May 2008

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« Doorway | Main | Brains or Intercourse »



Here's a different explanation: women are less argumentative. Your blog posts are usually an invitation to argue, but women tend less towards arguments. It's not true that you don't give explicit invitations: some of your posts end with a specific invitation to "debate" the subject - does that change the percentage of women responding? Probably not. Your question in your previous post, however, was simple, direct, and didn't seem to lead to any clear argument, so more women felt comfortable responding.


Guess you guys missed this article about studies that found results that I've always suspected because I've experienced them in the hiring and job world... there are actual negative social and hiring incentives that prevent women from asking for higher starting salaries...but those same unspoken social standards don't apply to men.

"Their study, which was coauthored by Carnegie Mellon researcher Lei Lai, found that men and women get very different responses when they initiate negotiations. Although it may well be true that women often hurt themselves by not trying to negotiate, this study found that women's reluctance was based on an entirely reasonable and accurate view of how they were likely to be treated if they did. Both men and women were more likely to subtly penalize women who asked for more -- the perception was that women who asked for more were "less nice"."

"What we found across all the studies is men were always less willing to work with a woman who had attempted to negotiate than with a woman who did not," Bowles said. "They always preferred to work with a woman who stayed mum. But it made no difference to the men whether a guy had chosen to negotiate or not."


This would make a good research study. Give people writing samples and have them judge if it is a man or woman. It won't save the dolphins or starving children of the world but you would have statistics to back up your observations. You could have entire teams of researchers and their peons working away to prove your theory and in turn, they can earn a name for themselves. Although, it's probably already been done (like every original idea eh?)
In fact, someone probably already mentioned it under the comments section but I'm too lazy to read them all.

Research Peon,



Quit changing the subject - what is on the other side of the door?

Faye Evans

Yes . female who wouldn't , it's a door it contains something i want to know everything i can and opening the door and walking through is the only way. Woman like to be in control and one of the only ways to do that is to know absolutly everything.


What were the % of women that said yes v the % of men that said yes.

What were those numbers, please?

Tomas Liubinas

My theory is similar, just I would formulate it differently, in my opinion men are inovator type of persons and women are more of imitator type, therefore men tries to step the first step and to do things maybe more optimal than it was done before, and women need guidlines and strict rules to get the things done. IMO men are better in creative work, but really bad at jobs where you have to follow strict instructions, we are worse in learning languages and routine works.

Greetings from Lithuania

LA Clay

You need a hobby. Wait, this is your hobby, nevermind.


This is an interesting experiment. You're probably right.
All my unannounced guests are male. Even after I stated that I'm busy and please don't come to my place.
Sometimes my friends ask me why I don't hang out with them more often. I thought, "Didn't you say you're very busy?"
Thanks! I'll be that barge-in-guy more often.
> Can you please discuss how to make male friends know that they should leave? I tried brushing my teeth and dress in pajamas, and they'd just stay and play video games until 2am. Is there a polite way to let male friends know they're not invited?


That was a pretty weak observation. I'm not sure why some people were so dazzled by your insight in this post...

I generally enjoy your blog though. Stick to the humour.


Scott -- Sorry I'm late to this thread, but I have the same feeling as you about men, women and invitations. Fifteen years ago a female friend told me she was being hit upon by a co-rider during her morning bus rides. She said her tactic was to keep ignoring the guy. I told her that anything short of an explicit "LEAVE ME ALONE" would prolong the man's interest in her.


Oddity you're such a freaking jerk, you're the reason there's not many females in IT and other so called "male fields". Coz they have to deal with jerks like you every day starting at school, and a jerk like you is always there to remind them they would never be as good as a man, never get a higher paying job etc.

Send your wife on vacation for a few months and we'll see what happens to your career life when you have to juggle school, kids, your job and other extracurricular activities women do every day. you won't even care about the money anymore you'd just sit there and be miserable, i guarantee.


No. Male.
(this is to prove that males are always late)


I'm too lazy to read through the comments, but I'd love to know how many guys did the "hey, I can help you spruce up your experiment to make it more scientific" thing and how many gals spoke about how it was an interesting reflection on human nature.

...Or, really, any other stereotype that played out.

J.T. Wenting

Studies here have shown quite conclusively that women make the same as or more than men, when taking length of workweek and exact function into account.

Of course newspaper reports (and the feminist movement) usually don't do that and report a massive difference in pay.

That difference however is caused by women more often working parttime jobs and a higher percentage of jobs in which women are typically found being relatively low paying jobs like cleaning and secretarial work.
When looking at hourly wages of men and women in identical positions the differences are marginal at best, and often show the woman earning slightly a slightly higher hourly rate than her male colleagues in identical functions.


talking about sterotyping? diversity management is almost everywhere. it seems hard to not stereotype. sometimes we do need to think abt the pros and cons of it badly. and perhaps how to minimize or handle it. how would you?

Dr. Suess

Next time you blog about fog, add a dog and a log.


Sure. Everyone on the internet is honest about their gender.


raquel wrote:
[If the first question you get in a job interview is "Are you planning to have chlidren [sic] soon?", you really don´t feel like you could negotiate your salary.]

I don't know about the US but in the UK it is against the law to ask questions like that in interviews. You could sue them for sexual discrimination even before getting a job with them.

The Law works in mysterious ways.


what would happen if the door was closed and there was a 'do not enter' sign. also, there was nowhere else to go.


I almost answered yesterday. Even if I read your blog every day, I never leave comments. This is my first comment. Maybe because your post today seemed more like an invitation for women to comment to me!!!

I agree with Elisa. Most women tend to avoid conflicts and end them as fast as possible. I am so happy that I have a great boss that offers a fair salary to everyone. I am paid exactly the same as my male coworkers that also are engineers and with the same experience. We all get a raise twice a year, so noone ever has to negociate for more. And I am still paid more than the people who studied with me. But as a woment with a master degree in engineering, I am probably not representative of what most women are. It's likely that most of your female readers do not work in the usual women jobs too.

Guy L

I think my mom was always a better negotiator than anyone else in my family; not in job interviews, but in day-to-day events such as buying stuff in stores in garage sales, for example.

I think its more of an american culture to lean less toward negotiations; in many other parts of the world, like the one I grew up in, prices aren't set in stone and its expected you'll negotiate. Here you grow up where the final price is the one on the tag; no one will go to a cashier in the mall and try to negotiate (besides my mom).


So your usual "go" isn't an invitation?


I wonder how much of that is cultural and changeable. That's a neutral question. There do definately seem to be inherent differences between men and women that start in infancy before they've had a chance to be inducted into a certain culture but I think there are a lot of cultural influences as well.



Please do share with us the secret method of determining the gender of posters, which I assume was necessary for coming up with the 10% average.

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