We've been using the term gender so far but haven't defined it. Let's take some time to talk about what gender means. By the end of this video, you'll be familiar with the differences between sex and gender and why these concepts help us with analytics. First, when we ask about someone's biological sex, this is the classification of people as female, male or intersex. The term intersex is used for a variety of situations in which a person is born with reproductive or sexual anatomy that doesn't fit the boxes of male or female. We can contrast sex with gender, which is about what it means to identify as a man or a woman or something different. These have social implications because there are expectations and stereotypes about behaviors, actions, and roles linked with being a woman or a man. Some stereotypes in Western society about masculinity include men as being assertive and aggressive. Some stereotypes about femininity include being passive and nurturing. But it's important to note that these are stereotypes that often do not represent reality, or sometimes they create reality because people feel pressure to conform to these stereotypes. A key point you should remember, the terms sex and gender are not interchangeable. This understanding of gender was advanced most famously by French feminist philosopher Simone de Beauvoir. In her 1949 book, The Second Sex, she writes, one is not born, but rather becomes a woman. What de Beauvoir means is that while we are born with a physiological sex, we are not born with a gender. That is something ascribed to us by society, including through religion, family, school and the economy. While most women are born with female sex organs, it is the larger social context that determines the gendered attributes that they will be socialized into. Because sex refers to biological distinctions, characteristics of sex will not vary widely between different human societies. Unlike sex, the behavioral characteristics associated with gender may vary tremendously between different societies, which all have different social expectations about men's and women's behaviors. For example, in North America it's less common for men to wear skirts or dresses. It's a practice associated with femininity. Pants are thought to be masculine and skirts are thought to be feminine. However, throughout most of history, it has in fact been very common for men to wear dresses and skirts. Outside of North America, this remains the case. In Scotland, men wear kilts. In Sri Lanka, they wear sarongs. In India they wear veshtis or mundus. In Japan, they wear hakama. When men wear skirts in these societies, they are still perceived to be masculine. The way we learn about gender starts in childhood. From a young age, children are socialized to act a certain way on the basis of their sex. One way that children learn gender roles is through play. Parents typically buy trucks and superhero toys for boys, which are active toys that promote motor skills and aggression in solitary play. Girls are often given dolls, play kitchens and dress up apparel that foster nurturing and housework role-play. Major retailers catalog toys online and in their stores on the basis of gender with a section for girls and a section for boys. This decision has the harmful consequences of reproducing such stereotypes as kitchens are for girls and cars and trucks are for boys. Thus, we see how society reinforces these stereotypes through expectations of parents and teachers, marketing of products and so on. A new survey polling teenagers and young adults in the US showed that despite changing gender norms, boys still feel that strength and toughness are the male characteristics most valued by society. A vast majority of boys felt pressured to be physically strong and to play sports. Most said that they were supposed to be aggressive or be quiet and suck it up when they felt angry. When they felt sad or scared, they felt pressure to hide those feelings or to be tough and strong instead. Boys felt that girls were allowed to express themselves by crying, screaming, or talking about their feelings. But boys were not. Boys and girls perceive these pressures and conform to the expectations, thus perpetuating the stereotypes. But this has little to do with sex and all to do with gender. As an interesting side note, after protests from consumer watchdog groups, some major retailers now categorize toys on the basis of age group, brand or type of toys and not by gender. Because we've been socialized into thinking that men and boys are a certain way and women and girls are a certain way. We carry these ideas with us without even realizing it. This is what psychologists call implicit bias, which is the attitudes or stereotypes that affect our understanding, actions and decisions in an unconscious manner. There is a very popular implicit bias test that has been taken by millions of people over the years. You can take it to if you want just by searching Harvard and implicit association test on the internet. What these results show is that nearly 80 percent of people have some bias in associating women with family and men with careers and business. These biases have real impacts on economic outcomes, among other things. Researchers have done a lot of work to parse out analytically whether differences we see in job performance or evaluations or funding startups and the like are due to intrinsic differences in quality or purely to gender bias. Let me give you three examples where they had been able to show how gender bias plays out. First, in recruiting. Some people might say that women are hired at lower rates into good jobs because they don't have the skills or qualifications. But researchers who showed hiring managers exactly the same resumes only some had the name John at the top and some had the name Jennifer at the top, found that hiring managers rated John as more hirable than Jennifer, even with the exact same qualifications. On that chart it's a one-point difference on a five-point scale. Similarly, in the next comparison, researchers looked at pitches for high-tech startups. They showed investors a video of a pitch for funding. The presentation was for the exact same business. Only some investors saw the video with a narration by a woman's voice and some saw video with a narration by a man's voice. When later asked if they would fund the startup, investors were two times as likely to say they would fund the venture, narrated by a man. Keep in mind that these were pictures for the identical business. In the final comparison, researchers looked at computers. They had a whole bunch of people perform some tasks on a personal computer. They then asked people to rate how well the computer functioned. Then they were asked how much the computer was worth, but some people were told that their computers name was Julie and others were told that their computer's name was James. What's interesting is that these two groups of people didn't rate the performance of the computer any differently. But those who were told that their computer was called a man's name thought it was more valuable than those who were told the computer was called a woman's name. Gender stereotypes matter for economic outcomes. Let's keep in mind that some of these differences are real. In Canada, for example, men are on average five feet, nine inches tall, that's about a 175 centimeters. Women on average are five foot four, which is about a 162 centimeters. These are due to biological differences by sex. However, it's important to note that there's a wide distribution. Some women are very tall, some men are very short, and everything in between. But when it comes to things like propensity to take risks, we assume because of gender stereotypes that women are more risk averse than men, that these same differences we see in height should apply to personalities or behaviors. But when you look at the actual research, there really is very little difference at all. On average, women and men have about the same underlying propensities to take risks. Some are more risk-seeking and some are more risk averse. But that's true for both genders. Indeed in many cases because the odds are stacked against women, for example, in getting funding for an entrepreneurial venture, as I just showed you, women have to be much more risk-seeking just to enter into these activities. There's nothing biological or intrinsic about being a woman that makes her less likely to take risks. In fact, research by my own colleagues at the Rotman School has shown that you can change the degree to which people take risks by the context in which they operate. This experiment gave people a task and offered them two options for the payoff. The first was a piece rate in which they were sure to be paid. The second was a riskier payoff in which they would be entered into a lottery with other people to gain a much larger payoff if they won, but also risk getting no pay off at all. In both cases, the expected value of the payoff calculated as the riskiness times the payoff was the same. For example, in the sure pay off, you would receive €10, but in the risky payoff, you would have a 25 percent chance of receiving €40, where twenty-five percent times 40 is €10. What they found was that if everyone was in the sure pay off condition, but were given the option to be paid according to the riskier pay off. There was a gender difference in who opted into the risky payoff. But if everyone was put in the risky payoff, but could opt out and instead receive the sure pay off, the gender difference went away. If you're familiar with behavioral economics, this is called choice architecture. That is the framework within which people make choices can change their behavior. What it shows in this case is that under some conditions in which taking a risk would be perceived as inconsistent with feminine stereotypes, that is, we have a stereotype that women are not risk-seeking, women on average are less likely to take the risk. But when it is seen as consistent with the views of women as when it is the default option for everyone, then we do not see a gender difference in risk taking behavior. What I conclude from this study is that women are not intrinsically more risk averse, but social expectations can create constraints on how they behave and this is the power of gender stereotypes.