Sex Differences in Variability in Vocational Interests: Evidence from Two Large Samples.
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Greater male variability has been established in cognitive abilities and physical attributes. This study investigated sex differences in variability in vocational interests with two large samples (N>40 000 and N>70 000). The results show that although men varied more in Realistic and Enterprising interests, women varied more in Artistic and Conventional interests. These differences in variability had considerable influence on the female–male tail ratios in vocational interests that have been found to contribute to reported gender disparities in certain fields of work and academic disciplines. Moreover, differences in means and variability interacted non-linearly in shaping tail-ratio imbalances. An age-specific analysis additionally revealed that differences in variability diminished with age: Older samples showed smaller differences in variance in Realistic, Artistic, and Social interests than younger samples. Thus, I found no evidence that greater male variability applies for vocational interests in general.