two recent excellent papers on sex and organizations (but not at once!)
I’m blessed in that my friends and colleagues are talented and hard working folks. Here at Indiana, Steve Bernard won the AoM award for best paper in organizational behavior. Written with Emilio Castilla, it’s called “The Paradox of Meritocracy in Organizations.” The abstract:
In this article, we develop and empirically test the theoretical argument that when an organizational culture promotes meritocracy (compared with when it does not), managers in that organization may ironically show greater bias in favor of men over equally performing women in translating employee performance evaluations into rewards and other key career outcomes; we call this the “paradox of meritocracy.” To assess this effect, we conducted three experiments with a total of 445 participants with managerial experience who were asked to make bonus, promotion, and termination recommendations for several employee profiles. We manipulated both the gender of the employees being evaluated and whether the company’s core values emphasized meritocracy in evaluations and compensation. The main finding is consistent across the three studies: when an organization is explicitly presented as meritocratic, individuals in managerial positions favor a male employee over an equally qualified female employee by awarding him a larger monetary reward. This finding demonstrates that the pursuit of meritocracy at the workplace may be more difficult than it first appears and that there may be unrecognized risks behind certain organizational efforts used to reward merit. We discuss possible underlying mechanisms leading to the paradox of meritocracy effect as well as the scope conditions under which we expect the effect to occur.
My friend, Trevon Logan, an economist at Ohio State wrote a very nice paper analyzing sex markets using data scraped from male escort sites. It showed up in ASR and won the ASA award for paper on sexuality. It’s called “Personal Characteristics, Sexual Behaviors, and Male Sex Work: A Quantitative
Male sex workers serve multiple groups (i.e., gay-identified men, heterosexually-identified men, and their own sexual partners), making them a unique source to test theories of gender, masculinity, and sexuality. To date, most scholarship on this topic has been qualitative. I assembled a dataset from the largest online male sex worker website to conduct the first quantitative analysis of male escorts in the United States. I find the geographic distribution of male sex workers is more strongly correlated with the general population than with the gay male population. In addition, I estimate the value of sexual behaviors and personal characteristics in this market to test sociological theories of gender and masculinity. Consistent with hegemonic masculinity, I find that male escorts who advertise masculine behavior charge higher prices for their services, whereas escorts who advertise less masculine behavior charge significantly less, a differential on the order of 17 percent. Results show that race and sexual behavior interactions exert a strong influence on prices charged by male sex workers, confirming aspects of intersectionality theory.