To eliminate the gender wage gap, don’t let women major in sociology

by Grace

Advice on how to eliminate the gender wage gap from Christina Hoff Sommers:

Talented young women who aspire to be rich and powerful would be advised to major in economics or electrical engineering rather than psychology or social work. They should be prepared to work 60 hours a week at the office rather than combining shorter hours with home, family, and other pursuits they find fulfilling. Those who stick with this course will find that their W-2s are equal to those of their male counterparts.

While some sex discrimination undoubtedly exists, it is does not appear to be the reason for most of the gender wage gap.  The gap mainly arises from the choices women make about their jobs and their families.  Perhaps some women need to be “empowered” to make different decisions, but I suspect most women already exercise free choice.

… But American women today are as independent-minded and self-determining as any in history. It is condescending to suggest that they have been manipulated when they choose home and family over high-octane careers—or to pursue degrees in education rather than engineering.

Related:  The Gender Wage Gap Is Getting Worse (


4 Responses to “To eliminate the gender wage gap, don’t let women major in sociology”

  1. I do think men are exercising their independent-mindedness when they choose to abandon their children or marry their educational “equals”. But I see more harmful effects from abandoned children than from women seeking to populate the lower-income careers. Two-parent families are a worthy goal, IMO. Plus, I think schools are set up to favor the success of girls over that of boys. If there is any aspect of “society” that I would want to change to help make men more “attractive”, it would be schools.


  2. I’m not saying girls’ choices don’t have an impact, and a single mom with a well-paying job is better than a mom with poverty-level wages. But a two-parent family is with at least one parent holding down a well-paying job is usually better. However, I’d rather improve schools for boys than try some government program that encourages women to marry “down”.

    Parents/culture certainly have an effect on boy problems, with one important example being that of single-parent families producing men who are less attractive as marriage partners.


  3. I do think there’s increased acceptance that mothers will be fully or partly supporting their children (with increased government help in many cases), which seems to have lifted pressure off men to strive to earn a good living.



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