Women and Competition

by Elaine Schwartz    •    Dec 30, 2010    •    652 Views

Just a comment today on a study about females and competition. Comparing a matrilineal society in India to a patriarchal society in Tanzania, a 2007 study revealed a huge difference in how much women compete.

These quotes are wonderfully representative:

From a Khasi man in India where women dominate:

“We are sick of playing the roles of breeding bulls and baby-sitters.”

From a Maasai woman in Tanzania where men dominate:

“Men treat us like donkeys.”

Empirically, the study concluded that Maasai men and Khasi women were more likely to compete.

The Economic Lesson

Other studies we have cited focus on the conflict between the workplace and the family as a primary source of the gender gap in salary and promotion. Similarly, this 2010 paper for OECD nations sums up gender gap data in traditional categories. Now, we should add the culturally nurtured disinclination to compete as another factor that determines a woman’s success at work.  



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