Exploring Society By The Numbers

Occupational Sex Segregation and Earnings Differences

Jill Bouma, Berea College

Summary

As we have studied, the percent of women in the labor force has increased in recent decades. Contemporary women have a wider range of choices about what careers to pursue. However, to a considerable extent, men and women tend to have different kinds of jobs. For this exercise we will: 1) examine sex segregation in employment from 1950 to 2000. 2) examine trends within three specific occupations of your choosing, and 3) for either doctors or lawyers, investigate gender and race differences on earnings and see if these differences change when we control for age.

Learning Goals

Skill
  • Using software to access and analyze census data
  • Identifying independent and dependent variables
  • Employing control variables
  • Forming testable hypotheses using quantitative data
  • Learning how to construct, read, and interpret bivariate tables displaying frequencies and percentages
  • Identifying population trends over time
  • Using real world data to enhance and support key course concepts
Substance
  • Examine sex segregation in employment from 1950 to 2000
  • Examine trends within three specific occupations of your choosing
  • For either doctors or lawyers, investigate gender and race differences on earnings and see if these differences change when we control for age

Context for Use

This activity is used in a Gender and Sex Roles class for undergraduate students. This activity explores gender and earnings differences in the United States.

Description and Teaching Materials

Exercises: PDF (Acrobat (PDF) 111kB Mar24 09)
Exercises: DOC (Microsoft Word 79kB Mar24 09)

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses two customized data sets; one made from combining census information from 1950-2000 and one from the 2000 Census. It guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts!. To open WebCHIP with the dataset for the activity, please see instructions and links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP, see the How To section on DataCounts!

Assessment

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References and Resources

This exercise is based on a module developed by Tim Thornton, SUNY-Brockport.

Original Archive Module:
http://www.ssdan.net/datacounts/modules/index/bouma_occearn_index.shtml

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