It’s Not Psychology, Stupid

Last week, the Wall Street Journal’s MarketWatch website posted an article opining that psychology explains why the cars with the highest percentage of male ownership (Lamborghini, McLaren, Ferrari, etc.) are almost exclusively foreign luxury and/or exotic brands.

Here’s the ownership chart from their article:

WSJ chart

Take a look at that, and then indulge me a minute…

Seriously? Seriously?

I propose an alternative, non-psychological explanation for the chart above. Forgive me for being blunt, but this is just a little bit obvious.


There. I said it. The chart above has very little to do with psychology, and very much to do with income disparity, a.k.a the gender wage gap.

Look, far be it from me to beat the inequality drum. That is not my thing. But facts are facts. Look at the CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies. Look at all the Forbes lists. Look at the heads of state. Overwhelmingly XY chromosomes.

Men disproportionately buy Lamborghinis, McLarens, Ferraris, Maseratis, etc. because it is men who can disproportionately afford Lamborghinis, McLarens, Ferraris and Maseratis. The women I know who can afford one of the cars on that list own one of the cars on that list. I can think of about three of them.

I’m not saying there’s no psychology involved. I think it’s likely that, if you offered a man and a woman of equal financial ability the choice between a Lamborghini and a high-end Mercedes, the man would probably be more likely to choose the Lamborghini and the woman the Mercedes (not me, though!). But that chart is a red herring, and it renders the whole premise of the article half-baked at best.

Just saying.

I’ll go back to knitting now. 🙂