American women earn 77 cents for every dollar their male counterparts pull in, and, on average, can expect to make a total of $713,000 less than men over a 40-year career. But while feminist groups insist that the yawning disparity is a result of rampant workplace discrimination, "even a cursory review of the data proves this assumption false," says Carrie Lukas at The Wall Street Journal. Differences in lifestyle choice between the sexes are the real culprit. Simply put, women flock to professions that offer "fewer risks, more comfortable conditions, regular hours, more personal fulfillment and greater flexibility" than their male counterparts — and, consequently, earn far less. Here, an excerpt:

Men have been hit harder by this recession because they tend to work in fields like construction, manufacturing and trucking, which are disproportionately affected by bad economic conditions. Women cluster in more insulated occupations, such as teaching, health care and service industries.

Yet if you can accept that the job choices of men and women lead to different unemployment rates, then you shouldn't be surprised by other differences — like differences in average pay.

Read the entire article at The Wall Street Journal.