Comments on: Why aren’t women more financially literate? A slice of lime in the soda Sun, 26 Oct 2014 19:05:02 +0000 hourly 1 By: Andrea Greer Wed, 23 Sep 2009 13:38:57 +0000 I believe this isn’t necessarily a gendar issue but more of an generation issue. In the past the women usually stay home as the men work and do all the finances so men must be more educated in this area. Today woman are running companies and have been educated on finances so we do have a grasp on financial issues but we also have a huge job at home raising children,etc and working a job, so we trust the head of the household to understand and prepare our fincances for the family….which us usually the husband.

Keep in mind this generation has been raised as consumers. The economy today proves this. So as adults let’s teach our children, boys and girls, about finances and economy now so we can change these statistics.

By: Mike Wed, 23 Sep 2009 13:22:21 +0000 I believe men have a 4-5 point edge in average IQ.

While many women can, and do, run day-to-day household finances, they’re likely to be bored by wonk-type material.

By: stuart Wed, 23 Sep 2009 12:36:17 +0000 Surely this is the result of a greater proportion of men studying fields such as mathematics and economics. The answers to the questions asked would be far more obvious to those used to dealing with such concepts on a regular basis – indeed they look almost like gotcha questions.

I would suggest that if those surveyed were given more time to reflect on the question and think through the concepts involved I’m sure you would see the difference narrow and possibly become insignificant.

By: Tim Worstall Wed, 23 Sep 2009 09:46:58 +0000 ”all theories gratefully accepted.”

Simon Baron Cohen.

A spectrum of brain types from systemising to empathising. Men tend to be the former, women the latter (probabilities only, saying nothing about any individual’s place on the spectrum).

Can education or training shift you about? Certainly (this is indeed B-C’s thing with autism, what he calls an ”extreme systemising” brain type, training can indeed make things better) but it won’t change the predisposition, just compensate for it.

By: Jacob Wed, 23 Sep 2009 02:48:23 +0000 That women are preferred by microlenders isn’t necessarily inconsistent with this study. A lower average risk tolerance would fit both stories.

By: Mark Wolfinger Wed, 23 Sep 2009 00:21:25 +0000 My guess is that’s related to the old, outdated concept that women are less proficient in math.

Today more women are interested in the sciences. Years ago, they were steered to homemaking and steered away from careers.

That thinking led women to ‘leave it to the man of the house.’ And that ‘it’ included keeping the books and making decisions.

Those days are over, but it takes time for the older women who never bothered to learn to be replaced by the younger generation.

By: Jake Tue, 22 Sep 2009 22:34:09 +0000 well, my wife for one has ZERO interest in making investment decisions even though she is about 3-4x more intelligent than i am.

the lack of interest / “i’ll leave it up to my husband” philosophy is definitely in play in this instance.

By: Andrea Toochin Tue, 22 Sep 2009 21:03:08 +0000 I don’t think women are financially less literate, i think they are less able to save, more easily swayed by marketing and advertising, and are bigger consumers than men. America doesn’t stress saving or having no debt b/c 70% of our GDP comes from consumer spending. What would happen if we all lived within our means? I’m a 30-something NYer and I feel I should deserve praise for having no debt and a meager savings account, but apparently unknown debt and a closet full of overpriced designer wears is sexier.

Women are perfectly capable of understanding inflation, savings rates and the like, but I think most American woman would rather focus on something more exciting. This needs to be a top-down mandate. I think we need more sex education in schools and financial education in school. Otherwise, people will continue using plastic like they are in a game of Monopoly.

By: Frank Tue, 22 Sep 2009 20:49:08 +0000 Nobody cares.

By: Karl Smith Tue, 22 Sep 2009 20:48:34 +0000 Honestly I think this is due to a higher value of the OCEAN personality quality, neuroticism. I know this gets into dangerous territory because women have been marginalized by the general term “neurotic” before.

However, in the strict sense of the OCEAN test it is pretty well established that women are on average much more neurotic than men. This implies that they worry more about things that could go wrong.

From what I have seen this hurts women in financial decisions because there are so many ways that a financial decision can go wrong and the consequences can be big. As the pressure rises and people feel more worry they are likely to turn to rules of thumb or emotional choices that help limit the worry but may or may not produce good results.

A corollary to this, however, should be that women suffer far less from gambling and gross risk taking type errors than men.