Pay gap stoush to go viral?

by HCA30 Nov 2012

It’s been heralded as the video every woman needs to watch – and it’s pretty cute too.

Research by Dutch primatologist and ethnologist Frans de Waal and biologist Sarah Brosnan recently made some extraordinary findings about the sense of fairness and entitlement found in Capuchin monkeys.

The researchers kicked off their experiments by putting two monkeys in neighbouring cages. Both had to perform the same task (give a stone to the scientist) for which they would be rewarded with a slice of cucumber. To test their innate sense of fairness, one monkey was then rewarded with the sweeter, more desirable prize of a grape, while the other continued to be given cucumber. Rather than accept their prize, the monkey given the inferior reward, almost in offended disbelief and disgust, immediately throws the cucumber back at the scientist.

Click here to watch the clip.

The research is followed by an experiment undertaken at Victoria University’s law campus in Wellington yesterday morning. Men were charged 10% more for coffees at a cart parked on campus – while a long black or a flat white cost women $3.50 and $4 respectively, men had to fork out $3.80 and $4.40.

The gendered prices were designed to underscore, in tangible terms, the difference between what men and women are paid in New Zealand. Event organiser Lisa Fedyszyn told the Dominion Post that she hoped men would be as outraged as women. “If the percentage isn’t zero then it’s not fair,” she said.

 

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