Chris Uggen's Blog: new arrivals buck the trend

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

new arrivals buck the trend

inside higher ed is reporting on two studies regarding low rates of childbearing among female academics.

first, a population association of america paper by nicholas wolfinger, mary ann mason, and marc goulden finds that academics -- and especially female academics -- are less likely to have children than are semi-comparable professionals such as physicians or attorneys. second, an american anthropological association report finds that male anthropologists are more likely to be parents, but female anthropologists are more likely to shoulder greater responsibility for child care and other family obligations. my sense is that these results won't shock folks who read this blog, though the magnitude of the estimated gender differences may surprise some.

in light of such news, i'm real happy to announce the births of eva jane barrows (b. 5/19/08) and luke alexander shannon (b. 5/26/08). julie and sarah and their families are doing well and looking forward to a beautiful summer. i'm sure they'd welcome your warm wishes and congratulations. impressively, they both also managed to finish their end-of-semester grading last week. as julie put it in an email, "I'll not soon forget grading final exams on the way to the hospital!" such comments show both the time-intensive demands of academic life and the incredible organizational and multi-tasking skills of many grad student parents.

nevertheless, the studies reported by inside higher ed suggest that students who have kids in grad school are still facing barriers and that such barriers are higher for female academics than for male academics. although i'm procreation-friendly as an advisor -- with luke and eva making for 12 kids among 13 advisees -- there's absolutely no truth to the rumor that students who work with me are required to have children.


At 2:38 PM, Blogger Woz said...

"there's absolutely no truth to the rumor that students who work with me are required to have children."

Really? I seem to remember getting a talk about the need to get going with the baby production shortly after becoming an advisee...

At 12:30 AM, Blogger christopher uggen said...

oh, right -- but that's because i always refer to articles as "babies," as in "better get going on the article production, my friend"

in either case, tick tock, woz. tick tock...

At 4:16 PM, Blogger Trina said...

Thanks for posting this. Though I have not read the study yet, it hits home with many of us "female academics." Didn't ASA publish a study before saying there is no good time to have a child? Also, I wonder if this relates to more adjunct, one year positions (i.e and fewer tenure track), which makes the planning of a child a bit difficult if you are not secure with benefits and job stability?


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