Social Science - Women Must Work Harder Than Men

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Question 1

This article documents the author’s opinion on gender biasness in modern society’s workplace with reference to five surveys conducted in the years 1977, 1992, 1997 and 2001. The author highlighted that the surveys results showed that women workers were more inclined to indicate the requirement for greater effort at work in order to achieve the same level of recognition or achievement as compared to their male counterparts.

The scientific method is a logical and commonsensical method of approach and comprises of the following 5 steps (Elements of Social Scientific Thinking, p.27):

1) The Identification of the variables to be studied
2) A hypothesis about the relation of one variable to another or to a situation 3) A reality test whereby changes in the variables are measured to see if the hypothesized relationship is evidenced 4) An evaluation in which the measured relationship between the variables is compared with the original hypothesis and generalizations about the findings are developed 5) Suggestions about the theoretical significance of the findings, factors involved in the test that may have distorted the results and other hypothesis that the inquiry brings to mind.

Based on the opinions expressed in the article, the research question is postulated to be “Do women have to work harder than men at the workplace?” From it, the possible hypothesis is formed: “Gender influences the perceived effort required at work to achieve similar results and recognition”.

Following the promulgation of the hypothesis, there are 3 variables identified: an independent variable, dependent variable and alternate variable. The independent variable is the gender of the worker, whether male or female; the dependent variable is the perceived effort required at work; and the alternate variable, which also influences the dependent variable, is the achievement of similar results and recognition.

In order to measure the variables, a survey was conducted on five separate occasions, (1979, 1992, 2 in 1997 and 2001) with the questions identical to the original survey in 1979 to obtain results that were comparable. An in-depth analysis of the two surveys conducted in 1997, namely the U.S. National Study of the Changing Workforce and the Skills Survey of the Employed British Workforce, was then undertaken. These surveys had a sample size of 3,500 and 2,500 people respectively and stratification was used to ensure proper representation of the workforce make-up. Controls were also put in place to ensure that external factors such as family burden, job qualifications, responsibilities and mental & physical demands were taken into account when analyzing the results. According to the article, results of the surveys indicated that female workers (independent variable) comprised a significantly higher percentage who felt that their work required a high level of effort (dependent variable) as compared to their male counterparts.

The survey results showed that the gender of the worker (independent variable) was able to strongly influence the perceived effort required at work (dependent variable) indicating likely ordinal level correlation between the two. The survey results were also proven to be reliable through the replication of results across 5 separate surveys conducted on 5 separate occasions with different sets of people spread across 22 years. This highlights the significance of the relationship between the variables and points to the probability that the hypothesis is valid under certain conditions.

Word Count: 441(excluding in-text citation, quotation and headings)

Question 2

Through the findings of the survey, it is clear that gender is a causal factor in the perceived effort required at work. And thus, the theory that women workers perceive that they require greater effort at work compared to their male counterparts to achieve the same level of recognition and achievement is supported.

It...
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