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  • 📈 Trendlines by Gradient: Genderizing Steaks, Estimating Earnings, and Battling Bands

📈 Trendlines by Gradient: Genderizing Steaks, Estimating Earnings, and Battling Bands

We're not staying neutral about gender, politicians' salaries, or band names

Welcome to Trendlines!

It's 10:00pm. Do you know where Kate Middleton is? No, really, anyone have a verified location? Even in our dystopian world where The Last of Us is easier to watch than the news, the British Royal Family still claims media headlines.

Before Kate, who’s been recovering from abdominal surgery for two months, was sighted in grainy paparazzi footage last weekend, we cooked up our own theory of her whereabouts: They're outfitting her in a big red trench coat and hat and making Kate the new face of Carmen Sandiego. Here are some other theories we’ve been thinking about, some of which don’t require tinfoil-based headwear:

  • If the band Neutral Milk Hotel changed their name to Gender Neutral Milk Hotel, they might appeal to more Americans.

  • Politicians avoid staying in hotels because they’re lactose intolerant, not because of the price.

  • If Gender Neutral Milk Hotel doesn’t increase music sales, Neutral Stones may do the trick.

Enjoy reading.


Are Men Merely Steak-Eating, Whiskey-Drinking Woodworkers?

The role of gender in society raises many important questions: Why are ladies always being asked to throw their hands in the air like they just don’t care? Why are single-person bathrooms gendered? We should be focusing on the proliferation of faulty bathroom locks, since no one feels safe with a janky lock, regardless of the sign on the door.

Debates about whether gender is fluid, binary, or nonexistent are generally abstract in nature as gender is a social construct that changes both from culture to culture and within the same society over time. To help provide a foundation for these necessary conversations, which are always necessarily nuanced, we investigated how Americans gender particular objects, professions, and activities.

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According to many Americans, masculinity is most strongly associated with woodworking, trucks, and weight lifting. In contrast, femininity is largely connected to ballet, the color pink, and candles. Yes, you read that right—a soothing object that emits light and pleasant scents has no place in a man cave, according to most Americans. But what if the candle smells like a steak?

The good news is not everyone sees life in terms of blues and pinks. Arguing, art, and love are thankfully seen as gender-neutral by most Americans. Which can only mean that nothing is less gendered than arguing with someone about who loves art more.

The distribution for boy bands is the most *⚠️Warning: Unnecessary statistical term ahead* platykurtic, meaning it has the least consensus on the extent and form it is gendered, and will be more prone to spark argumentation. Honestly, how could someone not love boy bands? They have the emotional turmoil of punk rockers and the voice of Christina Aguilera. Speaking of platykurtic, Americans' gender identity also spans the entire distribution. We are all boy bands at heart!

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No Pinching Pennies for Politicians

Everyone loves politicians because they are so down to earth and do their best to make our lives better. Oops. Did we say politicians? We meant plants; plants are grounded and provide the oxygen we need to survive. Politicians are kinda the antithesis of plants (nice try, former Representative Mayra Flores): flying around on jets, never touching the ground, and making us choke on their carbon emissions in the process.

While their jet-setting lifestyles make it clear politicians are out of touch with how much the average citizen earns, we tested whether Americans could guess the salary of the president and members of Congress. The average American believes the president earns around $661k, 20% more than their actual $400k salary. Similarly, Americans overestimated Congress members' $174k annual salary by nearly $200k. Maybe members of Congress mistakenly think Americans make twice as much as they actually do, and that's why they haven't raised the minimum wage in 15 years.

Younger Americans are more likely to overestimate the earning potential of a politician. In fact, the average guess of the president’s salary among 18-30 year-olds ($1,153,968) is 3x higher than the guess of Americans 65 or older ($368,043).

Compared to their elder counterparts, younger Americans both estimate politicians are paid more and believe they should be paid more. Whereas the average 18-30 year-old thinks the president should earn $1,184,989 a year, those older than 65 believe the figure should be around $429,770. At least they have bribes unlimited campaign contributions to fall back on.

Want to see the data? Curious about the methodology? Just reply to this email.


Battle of the Band(Name)s

As the late, great Ludwig van Beethoven once said, “A band is only as good as its name.”* It only took 90 years after Beethoven’s death for the first band to be formally formed: The Original Dixieland Jazz Band (ODJB). Not to be confused with one of the founding members of the Wu-Tang Clan, ODB. However, both are for the children.

Mercifully, band names have gotten a lot better since ODJB’s arrival on the scene, or at least shorter. To find out the best band name of all time, we conducted a MaxDiff experiment using some popular bands from the past 100 years. Before we dive into the data, we would like to formally apologize to King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard. You clearly have the best band name, but you need a few more years of crushing the psychedelic garage rock scene before you make the all-time list.

Americans voted The Rolling Stones as the best band name, followed by the Beatles, and Earth, Wind, and Fire. Clearly, this has nothing to do with music preferences and is solely based on the super clever names of the band. 🙄 

*Ludwig van Beethoven most likely never made such a statement. But who knows? The man was a visionary.

Click on the image to enlarge.

That’s a wrap, folks

We'd love to hear from you. Do you have any comments, suggestions, or other pieces of feedback? Please don't hesitate to respond to this email, we don't bite!

Do you have an idea for a research story? Want to see it in (digital) print? You can submit your own ideas for upcoming stories to our Trendlines idea repository

Can't wait for more? Take a look at our public roadmap to see what's in store and vote on potential future Trendlines stories.

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About Gradient

In a continuously changing world, intuition isn't enough. To address this, Gradient partners with startups, Fortune 100 brands, consulting firms, and political campaigns who aren’t confident answering strategic and directional questions. Through our partnership we help these organizations achieve objective clarity by providing custom and actionable insights based on statistical rigor. Want to learn more? Visit our website!

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