A study conducted by the Columbia University showed that depression is linked to wage disparities between genders. This involves only the males who had the same education and the same years of experience.
Last year’s findings showed that twice as many women were diagnosed with depression than men. And the rate only increases when it comes to the differences between male and female coworkers. The women who gained less than their male counterparts were almost thrice as likely to be depressed. But when it came to the coworkers who had no wage gap, or when the women surpassed the wages of men, the depression rates were equal.
The study published in the Social Science & Medicine journal, showed similar results for anxiety as well. In the last year, almost thrice as many women suffered from anxiety, than men. When their wage was lower than the one of the males, they were four times more likely to be anxious. When the incomes were equal, the levels of anxiety lowered considerably.
For the research, data from a U.S. survey done between 2001 and 2002 was collected, and it included 22,581 workers with ages between 20 and 65 years old. The research mainly focused on what the psychological effects of the income disparities were.
According to Jonathan Platt, the author of the study, the depression may be caused by other gender inequalities that happen at work and outside of the workplace as well. As men are given top positions easier than to women, and as the salaries continue to be different even for the exact same position, women have to face the psychological consequences. This continues to happen, even though laws against gender discrimination have been passed in the U.S.
According to Platt, many women think that they aren’t doing as good a job as their coworkers, and don’t think that they are the result of gender discrimination. Depression and anxiety are natural to occur in these cases.
Katherine Keyes, who was one of the researchers, said that the conclusion of the study shows that immediate action needs to be taken and the pay gap needs to have an end. She said that the gender discrimination needs more laws than those that prohibit sexual harassment.
The president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Heidi Hartmann, said that a law that would assure an equal income, no matter the gender, needs to be petitioned and passed. Maybe it will take more studies to show conclusions like depression is linked to wage disparities between genders, in order for something to be changed.
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