You and your spouse are likely no strangers to a little friendly competition, but when it comes to who’s the better person, it’s no contest. That’s probably why you married your “little moral compass” in the first place (her words), not to mention why she’s never had to purchase you apology flowers. Judging from new research, you’re not the only one who sees her as the lesser of 2 evils, at least ethically speaking. But you get the last laugh: the unfortunate prize is higher societal expectations and harsher punishments! Hahaha, take that, spouse!
In a recent interview with NPR, organizational sociologist Mary-Hunter McDonnell from the University of Pennsylvania discussed her deep dive into this moral gender divide. With the help of colleagues Jessica Kennedy of Vanderbilt University and Nicole Stephens of Northwestern University, they told volunteers about a hospital administrator who had committed medicare fraud. After some were informed that the offender’s name was Jack Moranti and others were told their name was Jill Moranti, the average recommended sentence for Jack was 80 days compared with 130 days for Jane. On top of that, they analyzed the punishments given by the National Bar Association in 500 cases across 33 states, and found that women had a 35 percent chance of being disbarred, compared to a 17 percent chance for men. In other words, karma isn’t a bitch — he’s a dick head.
The takeaway here is not to throw out your ethics because no one expects you to have them. It is merely a reminder that you’re reaping the benefits by having a partner who’s a better person, for many reasons including because they have to be. Even if you can get away with it, you’re still going to have deal with those meddling kids, who you’d probably like to raise as decent human beings that are aware of things like male privilege. Better lead by example.