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Biology At Work-Rethinking Sexual Equality (Rutgers Series in Human Evolution) Hardcover – 31 Jul 2002

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Rutgers University Press (31 July 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0813530539
  • ISBN-13: 978-0813530536
  • Product Dimensions: 16.4 x 2.4 x 24 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,445,685 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Kingsley R. Browne is a professor of law at Wayne State University.


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Format: Hardcover
Far superior to his own excessively-condensed and popularised Divided Labours: An Evolutionary View of Women at Work, Kinglsey Browne's Biology at Work (2002) represents the definitive explanation for gender-gap in compensation.

Browne explains:
1) The differences in life-choices underlying the pay-gap,
2) the biological sex-differences underlying these divergent life-choices; and
3) the evolutionary pressures which selected for these biological sex-differences.

The claim that the pay-gap is a consequence only of discrimination is demolished in a deluge of statistics. Men work longer hours, in less pleasant and more dangerous conditions and for a greater proportion of their adult lives. For example, in any given year, men are the victims of over ninety percent of workplace fatalities in the US. Given these and other factors, the gender-gap in compensation is inevitable even in the absence of discrimination (and even in the presence of mild 'reverse-discrimination').

Quite apart from his forays into the biology, Browne's checklist of factors directly contributing to the gender-gap in compensation is even more comprehensive that Warren Farrell's less academically-oriented but similarly meticulously-researched Why Men Earn More: The Startling Truth Behind the Pay Gap and What Women Can Do About It. For example, Browne produces evidence of greater male productivity (pp79-82), a factor omitted by Farrell.
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Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 7 reviews
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Let serious debate begin 1 Mar. 2008
By Alexander Kemestrios Ben - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The basic argument of this book is that men and women are innately different and that this affects the domestic and occupational sphere. Browne is a formidable opponenet for equalitarians and feminists (not all, only the radical ones). He presents evidence from evolutionary psychology, neuroscience, neuroendorinology, sociology, and many fields besides, to make his case rock solid. On Browne's rock critics will be forced to build their church.
The evidence shows males are more competitive, more prone to risk taking, willing to work more, better at visuospatial skills, and that this makes sense from a Darwinian perspective.
females tend to be more nuturing, want security, are unwilling to work as much, will not take as many risks, and this, too, makes sense from a Darwinian perspective.

Browne then makes a pretty simple syllogistic argument.

1) If males have these traits and they are not socialized in toto
2) and if these traits are necessary for occupational climbing
3) and if occupational climbing leads to greater income
4) then the gender gap in pay can be explained, to a large extent, by innate differences between the sexes.

The reasoning is crystal clear. The facts are clear as well.

Browne discusses many other topics, such as sexual harrasemnt, males domestic cleaning woes, why males don't have it all, etc.

I think he is right more than he is wrong. None the less, it could be true that people use group averages (male and female differences, as Browne is at pains to show are just averages- some females are more masculine, some males more feminine) to make judgement calls about individuals. If this occurs in the work place, then females who do not fit the average female sterotype will suffer as a result. It becomes a self fufilling prophecy. Browne, unfortunately, skirts this issue.

Still, the sheer weight of the evidence and coherence of the argument, makes Browne's book the begining of serious debate on this important topic. Not the last word, but the first good word in a while. Let the serious debate begin!
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Why Men Earn More: The Biological Basis of the Pay-Gap 8 Mar. 2009
By V E Lane - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Far superior to his own excessively-condensed and popularised Divided Labours: An Evolutionary View of Women at Work (Darwinism Today series), Kinglsey Browne's Biology at Work (2002) represents the definitive explanation for gender-gap in compensation.

Browne explains:
1) The differences in life-choices underlying the pay-gap,
2) the biological sex-differences underlying these divergent life-choices; and
3) the evolutionary pressures which selected for these biological sex-differences.

The claim that the pay-gap is a consequence only of discrimination is demolished in a deluge of statistics. Men work longer hours, in less pleasant and more dangerous conditions and for a greater proportion of their adult lives. Given these and other factors, the gender-gap in compensation is inevitable even in the absence of discrimination (and even in the presence of mild 'reverse-discrimination').

Quite apart from his forays into the biology, Browne's checklist of factors directly contributing to the gender-gap in compensation is even more comprehensive that Warren Farrell's less academically-oriented but similarly meticulously-researched Why Men Earn More. For example, Browne produces evidence of greater male productivity (pp79-82), a factor omitted by Farrell.

Biological Basis

Despite his non-biological background (Browne is a Professor of Law), Browne's explanation of both the proximate hormonal and ultimate evolutionary explanations for cognitive and temperamental sex differences is superior to many accounts by specialists. One minor quibble is the excessive attention devoted to cognitive differences in ability, which are probably of importance in accounting for occupational segregation in only a few specialist careers (e.g. the hard sciences, engineering, computer programming). Sex differences in temperament are of greater importance overall.

The gender-gap in compensation can largely be attributed to:
1) Higher levels of competitiveness and status-orientation among males
2) Higher levels of investment in offspring among females

Both these patterns are apparent throughout the mammalian order and likely evolved due to factors such as the steeper correlation between reproductive success and status among males and the uncertain paternity of offspring.

Political implications - Difference or Disadvantage?

Browne is to be praised for his intellectual courage. In his section on sexual harassment, he tackles such issues as women's use of their sexuality to gain advantages in the workplace and the lack of redress for men who are bullied in the workplace or subjected to 'hostile working environments' by homosexual workmates analogous to those successfully litigated against by female claimants.

Neither can Browne be accused of shirking from the politically incorrect implications of his findings. He concludes that, contrary to the prevailing ideology, women have greater choices available to them compared to men ("men are expected to work whether or not their wives 'choose' to" p139).

Similarly, he argues that "we have to talk about 'death-gaps', 'pleasantness gaps' and 'hours gaps', as well as 'wage-gaps'" (p90), given the sacrifices which men endure in terms of safety, working conditions and hours worked. Perhaps, he suggests, the advantage of higher pay is balanced by the hardships endured in earning it.

Housework: 'Unpaid Labor' or 'Overpaid Laziness'

A feminist would counter that this discussion of the greater sacrafices men endure in return for higher pay fails to factor in women's 'unpaid labour' in the home. However, Browne does not ignore this issue.

Rather, he points out that, given that single men do less housework than single women, it is doubtful that women's housework is done for the benefit of husbands or even for the joint benefit of the couple. Rather, it appears, women do more housework simply because they value housework more (or dislike it less) (p169).

In fact, according to data Browne cites, married men on average do only one hour less housework than unmarried men, hardly a benefit commensurate to the financial support husbands are legally obliged to provide for their wives. Rather than 'unpaid labour', women's housework starts to look more like 'overpaid laziness'.

Analogously, while feminists complain about disproportionate parental responsibilities, Browne observes that women decide to have children precisely because "these activities are widely perceived as part of the joys of parenthood" (p171). After all, women have children out of choice (unlike many fathers, who are denied any say in whether to abort a foetus, yet unfairly still legally obliged to pay child maintenance to contribute to the raising of the child: see McCulley 1988; Kapp 1982).

Therefore, cleaning one's own house or looking after one's own children (as opposed to someone else's) can be viewed as a form of leisure pursuit - something one chooses to do out of its intrinsic rewards (like the 'work' involved in a hobby of, say, building model aeroplanes). As Jack Kammer observes, "How come you never hear a man complaining that his wife doesn't do her fair share of polishing the chrome on the Camaro?" (If Men Have All the Power How Come Women Make the Rules p68).

In short, a person no more deserves remuneration for cleaning their own house than they do for cleaning behind their ears in the bath!

[Edit: I elaborate on this issue in my blog post, "Unpaid Labour or Overpaid Laziness: Why Housework in Your Own House Isn't Really Work", available at "Men's Rights Review".]

Browne's Omission: The 'Spending Gap'

Viewing men's higher earnings as offset by the conditions endured in return for these wages, Browne concludes "what needs to be questioned is the notion that either sex is a victim" (p139). However, in reaching this conclusion, Browne fails to factor in one crucial factor.

Although men earn more than women, research from the marketing industry suggests that women dominate most areas of consumer spending (Marketing to Women: How to Understand, Reach, and Increase Your Share of the World's Largest Market Segment; Pocketbook Power: How to Reach the Hearts and Minds of Today's Most Coveted Consumer - Women). According to research conducted by the Women's Entertainment Network, the sales promotion agency Frankel & Co., and others, women make approximately 88% of retail purchases in the US (cited in Pocketbook Power).

In addition to their own earnings (if they work at all), women typically spend a portion of the earnings of their husband, ex-husband or boyfriend. And, even if they don't spend it themselves, it may be spent on them (dinner-dates, jewellery etc.).

Thus, from the social obligation to pay for dinner on the first date to the legal obligation to financially support an ex-wife several years after you have belatedly rid yourself of her, all the contemporary conventions of courtship seem predicated on the redistribution of money from men to women.

A popular saying claims that `behind every great man is a great woman'. This is, of course, a dishonest but appealing way for individual women to claim vicarious credit for achievements that are not their own, and for women in general to claim vicarious credit on behalf of womankind as a whole.

However, modified slightly, the saying has an element of truth. Although women do not contribute to the greatness or success of great or successful men, they certainly benefit from it. It would therefore be more accurate to say: Behind every successful man is a woman spending a portion of his earnings in addition to her own.
__________

Although the fact that men are the victims of 90% of workplace fatalities clearly disadvantages men, the fact that men earn more than women does not necessarily disadvantage women - because they still get their hands on a large proportion of this income indirectly.

Browne acknowledges 'death-gaps', 'pleasantness gaps' and 'hours gaps', as well as the ubiquitous 'pay gap', but not the 'spending gap'. Browne's conclusion that neither sex is a victim because earnings compensate for working conditions is therefore inadequate. Women gain access to men's earnings without having to endure the conditions to earn them.

Farrell's treatment (Why Men Earn More) is more comprehensive than Browne's in this respect. Farrell refers to 'Marrying up as invisible income' and explains how women's sexual power over men can be easily converted into economic power. (See also the delightfully titled Sex-Ploytation: How women use their bodies to extort money from men.)

As David Thomas (Not Guilty: The Case in Defense of Men) has observed, "If... one class of person does all the work and another does all the spending, you do not have to be Karl Marx to conclude that the second of these two classes is the more privileged"

Browne's failure to attend to this factor is curious given his interest in, and obvious knowledge of, Evolutionary Psychology. In this field, a substantial literature has developed relating to hypergamy (women 'marrying up'), women's trading of sex for resources and the use of male social status as a mate-choice criteria by women (Evolutionary Psychology: The New Science of the Mind pp104-116).

However, given his courage in challenging a central politically-correct yet factually-incorrect contemporary dogma, Browne deserves to be commended and can hardly be faulted for lacking intellectual courage in failing to factor in this final but decisive factor.
___________

References

Kapp M. (1982) 'Father's (Lack of) Right and Responsibilities in the Abortion Decision: An Examination of Legal-Ethical Implications'. Ohio Northem University Law Reuiew, 9,369-383

McCulley MG (1988). 'The male abortion: the putative father's right to terminate his interests in and obligations to the unborn child'. Journal of Law and Policy 7 (1): 1-55.
19 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Feminism undergoes a Browne-out 27 May 2003
By Jack Maybrick - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Kingsley Browne�s book on gender division in the work force delivers slightly less than it promises. But if it doesn�t completely turn out the lights on feminist-speak in the workplace, it toggles with the switch.
His discussion of the issue of sexual harassment is especially worth mentioning. Yes ladies; from the male standpoint, it REALLY is about sex. Really. Women do not have a male sex drive and cannot fathom the lengths that a man will go to just to do...it. So they make up tall tales about men in power seeking to have sex with female subordinates in order to assert male authority.
So dominant is the female mindset on this topic that every benighted person �knows� that male sexual peccadilloes are really about �power and not sex� (don�t even try to discuss the subject of rape with such people!).
But with the weary patience of Winston Smith insisting to O�Brien that two plus two really do equal four, Browne didactically sifts through historical and statistical evidence to prove that men in power seek sex with women simply because they want sex (among other things, a man�s sex drive is likely to be stimulated by power as is the willingness of women to have sex with him). He supplements this discussion with examinations of the phenomena of the gay harasser and the female harasser. And his timidity only goes so far since he even has the audacity to suggest that the male perspective be taken into account when handling the issue.
However, the book is really about gender difference in workplace performance and compensation. And the full title of the book, �Biology at Work: Rethinking Sexual Equality�, is slightly misnomered. The book DOESN�T rethink sexual equality, and that�s a shame. Homage is always hastily paid to the concept of �sexual equality� by both liberals and conservatives - even if the liberal definition of equality is of an eerie Orwellian deceptiveness.
Women, of course, have never fought for or believed in �equality under the law�, regardless of what flowery language they�ve used to color their demands. The woman�s movement constitutes a naked power grab, an employment of the false charge of male oppression as a means of instituting female oppression, which calls into question whether true equality really is feasible. And this book has enough information in it to justify rethinking altogether the concept of mandated equality under the law, as have a few others before it, but this author, like the authors of those other books, is too timid in drawing his conclusions.
Still Browne assembles his facts well. He repeats some of the familiar arguments about the differing lifestyles and choices made by men and women which would account for differences in compensation and achievement (women actually have MORE choices than men; are more likely to leave the workforce for domestic reasons; work fewer hours, etc.), but these arguments appear to be very well researched. There is a footnote for every point that he seeks to make.
I guess that not all academic studies start with feminist conclusions and work backwards - just the ones published by the feminist-dominated mainstream media, which starts with the same conclusions. Browne includes some of the other studies in his book.
Browne also tip-toes onto unexplored territory while denying any intent to go there. I�m talking about the doctrine of male superiority. It�s supposed to be very gauche for men to boast or even suggest that they are superior to women. It�s supposed to be rude, boorish, caveman-like, sexist etc. etc. for men to adopt the doctrine of gender superiority to their own advantage.
Except�except� that women believe themselves to be superior to men and have no qualms about saying so. For that matter, a number of male quislings have the same belief. As long ago as 1953, a male anthropologist named Ashley Montagu penned a charming little missive called �The Natural Superiority of Women�, and today other feminists from Helen Fisher to Robert McElvaine seem to have no hesitation in arguing that women should rule because they�re - uh - better than men. With specific respect to employment issues, there�s an article written by a female consultant floating around MSN home pages - without sources, footnotes or attributions; just the usual assurances about what �experts say� - which argues that women are �better� managers than men.
Maybe it should be possible to discuss gender issues without stepping into this cesspool, but women and their advocates turned the discussion into a dirty fight over genetic superiority long ago, so it really seems as though masculinists should have the same right. And Kingsley Browne delves into areas of innate male advantage, such as mathematical reasoning and mechanical and spatial abilities as a means of explaining differences in the workplace. The genetic basis for these factors is significant and the social influences far less prevalent than others would have you believe.
And here�s a secret: men really are more productive than women, which is presumably the bottom line in determining what is �fair� compensation. I�ll bet you�ve never read or heard of studies that show that men are more productive than women in piecemeal work, even though the detail and finely coordinated movements necessary for such work are supposed to work to female advantage.
And men performing academic work are more productive than their female counterparts, even when experience is controlled for - publishing far more often. For most other professions, it is not as easy to measure productivity, but the implication is that, in those other professions, men might well be more productive than women in the workforce in intangible ways.
It must again be emphasized that Brown argues from the beginning that he does not contend that men are superior to women or that he would refuse women equality under the law. But he should think it over; he really should. Kingsley, they�d do it to you!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful and lucid argumentation 10 Sept. 2012
By convergent reality - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an impressive book. In it Browne makes a compelling case for a view of work preferences which takes into account evolutionary psychology, real world workforce statistics, and basic biology. I loved the way he carefully considers counterarguments, giving them a fair chance, before literally shredding them with both logic and evidence. He had me mentally cheering for him at certain points along the way, and some of his points made me laugh out loud due to his frankness. Highly recommended read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Required reading... 4 Jun. 2015
By Sense1 - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Well worth the time, coupled with Kingsley Browne's other book" Co-ed Combat", explained a lot of workplace issues I saw in the military and now see in the workplace. A good book to help defuse and defend yourself in gender issues as manager analyzing a situation or as a victim of crossed signals. Should be required reading for managers.
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