Entries in Careers (2)


‘Scarcity’ of Women Leads to Costlier Dates, Engagement Rings

Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- Research published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology shows that sex ratios, or the percentage of men and women, have a larger effect on our decisions than we think, including finding that men may pay more for a date or engagement ring when there are fewer women around.

In the first study, “The Financial Consequences of Too Many Men: Sex Ratio Effects on Saving, Borrowing and Spending,” published in January 2012, lead author Vlad Griskevicius, marketing and psychology professor at University of Minnesota’s Carlson’s School of Management, and his co-authors conducted two experiments.

In a laboratory study of about 600 people, when male college participants were told there was a scarcity of women on their campuses and in other areas of their lives, they were willing to pay $6.01 more on average for Valentine’s Day gifts and $278 more for an engagement ring than men who were not told of a supposed scarcity of the opposite sex.

“What’s always been interesting to me is people in the study are unaware that sex ratio has any affect on their preferences,” Griskevicius said. ”They just feel like an engagement ring should cost a particular amount, but they have no idea what’s causing them to feel that way.”

In a second analysis in the paper, the researchers conducted a data study of 143 U.S. cities. In places where women were more “scarce,” men cut their savings rate by 42 percent and they increased their credit card debt by 84 percent.

However, the researchers found that sex ratios did not seem to correlate with women’s financial practices.

Though women’s finances did not directly seem to be related to sex ratios, Griskevicius hypothesized that the scarcity of the opposite sex has an effect on women’s other choices, such as career decisions.

In a follow-up study published last month, called “Sex Ratio and Women’s Career Choice: Does Scarcity of Men Lead Women to Choose Briefcase Over Baby?” Griskevicius and his co-authors asked female college participants about their career and family decisions.

To one group, the researchers told the participants that there were fewer men in their communities, showed them photos with more women than men and altered news articles to show a scarcity of men. Those women more often chose high-paying careers than the women who were not shown a scarcity of men.

The Labor Department’s list of top paying careers for females includes medicine, law among other lucrative careers.

“Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate,” the paper said. “These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby.”

Griskevicius said the second paper received a more “fiery” reaction than the first.

“People are going to be offended by this,” he said, adding that some women have called the research “sexist” and claimed that their career choices have nothing to do with potential mates.

On the other hand, he said some “career women” have acknowledged the research may have a grain of truth.

The “underlying response,” Griskevicius said, “is that people are often unaware of how … number of men and women in the workplace or on campus [is] changing their preferences.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Best and Worst Jobs of 2012: Most Stressful Careers

Ingram Publishing/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- is out with its list of best and worst jobs of 2012. It’s bad news for journalists, but much brighter for the folks who program the code that keeps this website humming.

Using a methodology that looked at physical demands, work environment, income, stress and hiring outlook, career website ranked the top 200 jobs. They also ranked the jobs with the most stress.  Not surprisingly, none of the most stressful jobs show up on the best jobs list.

At the top is software engineer and at the bottom is the lumberjack.  Felling trees failed to skate above the bottom 10 percent in all ranking categories, excluding income.  "Unemployment for lumberjacks is very high, and the demand for their services is expected to continue to fall through 2016. And while working outside all day may seem like a great job perk, being a lumberjack not only is considered the worst job, but also one of the world’s most dangerous,” according to

And, for that most dangerous job, expect to earn a little more than $32,000 a year. That’s about $56,000 less than the cushy job of  a software engineer, which has the average salary at $88,000 a year, according to Careercast.

Here’s a complete look at the best and worst jobs. And, take a look at the most stressful jobs. You may be surprised.

Best Jobs

  • Software Engineer
  • Actuary
  • Human Resources Manager
  • Dental Hygienist
  • Financial Planner
  • Audiologist
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Online Advertising Manager
  • Computer Systems Analyst
  • Mathematician

Worst Jobs

  • Lumberjack
  • Dairy Farmer
  • Enlisted Military Soldier
  • Oil Rig Worker
  • Reporter (Newspaper)
  • Waiter/Waitress
  • Meter Reader
  • Dishwasher
  • Butcher
  • Broadcaster

Most Stressful Jobs

  • Enlisted Soldier
  • Firefighter
  • Airline Pilot
  • Military General
  • Police Officer
  • Event Coordinator
  • Public Relations Executive
  • Corporate Executive (Senior)
  • Photojournalist
  • Taxi Driver

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio