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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Gender pay gap reflects choices, not bias

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Although it is widely purported that women are paid less than men for equal work, the reality is otherwise ("Poll shows mixed feelings about feminism," Nation, Tuesday).

The truth about this matter comes from the most definitive and comprehensive analysis of the gender-pay-gap issue, a study conducted by the U.S. Department of Labor and released in the waning days of the George W. Bush administration, on Jan. 12, 2009. The report was titled "An Analysis of the Reasons for the Disparity in Wages Between Men and Women" and concluded that "the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers."

The reason virtually no one knows about this report is that it was removed from the Department of Labor website once the Obama administration took office. The transparent reason for removal is that the conclusions of this comprehensive analysis are inconsistent with the ideology of President Obama, congressional Democrats and the "progressive" women of Mr. Obama's political base. Come November, voters will have an opportunity to decide whether they want public policy to be run on the basis of ideology or the best available research.

GORDON E. FINLEY

Professor of psychology, Florida International University

Miami

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