Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Traveling different paths to their current highly productive and satisfying lives

This is another in the rapidly expanding literature documenting that in western developed societies, a large portion, if not virtually all, of differences between gender outcomes in terms of professional achievement and income, are due to personal choices rather than discrimination.

In this instance, the evidence is Life Paths and Accomplishments of Mathematically Precocious Males and Females Four Decades Later by David Lubinski, Camilla P. Benbow, and Harrison J. Kell.

The cognitive 1% are no basis for extrapolating to the whole bell-curve but it is interesting. From the Abstract:
Two cohorts of intellectually talented 13-year-olds were identified in the 1970s (1972–1974 and 1976–1978) as being in the top 1% of mathematical reasoning ability (1,037 males, 613 females). About four decades later, data on their
careers, accomplishments, psychological well-being, families, and life preferences and priorities were collected. Their
accomplishments far exceeded base-rate expectations: Across the two cohorts, 4.1% had earned tenure at a major
research university, 2.3% were top executives at “name brand” or Fortune 500 companies, and 2.4% were attorneys
at major firms or organizations; participants had published 85 books and 7,572 refereed articles, secured 681 patents,
and amassed $358 million in grants. For both males and females, mathematical precocity early in life predicts later
creative contributions and leadership in critical occupational roles. On average, males had incomes much greater than
their spouses’, whereas females had incomes slightly lower than their spouses’. Salient sex differences that paralleled
the differential career outcomes of the male and female participants were found in lifestyle preferences and priorities
and in time allocation.
The Conclusion section is actually clearer:
This is the first study to document the career paths of mathematically talented males and females over four decades in which women had high-level career options. Although we found many similarities between men and women, their career paths did diverge. Also, on the whole, both men and women became the critical human capital needed for driving modern-day, conceptual economies. Early manifestations of exceptional mathematical talent did lead to outstanding creative accomplishment and professional leadership, but with notable sex differences. Life satisfaction was uniformly high for both sexes, as was psychological well-being. The mathematically talented were doing exceedingly well for both themselves and society.

Understanding remarkable adult accomplishments and creativity in high-potential populations requires looking beyond abilities, occupational preferences, and opportunity. The data suggest that all aspects of life competing for and structuring the use of time need to be assessed. Cutting-edge advances, high-powered careers, and important leadership roles demand substantial time commitment and intense engagement. And this is where the males and females in our samples diverged in aggregate. Compared with mathematically gifted women, mathematically gifted men expressed stronger preferences for developing high-impact careers and were willing to invest more time in their careers. Conversely, the women expressed stronger preferences for and devoted more time to advancing family and community, compared with the men. Both groups advanced society, though in varying ways, traveling different paths to their current highly productive and satisfying lives.
Reminds me of that scene in My Cousin Vinny where Lisa (played brilliantly by Marisa Tomei) outlines Vinny's terrible future to him.
Lisa: So what's your problem?
Vinny: My problem is, I wanted to win my first case without any help from anybody.
Lisa: Well, I guess that plan's moot.
Vinny: Yeah.
Lisa: You know, this could be a sign of things to come. You win all your cases, but with somebody else's help. Right? You win case, after case, - and then afterwards, you have to go up to somebody and you have to say - "thank you"! Oh my God, what a fuckin' nightmare!
The identity commissars want all identities to be equally represented in outcomes. Instead, under the freedom-based, individualistic cultures and market economies in the west, people get to choose differently, get to choose what they prefer, and they end up having more and more productive careers and more and more satisfying lives. With unequal representation!

Oh my God, what a nightmare!

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