Women take almost 50% more short-term sick leave than men

Our thanks to M for pointing us to a short piece in the British Medical Journal citing research carried out in Finland:


The BMJ’s piece contains this gem:

Women may be better at recognising problems and going to the doctor for treatment, suggest the authors.

We discussed the research findings over our teatime cups of Earl Grey and McVities biscuits, and we couldn’t think of any other possible explanations for why women might take more short-term sick leave than men. After all, it would be crazy to suggest women might typically be less work-centred and conscientious than men, right?

After tea was over, Angela strolled over to my office to remind me the renowned sociologist Dr Catherine Hakim published a paper on ‘Preference Theory’ in 2000, showing that while four in seven British men are work-centred, only one in seven British women is. Hakim found a similar gender ratio in other European countries including Sweden.

It would clearly make perfect sense, therefore, for taxpayers to fund government initiatives to drive up the proportion of women in medicine, engineering etc. It would also make sense to pay female students more than male students, on the sole grounds of their gender. We present you with a vision of the future. Female postgraduate engineering students at Brunel University will be paid grants of £15,000 p.a. more than their male counterparts – substantially more than the gross annual income of someone working full-time on the minimum wage:


We sent a FoI request to Brunel University, asking if male students would be entitled to the grant if they underwent gender reassignment surgery. We’ve been told to expect a response by January 13.

About Mike Buchanan

I'm a men's human rights advocate, writer, and publisher. My primary focus is leading the political party I launched in 2013, Justice for Men & Boys (and the women who love them). I still work actively on two campaigns I launched in early 2012, Campaign for Merit in Business and the Anti-Feminism League. In 2014 I launched The Alternative Sexism Project, aiming to raise public understanding that the sexism faced by men and boys has far more grievous consequences than the sexism faced by women and girls.
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  • Jericho One

    No wonder they live longer…

    One solution for men is to become less work-centred and keep asking: “what’s in it for me?”. That’s the only way you’re going to send a powerful message to this Government (as is occurring in Japan at the moment). Social programs and make-work jobs that favour women couldn’t exist without male productivity and a male tax-base. Men who have been ignored by women all their lives are paying to support women and children who don’t even know they exist; thinking that money falls out of the sky like manna.

  • The research is much the same as general data for sick leave in the UK. Interestingly this data is used to support arguments for more ” family friendly” leave as it is assumed that much of this “excess” is leave to look after children or relatives. Leaving aside the flimsy evidence for this , it a rather insulting assumption that women regularly lie about the reasons for their sick leave. The bottom line is, of course , that an employer can expect female workers to take more sick leave ( for what ever reason).

  • Reblogged this on Los españoles se merecen saberlo, por la Paz y la verdadera Igualdad en España! and commented:
    Las mujeres toman casi un 50% más baja por enfermedad a corto plazo que a los hombres