Monday, June 20, 2005

Younger Women Take the Hits

Half of this I've already heard before (yawn), and certainly felt I'd experienced:

An increase in a woman's body mass results in a decrease in her family income and a decline in her occupational prestige

Well, sure.

But not only that. Under 30? You're doubly screwed:

In addition, the researchers found that the association between body mass and occupational outcomes was more pronounced among younger women, suggesting that it is body mass that affects occupational prestige rather than the reverse.

Think you're not getting a promotion cause you don't starve yourself?

You're probably right.

And, my favorite part:

There were no such associations found for the men in the sample.

Of course not.

Don't feel like starving yourself and being a weak fruitcake, or don't have a super metabolism?

Don't despair:

We just have to work harder than everyone else.

2 comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Anonymous said...

This is also deeply related to the noticable Lack of income mobility for the younger generations following the immediate Post WWII generations. Again see [] on that score. Kevin Drum over at did a really good series on it this past month. It was a featured topic in the NYT as well as the WSJ in recent weeks. I'd like to see a break down of the study as this tends to conflict with certain trends:

1.) Most people gain weight as they age. On average it's about 10 lbs per decade after 40, or even 35.

2.) This means most men & women are far heavier at 50 than they were at 30.

3.) But currently 50ish folks typically have the highest incomes/earnings, highest savings, and highest disposable incomes.

4.) So several things are not meshing. Most women business owners become entrepreneurs in their late 30's to 40's, after burning out on their prior jobs. Most do not look like models, and this is indeed one of the few ways women can and do get rich and gain the satisfaction of a decent income coupled with the security that comes from running your own shop. Sure there's Lots more risk, but she has much more control too.

5.) But the results suggesting a higher gradient of stigma and general income immobility for younger women is not all that surprising. There's probably several trends involved however.

6.) More reason to suspect that there's a generation behind that '8 ball', and to think hard about careers and the likelihood that they can provide for a decent living 20 years down the road. [Not to put too much stress on your shoulders, 'K?!]  

Posted by VJ

Anonymous said...

Sheet, This is for the, which is a very serious Econ. outfit. On the other hand being familiar with some of the research, I can tell you where it shows up for men and women alike: Height discrimination. In fact if memory serves, I think it was slightly more significant for men there. So it's a consistent finding of income effects with some of the height data, but it's an interesting finding that can not easily be described by other life events. Look to their site to pick up the paper for $5. You might be able to do that for free if you claim to be a jouro.  

Posted by VJ