Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Ratio Working Papers,
The Ratio Institute

No 275: Does political ideology hinder insights on gender and labor markets?

Charlotta Stern ()
Additional contact information
Charlotta Stern: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University and The Ratio Institute, Postal: Department of Sociology, Stockholm University, Universitetsvägen 10B, 106 91 Stockholm, &, The Ratio Institute, P.O. Box 5095, SE-102 42 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: Sociology is a field where a large majority of professors lean left. The left-leaning ideology is visible in studies of gender differences in labor markets. In such studies, a left-feminist ideology of equality is taken to be self-evident. Defining equality to equate to slim-outcome difference, however, pre-destines all differences to be seen as outcomes of culturally defined social constructions and discrimination. In this chapter it is hypothesized that this has produced tabooed topics in the field. One such taboo is the acknowledging of differences between men and women. Such differences challenge the left-feminism’s notion of equality in terms of slim-outcome-difference. Research on evolution and preferences is downplayed in favor of cultural explanations. Cultural explanations interpret differences between men and women in labor market behavior as constructed, as largely driven by gender stereotypes and discrimination. The notion that differences can stem from biology or from the choices made by individuals pursuing a lifestyle different than those prescribed by gender researchers is seldom entertained. I hypothesize that the situation stems from gender sociology being dominated by left-feminist ideology.

Keywords: Labor market; Sociology

JEL-codes: J40; Z10

30 pages, September 30, 2016

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