Debunking End of Men, “Myth of Male Decline” edition

Stephanie Coontz has an excellent essay in the New York Times Sunday Review, “The Myth of Male Decline,” which includes some numbers from this blog and my upcoming review of Hanna Rosin’s The End of Men.

Here’s the figure they made from the numbers I provided:

The top half is from this post, using Bureau of Labor Statistics data from this year.

The bottom half is new, extending the debunking of the young-women-earn-more-than-young-men meme. This is an important angle because it shows the fallacy of Hanna Rosin’s description of young women as usually earning more than the men they work with. At the same level of education, even among these oddly-sliced 20-somethings — no kids, never married, full-time workers — women are not outearning men.

I’ve tried to chip away at this meme a few times before:

And I’ve created a series of posts on The End of Men, which are under this Hanna Rosin tag.

There’s also a great graphic showing the changing gender composition of selected occupations, using data from David Cotter, Joan Hermsen and Reeve Vanneman.

Coontz’s essay is great for drawing the distinction between the real progress toward gender equality — which is also limited, and in important areas stalled — and the fantasy of female domination.

7 thoughts on “Debunking End of Men, “Myth of Male Decline” edition

  1. I was happy to see your work referenced in the NYT article.

    One question I had about Coontz’s article is this statement:

    “The largest educational gender gap is among families in the top 25 percent of the earnings distribution, where women lead men by 13 percent in graduation rates, compared to just a 2 percent advantage for women from the lowest income families.”

    I always thought that there was a bigger gap in the lower income brackets. I thought, for example, African-Americans and Hispanics had the biggest gaps. If her statement is true, do you have any ideas why?


  2. Reblogged this on Skeptical Cubefarm and commented:
    For any of you who have been brave/unfortunate enough to read Hannah Rosin’s Tour de Bullshit “The End of Men”, here’s a breath of fresh air – a solid, academic debunking of the egregious and often factually inaccurate claims made within its pages. Check it out.


  3. What, though, is the trend in wages? Men obviously make more now, but the gap has been shrinking, no? With women graduating at higher rates than me, it seems reasonable that in 10, 15, 30 years they’ll make more.


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