New research finds a lack of potential mates drives women to enter more lucrative professions.
Scarcity of Men Impacts Women’s Career Choices
Author: Tom Jacobs
Many factors can influence a woman’s choice of career. Cultural, or family, traditions. Her specific skill set. Her interests and passions.
And whether she senses an abundant supply of available men.
That’s the conclusion of newly published research
, which finds the mating market, not just the job market, impacts the way women pick their professions. The finding, which is rooted in evolutionary biology, has fascinating implications given the rapid rise of women both on college campuses and in the workplace.
“Does the ratio of men to women in the local population influence women’s career aspirations? Real-world archival data and a series of laboratory experiments suggest that the answer is yes,” writes a research team led by Kristina Durante of the University of Texas at San Antonio. “A scarcity of men leads women to seek out more lucrative careers.”
The paper, published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, begins with a little-known historical fact: “A substantial portion of women in Northern Europe achieved economic parity with men during the late 12th century.” This “relatively short-lived” phenomenon (it had largely faded away 100 years later) occurred during a period when there was “a scarcity of marriageable men,” the researchers write.
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