New survey reveals half of men think the gender pay gap is ‘made up’


You can’t fake the gender pay gap. Statistics and facts show it’s a very real and provable problem, despite what some men may think.

Most people have likely heard of the gender pay gap, but they might not know that yesterday was Equal Pay Day in the United States. The day raises awareness with equal pay and helps to illustrate pay disparity, including highlighting pay disparity.

While the gender pay gap has been proven many times through multiple surveys, statistics, and lots of research, sadly not all people believe it’s a real thing. Yes, we’re frowning as hard as you are right now.

TIME recently did surveyed 8,500 adults in the country, and found that 46 percent of men, nearly half, don’t believe the pay gap is real, and that instead “is made up to serve a political purpose.” Even worse? 24 percent of the men surveyed, all between the ages of 18-34, said that the gender wage gap is just “fake news.” The results of this survey are incredibly frustrating, especially coming from younger men, because this shows how long we still have to go as a society to take this problem seriously and do something to change it.

The survey also had people answer what they think the reasons for the wage gap where. While women mainly said sexism and bias, men were often likely to respond that it was because women worked fewer hours and were in careers that were paid less.

For those who might not think the wage gap is real, let us roll out some facts, shall we?

According to the US Census Bureau, women in the country make 81 cents to the dollar that men make. Going even deeper into the analysis, women of color make less money for every dollar. For example, black women make about 61 cents per every dollar and Latina women 53 cents.

According to the AAUW, the pay gap applies across almost all industries and occupations. There are many reasons for this. For starters, stereotypically female-dominated fields are often undervalued and underpaid. But, the idea that women and men doing the same jobs are paid the same about of money is also untrue. Even in some high-paying jobs such as surgeons, women are paid less than their male counterparts. Women collectively are losing billions of dollars each year by not being paid the same amount as men.

The men in the TIME survey who claim that women don’t work as hard or work fewer hours are ignoring a lot of structural problems. There is no doubt that women have to work extremely hard to be taken seriously in the workplace. Even when women do work less hours, it’s often because much of the expectations of childcare and household management still fall to women. We’ll call it the “have it all” stereotype — women should be working hard, rising up in their career, while also getting married, having children, taking care of said children, and on and on it goes.  The UN reports that women do about three times more unpaid housework and domestic work than men do, although the specifics can vary from country to country.

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The gender pay gap keeps women from being as successful and financially stable as men and is a real problem that needs to be fixed and addressed.

It’s unfortunate to see many young American men ignoring these facts. The hard truth is that there are true statistics about pay disparity between men and women, and reasons for the gender wage gap are easy to find.