Thursday, September 12, 2013

Those Discouraged Young Men Who Live in Their Parents' Basement

Something interesting from Pew Research on the possibility that young men are now so discouraged and effeminate because of feminism that they just live at home with their parents.  Probably in their basement, watching pron and playing computer games..

If that sounds odd to you, rest assured that I 'm not making the arguments up.  They are common among the end-of-men lot and crop up pretty regularly in the media.

Imagine my great surprise, then when I read this from Pew Research:

In 2012, Millennial males (40%) were more likely to live at home than Millennial females (32%).
This 8 percentage point gap in living at home is smaller than the 11-point gap evident in 1968.
The growing gender parity in likelihood of residing at home is especially pronounced among 18- to 24-year-olds. In 1968, 59% of male 18- to 24-year-olds lived at home (very similar to 2012). In contrast, in 1968 only 42% of females in that age group lived at home. So a 17 percentage point gender gap in living at home in 1968 has narrowed to a 9 percentage point gap in 2012 among 18- to 24-year-olds.
One factor that has contributed to the growing gender parity in living at home is the rise in the share of young women who go to college. (Goldin, Katz, and Kuziemko, 2006). In 1968, only 19.5% of 18- to 24-year-old females were enrolled in college in 1968, compared with 34% of their male peers. That ratio has since flipped; as of 2011, women were 6 percentage points more likely to be enrolled in college than men among 18- to 24-year-olds.

Bolds are mine.

I missed checking this out myself!  Hangs head in shame.

What's the point?  Young people are counted as living at home even if they live in a dormitory at college.  And it seems that even in 1968 more young men than young women "lived at home,"  meaning that they were either actually living at home with their parents or that they were studying at a college or a university and counted as living at home.

And the other point is that a gender gap which has narrowed over the long-run is being sold to us as a brand new gendered difference.  Some of the recent changes may have new causes (such as the change from early marriage to cohabitation and later marriage or just cohabitation), but the important thing is that young men were more likely to live at home even before feminists did any of their nasty work!

The lesson:  Always check the data, preferably in a time series format.

And let me rush to state that I'm not making fun of the reduced work opportunities of young men or of young women.  But that's an economic problem,  not a gender-politics problem.