ABS Releases Gender Indicators and Ignores Male Disadvantage

February 7, 2012

Today the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), Australia’s so-called impartial statistical body released its Gender Indicators report: “a summary of gender specific data in six domains representing Economic security, Education, Health, Work and family balance, Safety and justice, and Democracy, governance and citizenship”.

The ABS produced a media release about the publication. This release could have noted that:

  • Across the board males fare much worse than females in the education system – most notably being 24% less likely to be enrolled in a bachelor degree or above
  • Across the board males fare much worse than females in the health arena – most notably suffering death rates from cancer, heart disease, suicide, motor vehicle accidents and drug abuse between 1.6 and 3.4 times higher
  • Males are 12% more likely than females to feel their work and family responsibilities are rarely/ never in balance
  • Males are almost twice as likely as females to have experienced violence during the last 12 months and one third more likely to be a victim of physical or threatened physical assault.

However, these facts were conveniently ignored in favour of a media release titled “Busy mums want more paid work,” citing the rate of underemployment being twice as high for women (8%) than for men (4%). Sadly it seems that the lace curtain extends all the way into our country’s top statistical body.

Source: 4125.0 – Gender Indicators, Australia, Jan 2012 (http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4125.0~Jan%202012~Main%20Features~Contents~1)
Source: Busy mums want more paid work (http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/4125.0~Jan%202012~Media%20Release~Busy%20mums%20want%20more%20paid%20work%20(Media%20Release)~6152)

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