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In the more than two decades since the launch of commercial dating sites such as Match. A new Pew Research Center study explores how dating sites and apps have transformed the way Americans meet and develop relationships, and how the users of these services feel about online dating. Here are 10 facts from the study, which is based on a survey conducted among 4, U. At the same time, personal experiences with online dating greatly differ by sexual orientation. About one-in-ten U.

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In fact, men average five feet, nine inches, and women five feet, three inches—a six-inch difference. We do see sex differences in various settings, including the workplace—but those differences are not rooted in fixed gender traits. In this example and others that follow, we have changed the names and some details to maintain confidentiality.

The size of the sex effect on height is 1. On the positive side, the thinking goes, women are less likely to get caught up in macho displays of bluff and bravado and thus are less likely to take unnecessary risks. Three well-documented cognitive errors help explain the endurance of the sex-difference narrative. In short, a wealth of evidence contradicts each of these popular myths. For decades, studies have examined sex differences on these three dimensions, enabling social scientists to conduct meta-analyses—investigations that reveal whether or not, on average across studies, sex differences hold, and if so, how large the differences are.

There is wide variation among women and among men, and meta-analyses show that, on average, the sexes are far more similar in their inclinations, attitudes, and skills than popular opinion would have us believe. As anecdotes that align with stereotypes are told and retold, without addressing why and when stereotypical behaviors appear, sex differences are exaggerated and take on a determinative quality.

The reason is simple: Science, by and large, does not actually support these claims. Rather, they stem from organizational structures, company practices, and patterns of interaction that position men and women differently, creating systematically different experiences for them. When people lack access to useful contacts and information, they face a disadvantage in negotiations.

The belief that women lack confidence is another fallacy. The conversation about the treatment of women in the workplace has reached a crescendo of late, and senior leaders—men as well as women—are increasingly vocal about a commitment to gender parity.

Using that sex difference as a reference point, we can see from the graph on the right that the difference between men and women in self-esteem, or confidence, is much smaller, with an effect size of 0. Research simply does not support that notion. What about risk taking—are women really more conservative than men? But research does not corroborate the idea that women are less confident than men. Accordingly, some men attempt an under-the-radar approach, quietly reducing hours or travel and hoping it goes unnoticed, while others simply concede, limiting the time they spend on family responsibilities and doubling down at work.

More-plausible explanations

Meta-analyses of published studies show that those ideas are myths—men and women actually have similar inclinations, attitudes, and skills. Larger disparities in outcomes occur when negotiators either have no prior experience or are forced to negotiate, as in a mandated training exercise. People are more likely to behave in ways that undermine their chances for success when they are disconnected from information networks, when they are judged or penalized disproportionately harshly for mistakes or failures, and when they lack feedback.

However, the fix was relatively easy: The company decided to reserve the forced distribution for employees who worked the full year, while those with long leaves could roll over their rating from the prior year.

Facts are more important than ever

Mary and Rick were both midlevel advisers in the wealth management division of a financial services firm. Beliefs in sex differences have staying power partly because they uphold conventional gender norms, preserve the gender status quo, and require no upheaval of existing organizational practices or work arrangements.

Unfortunately, women are more likely than men to encounter each of these situations.

According to numerous meta-analyses of published research, men and women are actually very similar with respect to key attributes such as confidence, appetite for risk, and negotiating skill. Rick was able to bring in more assets to manage because he sat on the board of a nonprofit, giving him access to a pool of potential clients with high net worth. The aggregated findings are clear: Context explains any sex differences that exist in the workplace. Meanwhile, mothers are often expected, indeed encouraged, to ratchet back at work.

Third, once people believe something is true, they tend to seek, notice, and remember evidence that confirms the position and to ignore or forget evidence that would challenge it. But once again, research fails to support either of these stereotypes.

Similarly, in a study Peggy Dwyer and colleagues ran examining the largest, last, and riskiest investments made by nearly 2, mutual fund investors, sex differences were very small. In short, when we see men and women behaving in gender-stereotypical ways, we tend to make the most cognitively simple assumption—that the behavior reflects who they are rather than the situation they are in.

Multiple studies show, for example, that women are less embedded in networks that offer opportunities to gather vital information and garner support.

Are women opting out?

We then offer a four-pronged strategy for undertaking such actions. In a meta-analysis performed by James Byrnes and colleagues, the largest differences arise in contexts unlikely to exist in most organizations such as among people asked to participate in a game of pure chance. A meta-analysis is a statistical technique used to combine the of many studies, providing a more reliable basis for drawing conclusions from research.

But such situations are atypical, and even when they do arise, statisticians would deem the resulting sex differences to be small.

We can see from the curves that men, on average, are quite a bit taller than women. But whether framed as a barrier or a benefit, these beliefs hold women back. Drawing on years of social science research, we debunk the myths and offer alternative explanations for observed sex differences—explanations that point to ways that managers can level the playing field. Men have a slight advantage in negotiations when they are advocating exclusively for themselves and when ambiguity about the stakes or opportunities is high.

Just as importantly, meta-analyses also reveal the circumstances under which differences between men and women are more or less likely to arise. Why have women failed to achieve parity with men in the workplace? In short, contrary to popular belief, all three sex differences we consider in this article are, for all intents and purposes, meaningless.

Rethink what you “know” about high-achieving women

And, the thinking goes, those shortcomings explain why women have so far failed to reach parity with men. Instead, the rhetoric focuses on the idea that women are inherently unlike men in terms of disposition, attitudes, and behaviors. Either way, they maintain a reputation that keeps them on an upward trajectory. They may not know what is on the table, what is within the realm of possibility, or even that a chance to strike a deal exists. Take negotiation. As this example reveals, companies need to dive deeper into their beliefs, norms, practices, and policies to understand how they position women relative to men and how the different positions fuel inequality.

When facing dissimilar circumstances, people respond differently—not because of their sex but because of their situations.

Do men and women want the same things?

Of course, there are biological differences. Because it contains studies conducted in many different contexts, it can tell us in which kinds of contexts we are more or less likely to see sex differences. If men do ask, say, for a lighter travel schedule, their supervisors may cut them some slack—but often grudgingly and with the clear expectation that the reprieve is temporary. This approach has three advantages over a single study. Numerous studies show that what does differ is the treatment mothers and fathers receive when they start a family.

Seriously investigating the context that gives rise to differential patterns in the way men and women experience the workplace—and intervening accordingly—can help companies chart a path to gender parity.

Executive summary part of the reason for the gender pay gap is that women are more likely to take a break during their careers to have children or to seek lower paid positions that offer more flexibility to make it easier to manage a family.

We can also see that a of women are taller than the average man, just as a of men are shorter than the average woman. We will not level the playing field so long as the bedrock on which it rests is our conviction about how the sexes are different. What does differ is the way they are treated on the job: Women have less access to vital information, get less feedback from supervisors, and face other obstacles to advancement.

Second, a meta-analysis is more comprehensive. Other research, too, makes it clear that men and women do not have fundamentally different priorities. Take, for example, the common belief that women are more committed to family than men are. But they are also the path of least resistance for our brains. Getting less than top marks not only hurt their chances of promotion but also sent a demoralizing message that being a mother was incompatible with being on a partner track. Jens Mazei and colleagues recently analyzed more than studies examining whether men and women negotiate different outcomes; they determined that gender differences were small to negligible.

First, it is more accurate, because it is based on a very large sample—the total of the samples across all the studies—and because it contains data collected in many different contexts. But those are not the differences people are usually talking about. It is what they experience at work once they become parents that puts them in very different places.

Consider the example of a savvy managing director concerned about the leaky pipeline at her professional services firm. As for the notion that women are more cooperative than men, research by Daniel Balliet and colleagues refutes that. As with negotiation, sex differences in the propensity to take risks are small and depend on the context.

And according to a broad national survey of almost 5, unattached adults 21 and older, those qualities, attitudes and expectations illustrate cultural shifts in how singles approach relationships. data protection choices

Emphasizing sex differences runs the risk of making them seem natural and inevitable. Companies must instead address the organizational conditions that lead to lower rates of retention and promotion for women.

Analyzing more than studies, Kristen Kling and colleagues concluded that the only noticeable differences occurred during adolescence; starting at age 23, differences become negligible. The extent to which employees are able to thrive and succeed at work depends partly on the kinds of opportunities and treatment they receive. The change gave women more incentive to return from maternity leave and helped keep them on track for advancement.

To ensure gender equity, the authors recommend that managers: 1 question the stereotypes behind their practices; 2 consider other factors that might explain the achievement gap; 3 change workplace conditions accordingly; and 4 keep challenging assumptions and sharing learning so as to create a culture in which all employees can reach their full potential.

The discussions, and many of the initiatives companies have undertaken, too often reflect a faulty belief: that men and women are fundamentally different, by virtue of their genes or their upbringing or both.

Popular myths

When companies observe differences in the overall success rates of women and men, or in behaviors that are critical to effectiveness, they can actively seek to understand the organizational conditions that might be responsible, and then they can experiment with changing those conditions.

That applied to both men and women, but the policy was most heavily used by new mothers. Third, a meta-analysis is more precise: It can tell us just how different men and women are.