Entries in Men (11)


Researcher Questions Whether Women More Risk-Averse Than Men

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While previous academic research has shown women to be less willing to engage in risk than men in situations like gambling, a new economics paper released this week finds men can be just as risk-averse, if not more.

Julie Nelson, chairwoman of the economics department at University of Massachusetts-Boston, wrote “Are Women Really More Risk-Averse Than Men?” as a working paper this week.

“The paper finds a lot of the economics and finance research in behavioral differences between men and women is vastly exaggerated,” Nelson said.

Nelson and a research assistant reviewed more than 24 published articles about the subject, many of which studied men and women’s gambling habits and often concluded that women were less willing to gamble.

“My paper goes over the literature and says ‘not so fast,’” she said.

Nelson often found small differences in the averages of the two genders that measured how willing they were to take risks.

“Academic articles hide that there is a lot of overlap between men and women,” Nelson said.

Nelson pointed out that it should be difficult to generalize on risk just from studies about lottery-like games, upon which is what much of the research is based.

“That’s easy to do with a bunch of undergraduates in a psych lab,” she said of much of the research methodology about the subject.

Either there are problems with studies themselves or some people over-interpreted the results, Nelson said.

Kimmo Eriksson, a Swedish scholar, co-authored a paper called “Emotional reactions to losing explain gender differences in entering a risky lottery” in 2010. However, after reading Nelson’s paper, he acknowledged in a blog post his error in citing a previous risk-related gender study.

Eriksson and his co-author had written that “females’ lower risk preferences and less risky behavior is robust across a variety of contexts.”  However, the previous study he cited concluded that the majority, 60 percent, of the research subjects supported “the idea of greater risk taking on the part of males,” and, “a sizable minority,” 40 percent, were either negative or close to zero.

A loose translation of his blog post included, “Julie Nelson is of course right that robustness was too strong a word.”

As an economics professor, Nelson pointed out that generalizations based upon gender about risk-aversion can lead to broader cultural bias in financial decision-making and the workplace. She argued out that the cultural perceptions of what is masculine and feminine may be more influential on one’s risk aversion than a biological difference.

“Could the financial crisis that began in 2008 be attributed, at least in part, to issues of sex and gender?” she wrote in the paper. “In the wake of the crisis, several commentators asked whether women leaders would have prevented it or whether it would have happened ‘if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters’. The evidence reviewed in this essay suggests, however, that the biological sex of the financial decision-makers or regulators is likely not the most important factor.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


‘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


Is the 'Mancession' Over?

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- The slow economy may be grinding on, but some are saying goodbye to the "mancession."

Three years ago when the recession was at its peak, and hundreds of thousands of Americans were laid off each month, men were more likely than women to lose their jobs.

Now, as the employment market improves, the trend has reversed.  USA Today reports men are claiming over two-thirds of the private-sector jobs that are being created.

Citing the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the paper says close to 1.28 million men snatched jobs in the year leading up to November compared to 600,000 women during the same 12 months.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Holiday Shopping: Men Outnumber, Outspend Women

Ryan McVay/Thinkstock(PHILADELPHIA) -- More men than women went shopping on Black Friday weekend, and men outspent women.

According to a National Retail Federation survey, men and women shopped at different hours, preferred different types of stores and favored different categories of goods. Men are not as willing as women to pull themselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to go snap up bargains. They are, however, willing to shop late.

Between Thursday and Sunday, Americans spent an estimated $52.4 million, according to the NRF. That's slightly more than last year, with 35 percent of that total being spent online. A record 226 million people shopped, compared with 212 million last year. Per person, men spent an average $484 to women's $317. Online, the average man spent $200 -- twice as much as the average woman.

Stephen Hoch, a professor of marketing at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business, says that while it's true that more men shopped than women, the difference is small. Asked by the NRF if they had shopped or would shop during the holiday weekend, 56.8 percent of males said yes, compared with 55.2 percent of women.

"You've got two things going on here," says Hoch. "Men spend more online, and that tends to be on more expensive stuff like electronics. Traditionally, consumer electronics is more of a male product. Women get allocated the duty of picking up stuff for the kids."

According to the NRF's survey, 47 percent of men said they bought or would be buying consumer electronics, compared with 32 percent of women. But for some electronic products, women outnumbered men.

Women, says Steve Kidera, spokesman for the Consumer Electronics Association, bought more digital cameras and more digital photo frames. They outnumbered men in buying MP3 players, smartphones and eReaders. Women swamped men (14 percent to 9 percent) in buying GPS devices.

What other kinds of products were big-sellers? According to the NRF, the best-selling categories were clothing or clothing accessories, toys, books, CDs, DVDs, videos or video games, and consumer electronics or computer-related accessories.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Dr Pepper Ten: It’s ‘Not for Women’ Marketing Campaign Says

Ramin Talaie/Bloomberg via Getty Images(PLANO, Texas) -- Would women want a soft drink that was packaged in gunmetal grey and silver bullets? Probably not, but that’s the whole point of the marketing for Dr Pepper Ten, the new 10-calorie soft drink aimed at men. A national ad campaign rolled out Monday proudly says the drink is “not for women.”

The beverage was developed after research from the Dr Pepper Snapple Group found that men apparently are reluctant to drink diet drinks that don’t seem macho enough.

Unlike Diet Dr Pepper, Dr Pepper Ten has calories and sugar, and rather than the dainty tan bubbles on the diet can, Ten will be wrapped in aforementioned gunmetal grey packaging.

TV commercials are heavy on the machismo, including one spot that shows muscular men in the jungle battling snakes and bad guys and appearing to shoot lasers at each other.

“Hey ladies. Enjoying the film? Of course not. Because this is our movie and this is our soda,” a man says as he attempts to pour the soda into a glass during a bumpy ATV ride. “You can keep the romantic comedies and lady drinks. We’re good.”

Dave Fleming, the director of marketing for the company, told Advertising Age, an industry publication, that he was not out to alienate women, and that the goal was “to be direct and have fun."

“Did we have a conversation about how far we wanted to go with this message? Absolutely,” he said in an interview in February when the campaign was in testing. “But we did the research, and it scored well with men and women.”

Jim Treblicock, executive vice president of marketing for the company, said about 40 percent of people who have tried the soda so far are women. The drink was tested and promoted in six markets across the nation before being widely rolled out.

“Women get the joke. ‘Is this really for men or really for women?’ is a way to start the conversation that can spread and get people engaged in the product,” he said.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


'Cosmo' Magazine to Begin Selling iPad App for Men

Apple, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Cosmopolitan magazine is going after a new demographic with an iPad app. Next month, it will start selling CFG -- Cosmo For Guys.

It'll advise young men on everything from dating etiquette to sexual preferences.

Apparently, the magazine has long had a following among men. As the editor put it to The New York Times, “it’s like having the opposite team’s playbook.”

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Survey: Women Worry More About Economy Than Men

George Doyle/Stockbyte/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- While many women are hopeful about a brighter financial future, a new financial survey out in time for Mother's Day says they're more likely than men to worry about today.

Jonathan Clements of Citi Personal Wealth Management explains that these worries stem from women's financial standing and the rising price of commodities.

"We know that women tend to have lower incomes," says Clements.  "A rise in the price of these economic necessities, things like gas, things like food, are going to crimp their household income more."

Moreover, in the average household, women are more likely than men to handle the bills.  But mothers may reap some rewards for their financial worries this Sunday.

"Americans are going to spend twice as much on Mother's Day than they spend on Valentine's Day," Clements says.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


More Working Women Hold College Degrees than Men

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The gap between employed women and men with college degrees has widened, according to data from the Census Bureau released on Tuesday. Thirty-seven percent of employed women have a bachelor's degree or higher, compared to 35 percent of men, according to 2010 Census figures.

The figures released Tuesday in the Census Bureau's "Educational Attainment in the United States: 2010" analyze the education levels of Americans ages 25 and older. The minimum age of 25 was set to account for those who take extra time to finish school.

The widest gap in education levels exists among people between the ages of 25 and 30. Thirty-six percent of women in this range hold bachelor's degrees or higher, compared to only 28 percent of men.

"Women are just outpacing men generally in higher education today," said Alan Berube, a senior fellow with the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution. "More of them are going to college and then more of them are actually succeeding and getting a degree, specifically bachelor degrees."

Women in the workforce first surpassed men in obtaining college degrees in 2006, when 34 percent of working women held bachelor's degrees, compared to 33 percent of men. The 2010 data shows the greatest gap between women and men in the workforce, but the overall population of women ages 25 and over with college degrees still lags behind men by 0.7 percent

"This is going to change the calculus in households about whose time in the labor market is more valuable," Berube said. "It will change the default assumptions about who is going to raise kids, who's going to do housework, who's got the most earning power, and really, at the end of the day, educational attainment is the best predictor of earnings."

Beyond the undergraduate level, almost 10.6 million women hold master's degrees or higher, compared to nearly 10.5 million men. Women also outpace men in the education and health services field, while men surpass women in fields such as manufacturing, agriculture and construction. Analysts link these disparities to the economic downturn.

"Women tend to be in industries and occupations that were less affected by the economic downturn -- education, healthcare, and government," Berube said. "In many ways, the recession was a male recession. Industries like manufacturing, construction and finance were more heavily affected."

Tuesday's data offers the most detailed look yet at education attainment across the country.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Women Lag Behind Men in Economic Recovery

Comstock Images/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- Women are lagging behind men in the nation's slow economic recovery, new government statistics show.

Of the 1.3 million jobs created in the last 12 months, some 90 percent have gone to men, according to a report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Women have gained just 149,000 jobs.

There's no question that the recession hit men particularly hard, with jobs slashed from traditionally male-dominated sectors like manufacturing and construction. Men have still lost more net jobs than women have since the start of the recession in December 2007, with men losing a net 4.9 million jobs, while women have lost 2.5 million jobs.

While you might expect men to recover more jobs since far more men were put out of work, there are some signs that things have gotten worse for women rather than better. Looking at the data since the end of the recession in July 2009, men have gained 600,000 jobs while women have lost 300,000 jobs.

While government spending has gone toward investments in infrastructure like roads, there have been cuts in public education and other public-sector service jobs. Women make up some 57 percent of the public workforce, but between July 2009 and Feb. 2011, they lost a far higher proportion of the jobs. Nearly 80 percent of the public-sector jobs cut during that period were held by women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

As unemployed women look for work, experts also point to cultural biases that may hinder their search. While anti-discrimination laws prohibit the practice, some employers may believe that male workers will clock longer hours or be more dedicated to their jobs.

"Women undertake more of the family work than men do," said Frances Rosenbluth, a professor of international politics and deputy provost for the social sciences at Yale University. "Despite laws, people won't hire women for jobs that require long hours or travel."

An out-of-work man may also benefit from an employer's sympathetic assumption that he's his family's breadwinner, even though American families have come to depend on income from women far more than in decades past. Strober said that wives now contribute roughly 30 percent of a married couple's earnings, and nearly a quarter of children under 18 live in single-mother households.

At the high end of the employment pool, women may have been affected more by the recession than many realized. Female leaders at the most senior levels of companies were three times more likely to lose jobs than men during the recession, according to Catalyst, a nonprofit organization focusing on women and business.

Catalyst found that part of the reason for that disparity is that women's mentors were less senior than those of men, and when it comes time to lay off employees, that can be a disadvantage.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio 


Man Made Stylish: Service for Men Who Hate to Shop

Courtesy - Getty Images(CHICAGO) -- A new Chicago-based service called Trunk Club that's part Fifth Avenue, part Silicon Valley, aims to take the guesswork, the legwork and the aggravation out of shopping for professional men.

The Web-based service, which calls itself a "designer clothing outfitter," takes a man's measurements over the Internet, sends him skads of clothes via FedEx and offers guys the complimentary two cents of a personal stylist, over Skype.

"Walking into a large and overwhelming shopping environment just is not that fun for guys," said Brian Spaly, CEO of Trunk Club.  "Women are more programmed to browse and enjoy sort of that aspect of sort of walking around and the art of shopping, and they're better at it than we are."

When Dan Spradling a 25-year-old who works in finance, moved from a small town in Michigan to New York City for a new job, he quickly realized he'd have to up his sartorial game.  Spradling, who regularly rocked cargo shorts when he wasn't at work and considered himself well-dressed if his shorts were hole-free, signed up for the service.

"They don't let you into clubs in sweatpants and flip flops,'' said Spradling.  "So unfortunately, I did have to get some clothes and real shoes." 

Trunk Club members join on the Internet and explain their needs. Then FedEx delivers a box of hand-picked items.

While Trunk Club Lead Stylist Michael Barkin watched via Skype, Spradling recently modeled his first batch of clothes.

As Spradling tried on a green plaid Ben Sherman shirt, Barkin told him, "I'm basically going to walk you through each different piece and how to wear it and what it'll coordinate with."

No driving.  No lines.  No endless on-line browsing.

Consultations and shipping are free, and customers can return what they don't want without paying for shipping.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio