Research findings reported at Netdoctor further help to explain the gender wage gap.
The study shows that women who take The Pill may experience changes to their memory and to the ways that they remember.
According to researchers at the University of California, Irvine (UCI), hormonal contraception may improve women’s ability to remember the gist of emotional events, but could also hinder their ability to retain details.
The study looked at a group of women, some of whom were on the Pill while others were not.
Alf won’t go into the nature of the tests – you can check that out at Netdoc.
But they showed the use of hormonal contraception alters memory.
It’s a change in the type of information the women remember, not a deficit.
An account of this study in the Daily Mail quotes the experts as saying women who take oral birth control tend to remember different aspects of an incident from those with natural menstrual cycles.
Those taking the drug are less likely to remember details of an event, but instead retain its overall emotional impact.
The Pill works by reducing oestrogen and progesterone to prevent pregnancy.
These ‘left brain’ chemicals have been linked with women’s ability to remember events logically, according to Larry Cahill, a neurobiologist who worked on the study.
It raises questions over how the Pill, used by an estimated 3.5million British women, may affect their performance at work.
The findings, in the Neurobiology of Learning and Memory journal, may help explain why men remember things in a different way from women.
This clearly reinforces the argument that men and women are much more different than the champions of equal pay will recognise.
It supplements the research by two professors whose analysis of personnel data at an Italian bank found the absences of women below the age of 45 followed a 28-day cycle.
The professors concluded the menstrual cycle did increase female absenteeism and this explained at least 14 per cent of the gender pay difference. But they also found the sick days were due to genuine pain – and suggested one way to redress the pay gap was to bring in a gender-specific subsidy for women.
One of the professors said that in many Western countries women typically have more sick days than men of the same age – 7.6 more in Europe and 5.2 more in America and Canada.
“We think that biological difference could explain at least some of it.”
It’s much too late to save the job of Alasdair Thompson, who got into big trouble and was hounded out of his job as head of the Northern Manufacturers and Employers Association for the things he said about women and sick days.
But the harpies who screamed loudest for his sacking will have forgotten why they were screaming, no doubt.