New research from the University of Texas in San Antonio claims that women have a lack of male attention to thank for their career success. The study, published April 2 in the Journal of Personality and Psychology, offers up the idea that women tend to pursue high paying careers more often when there is a lack of suitable men in the area.
Apparently, if ladies have to “fend for themselves” financially and emotionally, they are more likely to concentrate on establishing themselves on the career ladder, and they put finding a mate and reproducing on the back burner. Well, duh.
Researchers used a number of different methods to gather their information, some of which leave a little to be desired. They examined the sex ratio of males to females in each of the 50 states, compared it with the percentage of women in the top 10 career spots, and from that information gleaned these findings:
“Sex ratios involving a scarcity of men led women to seek lucrative careers because of the difficulty women have in finding an investing, long-term mate under such circumstances,” researchers wrote. “Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate. These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby.”
So far, this makes sense, right? If there's a lack of men, there's a lack of long-term heterosexual relationships. If there's a lack of relationships, there's a lack of babies and families. Obviously, women have more time to work on their careers if they don't have a spouse and four children to run around after. Put two and two together and come up with an answer that we can safely assume is four.
But then researchers performed two surveys using groups of women still in college to see where they would rank the importance of having a career over the importance of having a family. They deduced from this survey that women in a population that was female-dense would rate career as more important. They also found that women who ranked themselves as less attractive to males would also prefer to concentrate more on their jobs. Um, OK.
However, what they have failed to consider is that all of the women interviewed were between the ages of 19 and 22. What self-respecting, university-attending girl of that age says she wants a man and babies more than she wants to be successful and happy in her career? It is just not the done thing these days — heck, it hasn't been en vogue since the 1950s.
And seeing as though these women don't yet have degrees, they also don't yet have careers, making their survey responses simply predictions of what decisions they might make later in life.
But most curious about this research study is the lack of attention to the male side of the equation. If a man is successful in his chosen career, is it because he is driven and ambitious or the result of a scarcity of eligible bachelorettes? Hard to say…but let's cross our fingers that researchers somewhere in the world are surveying a handful of 19-year-old high school graduates for the answer.
Cuz that's certainly where the truth lies!