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Human Capital Theory
The economic theory linked to Functionalism. Men and women serve different roles; pay gap is justified as men have more ‘human capital’. Women are less committed to paid work and are more likely to take career breaks. Many women choose to prioritise their role as the homemaker.
Women: = “expressive caring role”; men = “instrumental role”. Differences are innate, ascribed at birth and contribute to a functional society. Women are less motivated and less suited to the labour market than men. Therefore it is unsurprising women are paid less on average than men.