Sex ratio and women's career choice: Does a scarcity of men lead women to choose briefcase over baby?

Kristina M. Durante, Vladas Griskevicius, Jeffry A. Simpson, Stephanie M. Cantú, Joshua M. Tybur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 25 Citations

Abstract

Although the ratio of males to females in a population is known to influence behavior in nonhuman animals, little is known about how sex ratio influences human behavior. We propose that sex ratio affects women's family planning and career choices. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences women's career aspirations. Findings showed that a scarcity of men led women to seek high-paying careers and to delay starting a family. This effect was driven by how sex ratio altered the mating market, not just the job market. Sex ratios involving a scarcity of men led women to seek lucrative careers because of the difficulty women have in finding an investing, long-term mate under such circumstances. Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate. These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby.

LanguageEnglish (US)
Pages121-134
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Personality and Social Psychology
Volume103
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

Fingerprint

Career Choice
sex ratio
Sex Ratio
baby
career
career aspiration
Family Planning Services
market
family planning
animal
experiment

Keywords

  • Careers
  • Mate value
  • Mating markets
  • Sex ratio
  • Women

Cite this

Sex ratio and women's career choice : Does a scarcity of men lead women to choose briefcase over baby? / Durante, Kristina M.; Griskevicius, Vladas; Simpson, Jeffry A.; Cantú, Stephanie M.; Tybur, Joshua M.

In: Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 103, No. 1, 01.07.2012, p. 121-134.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{3ae03a27a5fe427e9bb23de435f17381,
title = "Sex ratio and women's career choice: Does a scarcity of men lead women to choose briefcase over baby?",
abstract = "Although the ratio of males to females in a population is known to influence behavior in nonhuman animals, little is known about how sex ratio influences human behavior. We propose that sex ratio affects women's family planning and career choices. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences women's career aspirations. Findings showed that a scarcity of men led women to seek high-paying careers and to delay starting a family. This effect was driven by how sex ratio altered the mating market, not just the job market. Sex ratios involving a scarcity of men led women to seek lucrative careers because of the difficulty women have in finding an investing, long-term mate under such circumstances. Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate. These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby.",
keywords = "Careers, Mate value, Mating markets, Sex ratio, Women",
author = "Durante, {Kristina M.} and Vladas Griskevicius and Simpson, {Jeffry A.} and Cant{\'u}, {Stephanie M.} and Tybur, {Joshua M.}",
year = "2012",
month = "7",
day = "1",
doi = "10.1037/a0027949",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "103",
pages = "121--134",
journal = "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology",
issn = "0022-3514",
publisher = "American Psychological Association",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Sex ratio and women's career choice

T2 - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

AU - Durante,Kristina M.

AU - Griskevicius,Vladas

AU - Simpson,Jeffry A.

AU - Cantú,Stephanie M.

AU - Tybur,Joshua M.

PY - 2012/7/1

Y1 - 2012/7/1

N2 - Although the ratio of males to females in a population is known to influence behavior in nonhuman animals, little is known about how sex ratio influences human behavior. We propose that sex ratio affects women's family planning and career choices. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences women's career aspirations. Findings showed that a scarcity of men led women to seek high-paying careers and to delay starting a family. This effect was driven by how sex ratio altered the mating market, not just the job market. Sex ratios involving a scarcity of men led women to seek lucrative careers because of the difficulty women have in finding an investing, long-term mate under such circumstances. Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate. These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby.

AB - Although the ratio of males to females in a population is known to influence behavior in nonhuman animals, little is known about how sex ratio influences human behavior. We propose that sex ratio affects women's family planning and career choices. Using both historical data and experiments, we examined how sex ratio influences women's career aspirations. Findings showed that a scarcity of men led women to seek high-paying careers and to delay starting a family. This effect was driven by how sex ratio altered the mating market, not just the job market. Sex ratios involving a scarcity of men led women to seek lucrative careers because of the difficulty women have in finding an investing, long-term mate under such circumstances. Accordingly, this low-male sex ratio produced the strongest desire for lucrative careers in women who are least able to secure a mate. These findings demonstrate that sex ratio has far-reaching effects in humans, including whether women choose briefcase over baby.

KW - Careers

KW - Mate value

KW - Mating markets

KW - Sex ratio

KW - Women

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84871673285&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84871673285&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/a0027949

DO - 10.1037/a0027949

M3 - Article

VL - 103

SP - 121

EP - 134

JO - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

JF - Journal of Personality and Social Psychology

SN - 0022-3514

IS - 1

ER -