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Opening Arguments

Women's work

It has generally been assumed that, while women might give more often than men to charity, they give less. But a new study from Indiana University shows -- pretty conclusively -- that women give both more often and more money. And the reporting of the study goes to great head-scratching lengths to figure out why this might be so:

The study offered several factors the researchers thought contributed to the growing generosity of women: More women are working and their incomes have grown, more have college degrees that yield greater earning power, and the percentage of women who make more money than their working husbands is now about 26 percent.

[. . .]

"We target lots of our efforts to women, not because they are more generous, but because they are the decision makers for themselves and for their families," Upton said.

Everything is mentioned except the one factor that seems to me the most obvious: Women are more nurturing than men, more sympathetic to the needs of others, more empathetic, more understanding -- all of the traits that would make them more inclined to give to charities, just as it makes them more inclined to organize things and bring order to otherwise undisciplined families. Men have the reputation of always wanting to "fix" things, but it's really the women who do that in the larger sense. Or is that all too potentially "sexist" to bring up in these sensitive times.

Now, if we just figure out why women are (or at least have the reputation of being) the stingiest when it comes to leaving tips, especially when they dine as a group.