As to universal truths, actually your study doesn't prove anything. Do you have a study that shows what women working in academia are paid compared to men? Those actually hired and actually working because they're actual people doing actual jobs?
That introductory offer might not reflect anything more than an introductory salary that is increased to some average rate upon proof of competence. Possibly the grades of women in academia are known to be inflated? I don't know... but that could be a reality for all I know. As such, perhaps scientists have to be a bit more careful when hiring women for that reason? Any number of such reasons are possible and none of them would technically be bigotry. It is only rational to try and manage risks as you perceive them. If a woman is walking through a bad part of town, is it sexism if she feels threatened by a group of men walking down the street but not threatened when a group of women walk down the street? It is just rational threat assessment. That isn't bigotry and complaining about it is completely pointless because it will never go away... ever. Any society that banishes rational threat assessment will destroy itself, devolve into barbarism, the anarchy will cull anyone that doesn't know how to manage risk, and the society that forms from the chaos will be wiser.
Trying to remove rational threat assessment is about as clever as lobotomizing yourself. It won't happen and if it did you'd destroy yourself. Pointless.
And once we have that bit of information, if there is a wage gap... I will want to separate out the women that have children versus not to see if the wage gap remains. I understand your study, I am saying what happens to the wages when they actually get the job... and what happens to their wages over the course of their career given different choices and how does that compare to the men.
Absent any ability to evaluate these things, we do not know enough about the situation to draw any firm conclusions.
I grant that it is intriguing and I'd love to see a more exhaustive study. However, that study is not proof of anything. It is too thin. I cannot emphasize enough that I do completely agree that this study should be expanded upon to figure out what is actually going on. We have some data here that is suggestive but we don't actually know what would happen if we really dug into these institutions and figured out what was really going on.
As to reasons... here are some non-sexist reasons:
1. Liability. Female workers might involve different legal and ethical strictures and thus increased risk.
2. Commitment. It is possible that female workers get hired, work for a short time and then quit to start a family or something requiring the people that hired her to go find someone else. This is avoided to some extent by just hiring a man.
3. Overwork. Men are known to overwork. This is one of the reasons men dominate programming and a few other fields. They don't go home at 6pm. They obsesses and invest themselves. Not all men... but certain personality types that tend to be the sorts of men that dominate given fields. Overwork is valuable to companies and is generally compensated in various ways. It also implies a flexibility in the worker in that they will do what is needed to get the job done even if that means coming in on week ends and working through the night.
And I can come up with other reasons as well.
This is not sexist because it is correlative. It is based on an assumption that a given worker is going to follow a given pattern of behavior based on the past experience of the person hiring. The reason for hiring or not hiring in this case is not because of their gender but because of those assumptions about what they'll be getting in a worker.
That said, that is only applicable in your study.
And I would point out again that it is very thin and there were lots of women in that study showing the same hiring pattern. You say I am arguing that sexism is right... I would point out that if I were arguing that, that the female managers would be guilty of it as well which is very unlikely.
The whole "internalized bigotry" bullshit is nonsense. If the women scientists are making the same choice then it is because they have observed something of note that leads them to that behavior pattern. The whole notion of internalized bigotry is highly questionable. I have met real bigots. They're very obvious and they are very aware of their bigotry. This notion that everyone is basically unknowingly believing things they think they don't believe is a bit goofy. It reeks of projection. I think some people WANT to justify a given position and to justify that position they have to label a lot of people bigots. And if they can't support that position, they'll just come up with wilder and wilder theories about people's secret bigotry to support an increasingly threadbare position.
I am not a bigot. And this attempt to call pretty much all of society bigoted is offensive.
As to bringing up gender all the time... Okay, all topics of gender are now forbidden then... We'll just shut this topic down and any like it ever again.
Or can I bring up gender in a topic about gender? Don't be absurd, please.
As to your claim that I am obsessed, don't cite that study and I won't undermine it. That's the deal. Cite it and I will challenge it.
That isn't obsession. That is entirely reasonable. I detect a shift on your part into sophistry. I'd would caution you against that. I am intensely logical. Sophistry does not work against my personality type. I turn everything into logic and sophistry looks like errors in arithmetic to people like me. It is profoundly obvious and neither confusing nor compelling what so ever.