Many have viewed, or heard of, that viral “car crash” of an interview between the now very famous Canadian clinical psychologist Jordan B. Peterson and Cathy Newman, English journalist and presenter for Channel 4 News. If you haven’t viewed it however, here it is:
Without delving into the entire back-and-forth, like Peterson, I too mentioned the different, naturally occurring rate in which the personality trait agreeableness/disagreeableness appears between men and women, collectively, as one factor contributing to the alleged pay gap. (See this Wiki article on agreeableness for more detailed explanation.) This section of What do you think about the recent Jordan Peterson interview? by Lynn Patra clarifies that this is a proportional, rather than an absolute, difference of a tendency between men and women:
When talking about personality differences between men and women collectively, [Cathy Newman] also displayed a frustratingly common misunderstanding that these are absolute differences instead of differences in proportion (i.e., the frequency) of an observed trait or tendency.
If I’d been in Peterson’s place, I think I would’ve slowed wayyy down and tried to illustrate what proportional differences between groups look like, for example (and this is a hypothetical example because I don’t know if a consensus exists with regard to the specific proportions of agreeableness/disagreeableness between groups – where A = agreeable and D = disagreeable):
Men: D, D, D, D, D, A, A, A, A, A
Women: D, D, D, A, A, A, A, A, A, A
For awhile, it seemed like Peterson and Newman were going around in circles about this. And I know a person doesn’t get it when I hear, “But women aren’t all the same!” or “But there are some women who aren’t like that!” as Newman expressed.
Of course, the “pay gap” results from a complex mixture of numerous factors. This interview inspired me to find an infographic that displays the multi-faceted reasons for the “pay gap.” Some may find the following infographic, which was first published in 2016, to be provocative but it’s one of the better ones I could find. It certainly gives you plenty to chew on.
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