start doing a job, “It just doesn’t look like it’s as important to the bottom line or requires as much skill,” said Paula England, a sociology professor at New York University. “Gender bias sneaks into those decisions.”

She is a co-author of one of the most comprehensive studies of the phenomenon, using United States census data from 1950 to 2000, when the share of women increased in many jobs. The study, which she conducted with Asaf Levanon, of the University of Haifa in Israel, and Paul Allison of the University of Pennsylvania, found that when women moved into occupations in large numbers, those jobs began paying less even after controlling for education, work experience, skills, race and geography.

And there was substantial evidence that employers placed a lower value on work done by women. “It’s not that women are always picking lesser things in terms of skill and importance,” Ms. England said. “It’s just that the employers are deciding to pay it less.”

A striking example is to be found in the field of recreation — working in parks or leading camps — which went from predominantly male to female from 1950 to 2000. Median hourly wages in this field declined 57 percentage points, accounting for the change in the value of the dollar, according to a complex formula used by Professor Levanon. The job of ticket agent also went from mainly male to female during this period, and wages dropped 43 percentage points.

The same thing happened when women in large numbers became designers (wages fell 34 percentage points), housekeepers (wages fell 21 percentage points) and biologists (wages fell 18 percentage points). The reverse was true when a job attracted more men. Computer programming, for instance, used to be a relatively menial role done by women. But when male programmers began to outnumber female ones, the job began paying more and gained prestige.”

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Dispelling cultural myths with research-driven stories. My favorite word is “specious.” Not fragile like a flower; fragile like a bomb! Twitter @ElleBeau

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