The Philosophy, Art, and Social Influence of games
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jinx
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by jinx Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:50 am

o.pwuaioc wrote: IMAGE


THIS.
I was trying to avoid posting in this thread, as it's been fun to read and I usually hate my own posts...
But I agree with that image so fucking much, I just had to say it.

I was trying to only buy "gender neutral" toys for my daughter. Focus on things that develop her mind, and not just home-making. Unfortunately, every fucking family member has to buy her a doll or broom or kitchen set, etc. I know several girls who play video games and know tech shit, and almost every one of them says "my dad got me into it". I believe there are some fundamental differences between men and women, but they are not defining factors.

Sorry if that made no sense at all. It's approaching the end of my shift, and I'm ready to pass out.
I'll go ahead and slink back into the dark now...
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Raiiban
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by Raiiban Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:26 am

Just to add my two cents based on personal experience and not charts with large amounts of dubiously arranged data...

I work in a small IT support business, we basically map out, install, and a support networks for other small and medium size businesses in the tri-state area. So this isn't about programming but about a general IT support job. In total we employ about 15 people and we're all men. My boss who does the hiring has never gotten even a single resume or application from a woman looking for work in the field. We do go out and post on all the usual areas when looking to expand the team but there just seems to be a general disinterest in the greater IT field among women.

I'm not going to go into the how or why that may be but raw numbers and personal experience just says that it is what it is. So we have a much smaller pool of women and their salaries to compare against men and their salaries, as stated before the lack of experience and company positions makes this data a lot more subject to scrutiny. I would be a bit floored if we hired a woman -or a man for that matter- out of college for the exact same position and rate that I, with my several years of experience, am getting.

I'm probably pretty jaded but I've never seen enough exact direct comparison evidence that women make less than men, there's usually some type of circumstance or the experience and positioning is filtered out to make a case where there may be nothing.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by Ivo Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:41 am

o.pwuaioc wrote:Image of the doll gift joke


O.p (and others), given you posted that image I would be interested in your opinion on the study mentioned in this article:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... evolution/
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by o.pwuaioc Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:55 am

Ivo wrote:
o.pwuaioc wrote:Image of the doll gift joke


O.p (and others), given you posted that image I would be interested in your opinion on the study mentioned in this article:
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... evolution/

Chimps throw poop, too. :lol:

On a serious note, I think there are real biological differences between men and women, which lead most women to have a maternal instinct. That instinct materializes at a young age, leading girls to want to act as if the dolls are their children. I don't know, though, if this actually biological, or if they're identifying themselves with their mother and thus imitating her - certainly we all agree that children imitate their parents - in what she sees as her most prominent feature, i.e. nurturing. I imagine that there's something to males and aggression as well, and perhaps that too can be traced to what's natural, since higher levels of testosterone are linked to more aggression, and naturally males have more testosterone than women.

*As a digression, I think the stereotype of the mean middle school girl might have a kernel of truth to it, since girls going through puberty also have an increase in the level of testosterone in their body.*

Hormonal levels definitely would affect men and women differently, since they each have vastly different levels of different hormones. This does not, however, mean that men prefer solitude (actually, the opposite, since testosterone increases aggression, which I imagine why men are so social online) and women are more social. These traits cannot be easily tied to male v. female hormones, and so extrapolating a natural distinction in job preference from biological distinctions is to grossly abuse the data. Can it be that girls like dolls more than boys? Sure. Can it be that girls are drawn more to social situations? It can be. Must it? The data is lacking, and even then it says nothing about job performance and preference. I think we can look at other factors for that.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by saturnfan Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:17 am

o.pwuaioc wrote:Chimps throw poop, too. :lol:

On a serious note, I think there are real biological differences between men and women, which lead most women to have a maternal instinct. That instinct materializes at a young age, leading girls to want to act as if the dolls are their children. I don't know, though, if this actually biological, or if they're identifying themselves with their mother and thus imitating her - certainly we all agree that children imitate their parents - in what she sees as her most prominent feature, i.e. nurturing. I imagine that there's something to males and aggression as well, and perhaps that too can be traced to what's natural, since higher levels of testosterone are linked to more aggression, and naturally males have more testosterone than women.

*As a digression, I think the stereotype of the mean middle school girl might have a kernel of truth to it, since girls going through puberty also have an increase in the level of testosterone in their body.*

Hormonal levels definitely would affect men and women differently, since they each have vastly different levels of different hormones. This does not, however, mean that men prefer solitude (actually, the opposite, since testosterone increases aggression, which I imagine why men are so social online) and women are more social. These traits cannot be easily tied to male v. female hormones, and so extrapolating a natural distinction in job preference from biological distinctions is to grossly abuse the data. Can it be that girls like dolls more than boys? Sure. Can it be that girls are drawn more to social situations? It can be. Must it? The data is lacking, and even then it says nothing about job performance and preference. I think we can look at other factors for that.


The problem with your line of reasoning is that it seems you have taken an extreme anti-evolutionary position on the issue, to the point that it looks like you are denying that sexual dimorphism exhibits any significance at all in humans. This is an extraordinary position to take, as the physical and behavioral differences between the sexes are self evident. As to the brain, the sexes differ in the amount and types of hormones administered in utero (as you pointed out). Information is delivered and processed differently between the sexes, which is directly observable thanks to modern technology. Women use more parts of the brain to interpret information than men, and are able to better associate information and emotion due to this fact. Men, on the other hand, tend to process information from a centralized area and can better focus on singular tasks.

You can extrapolate data from this, because it isn’t lacking, it’s in fact overwhelming.

Take Turner’s syndrome for example. It is caused by a woman’s failing to receive her additional chromosome, and are thus XO (as opposed to XX). Women who suffer from it are observed to behave in ways are hyper-feministic, and exhibit every stereotype about women can you can think of.

I would never make a claim that social and economic factors don’t contribute to job preference between the sexes. But biological reasons are the most significant, as to our amazing evolutionary history. The only people who “deride” these studies are from the humanities, who are not aware, any of the technical data or research. The scientific community isn’t as divided as you think; it’s just that highly technical data from academic journals rarely makes its way into the mainstream. Nor would the average person even be able to read and understand it.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by Ivo Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:11 pm

Maybe I'm being too idealistic and simplifying too much, but I don't think it is inherently problematic having fields or jobs with a lack or a surplus of either sex as long as individuals from the opposite sex have the choice and opportunity to access it.

So going from the comic strip, I'm not sure why I should care if there are many or few female engineers as long as there are good engineers and no individual is denied the opportunity to become a good engineer if they want to try.

The point is, if the girl is happier playing with dolls, progressive parents pushing their "own agenda" by giving her *only* "boy toys" are probably about as wrong as conservative parents *only* giving dolls to a girl that would be happier playing with "boy toys" (you know what I mean :P).

In both cases the girl is not allowed to choose.
Sure, her choices are influenced to some extent by society. But if she has both types of stuff and is allowed to play safely from the (often very overt) reinforcement of some people I think that would be best.

So for example in jinx's case, I think it is good that the daughter has both choices, I would only be wary to have e.g. grandparents around her all the time when she is playing that find it very cute and shower her with attention when they see her with dolls etc. and may frown or generally ignore her if she picks up some Lego or whatever.

Beyond that, at the level of employment again, I'm not sure we should worry that much whether women as an heterogeneous group make better engineers / programmers on average or not. What is for hire are individuals from a sex, not the average of that sex. Even if males on average were better programmers (a claim for which I think there is no scientific basis), if I was the boss and got an application from a woman that is better than all the other male applicants I would not care about the average and hire the woman.
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by Johnodog Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:27 pm

Great discussion. First off, I have two sisters and two daughters and so am invested in them making progress. However, the oft quoted 75 cents to the dollar claim comes from a crappy study done in the 70's and published in Redbook. The actual research regarding disparities in pay tells a much more benign story. There are three factors that affect the disparity in pay.
1. Women tend to accept whatever entry level pay is offered. Men tend to negotiate a higher starting wage. I actually taught this to my wife and she successfully negotiated higher wages in her next job.
2. Women( as a percentage) do not like to work dangerous jobs. Think Alaskan fisherman. Nor do they work night shifts. Both of those skew the wages higher in favor of men.( It is also one of the reasons women have a greater life expectancy.)
3. Women take time off to start families and have children. Men do not. This is a mechanism of biology not sexism.
When a women with similar education and career trajectory( i.e. negotiated starting wage and never missed time for children) as a man she actually tends to make slightly more money than a man in the same position.
Its been a lot of years since Billy Jean King but people are still trying to sell the idea of rampant misogynist sexism in the workplace and it just isn't so. They make money selling the idea of a great disparity.
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by o.pwuaioc Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:00 pm

saturnfan wrote:The problem with your line of reasoning is that it seems you have taken an extreme anti-evolutionary position on the issue, to the point that it looks like you are denying that sexual dimorphism exhibits any significance at all in humans.

Not at all. I specifically mention differences between the sexes in my opening line.

o.pwuaioc wrote:I think there are real biological differences between men and women.

I'm not sure how you constructed that strawman of yours.

Take Turner’s syndrome for example. It is caused by a woman’s failing to receive her additional chromosome, and are thus XO (as opposed to XX). Women who suffer from it are observed to behave in ways are hyper-feministic, and exhibit every stereotype about women can you can think of.

Cite the study on that. I've known a couple people with Turner's, and they were not that stereotypical "female" (whatever that means, especially since different societies have different stereotypes about women, and this usually changes as time goes on. Are women meek and quiet? Or are they loud and bitchy? :roll:

But biological reasons are the most significant, as to our amazing evolutionary history. The only people who “deride” these studies are from the humanities, who are not aware, any of the technical data or research. The scientific community isn’t as divided as you think; it’s just that highly technical data from academic journals rarely makes its way into the mainstream. Nor would the average person even be able to read and understand it.

They're not divided, because they don't agree with you. There is absolutely zero evidence that says that women in every culture prefer social jobs or that it is biological to do so. In fact, I can point to you a dozen societies where women were the ones hidden away, and the men were social (ancient Greek, early ancient Roman, Ottoman Turkey, feudal Japan, early and middle imperial China to name a few). And if you start to protest that this is a humanities problem, why don't we take a look at some real science articles?

Queller, David. "Evolutionary biology: Males from Mars." Nature 435.7046 (2005): 1167.

That men and women sometimes seem like different species is the stock in trade of pop psychologists and relationship gurus. Some go even farther: men are from Mars and women are from Venus. But in reality, human sexual differences are rather small. Even a naturalist freshly arrived from Mars or Venus would have little trouble binning specimens of men with women, and not with female chimpanzees or gorillas. There are species where males and females are different enough to have fooled real earthly naturalists. But no population geneticist would be misled -- males and females mix their genes in their progeny, and as a result male and female genes comprise a common, well-mixed pool. A fascinating exception to this rule is described by Fournier et al . (Clonal reproduction by males and females in the little fire ant) [1]. Males and females each reproduce clonally and, like independent species, follow separate evolutionary branches.


Joel, Daphna. "Male or Female? Brains are Intersex." Integr Neurosci 5 (2011): 57.

The underlying assumption in popular and scientific publications on sex differences in the brain is that human brains can take one of two forms “male” or “female,” and that the differences between these two forms underlie differences between men and women in personality, cognition, emotion, and behavior. Documented sex differences in brain structure are typically taken to support this dimorphic view of the brain. However, neuroanatomical data reveal that sex interacts with other factors in utero and throughout life to determine the structure of the brain, and that because these interactions are complex, the result is a multi-morphic, rather than a dimorphic, brain. More specifically, here I argue that human brains are composed of an ever-changing heterogeneous mosaic of “male” and “female” brain characteristics (rather than being all “male” or all “female”) that cannot be aligned on a continuum between a “male brain” and a “female brain.” I further suggest that sex differences in the direction of change in the brain mosaic following specific environmental events lead to sex differences in neuropsychiatric disorders.


Martinsen, Bente (2012). "Are men from Mars and women from Venus?" Int J Qual Stud Health Well-being. 7: 10.3402.

In empirical research literature, men and women are commonly separated into specific gender groups, and this may be well-founded as there are clearly biological differences. However, this tendency seems to have entered qualitative research and this may conflict with ontological and epistemological beliefs. A brief survey of some papers containing qualitative studies shows that while some researchers provide a rationale for dividing groups along gender lines, others do not appear to question or provide justification for this in their research. In most cases, the division is made with reference to earlier studies using gender division, for example: “Since allergy to gluten has only been studied among women so far, this study provides insight into men's experiences of this life condition”. Attempting to establish the necessary niche in the existing body of knowledge, the researcher fails to question whether a gender division is suitable in this particular study.


The differences between the sexes are real, but they're not nearly as nice and neat as you want them to be, and research actually has been trending in the opposite way in the sciences.
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o.pwuaioc
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by o.pwuaioc Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:16 pm

Johnodog wrote:Great discussion. First off, I have two sisters and two daughters and so am invested in them making progress. However, the oft quoted 75 cents to the dollar claim comes from a crappy study done in the 70's and published in Redbook. The actual research regarding disparities in pay tells a much more benign story. There are three factors that affect the disparity in pay.
1. Women tend to accept whatever entry level pay is offered. Men tend to negotiate a higher starting wage. I actually taught this to my wife and she successfully negotiated higher wages in her next job.
2. Women( as a percentage) do not like to work dangerous jobs. Think Alaskan fisherman. Nor do they work night shifts. Both of those skew the wages higher in favor of men.( It is also one of the reasons women have a greater life expectancy.)
3. Women take time off to start families and have children. Men do not. This is a mechanism of biology not sexism.
When a women with similar education and career trajectory( i.e. negotiated starting wage and never missed time for children) as a man she actually tends to make slightly more money than a man in the same position.
Its been a lot of years since Billy Jean King but people are still trying to sell the idea of rampant misogynist sexism in the workplace and it just isn't so. They make money selling the idea of a great disparity.

The original statistic is indeed flawed, but your comments don't really address any current statistics, like the ones produced in Elvira & Graham's "Not Just a Formality: Pay System Formalization and Sex-Related Earnings Effects" Organization Science 13.6 (2002): 601-617.
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saturnfan
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Re: Gender gaps and pay disparity in the game industry.

by saturnfan Wed Apr 10, 2013 1:49 pm

No strawman was constructed. Was just pointing out how you dramatically minimize the role biology plays on real life outcomes. Biology is the baseline, then social factors come into play. I wouldn't anticipate parity in the job market anytime soon.

And I wouldn't say nobody agrees with me. Here are a few articles about the importance and reality of sex differences. And besides, these differences will continue to exist despite what's written about them.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11324860

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10527068

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19889648

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17644146

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19318467

http://www.loni.ucla.edu/~thompson/PDF/Brun2009_Sex.pdf

http://www.benthamscience.com/open/toan ... OANATJ.pdf
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