OECD: Gender vs What is Important in Life

Previously, I made the comparison of the subjects on what is important in life among the OECD countries, such as i) family, friends and leisure time, ii) work, politics, religion. However, this time I am going to compare the opinions based on gender: male vs female.

From World Values Survey, the participants were asked to rank the importance each subject in their life according to the scale: “very important”, “rather important”, “not very important” and “not at all important”. The percentage of male and female participant who agreed that the subject (e.g. family, friends) is “very important” to them are used and compared. The example is shown as below:

Family important in life:

Canada [2000]      Male      Female
Very important      868      945
Rather important      72      30
Not very important      5      3
Not at all important      4       3
Very important (%)  91.46      96.33  (Difference: Male – Female= “-4.87”)*

* There are higher % of female think family is important in their lives compared to male.

Japan [2000]       Male      Female
Very important      585      658
Rather important      37      50
Not very important      5      5
Not at all important    1       0
Very important (%)  93.15      92.29 (Difference: Male – Female= “+0.86”)*

* There are higher % of male in Japan think that family is important in their lives compared to female.

IMHO, to make it a fair comparison between how male and female view each subject is important in their lives, the difference of “% mentioned” between male and female within the same country is used. “+” value means that there are higher % of male responded/affirmed to the question compared to female in that country, and “-” means the otherwise, as shown in the example above.

Subsequently, the subjects like family, friends, leisure time, work, politics, religion and feeling of happiness (% of very happy) are compared between male and female within the same country. The result is shown in the table below:

Overall, the importance of each subject in life is going in the sequence: family > work > friends > leisure time > religion > politics. On these subjects, there are higher % of male think that subjects like work and politics is “very important” compared to female. On the other hand, there are more female think that religion, family, and friends are “very important” to them compared to male.

On one note, I guess I was right to say that female values more on good hour is important in a job because of the family, as mentioned in the earlier post.

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