Investigating Differences in Earnings Based on Gender


Kathy Rowell, Sinclair Community College

Learning Goals


After the completion of this module, the learner should be able to:

  • Demonstrate the ability to state a hypothesis.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of both the dependent and independent variable.
  • Demonstrate how to create a cross-tabulation using both frequencies and percentages.
  • Demonstrate how to create both a bar chart and a pie graph.
  • Demonstrate how to control for a variable and interpret a control variable
  • Examine and use web resources to explore possible policy implications of data findings in this module.


  • Explain how each of the following variables is related to differences income earnings within the United States: Race, Age, Gender, and Education.
  • Explain what is meant by the term gender gap.
  • Demonstrate an effective use of the sociological imagination
Context for Use

This exercise, designed for a sociology class and loooks at gender income disparities in the United States.

Students will use cross-tabulations and graphs to explore the differences in earnings based on gender. In doing so, they will build basic data analysis skills like forming hypotheses and using control variables.

Teaching Notes and Tips

This activity uses a customized data set made from the 1990 Census and guides students through data manipulation using WebCHIP software found at DataCounts! To open WebCHIP with the dataset for the activity, please see instructions and links in the exercise documents under teaching materials. For more information on how to use WebCHIP, see the How To section on DataCounts!