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.