DO BABIES MATTER?: GENDER AND FAMILY IN THE IVORY TOWER
Mary Ann Mason, Nicholas H. Wolfinger and Marc Goulden
(Rutgers University Press, 2013), 188 pages.
Although Do Babies Matter?, a recent publication on the success of women academics, focuses on the last several decades, it is worth considering how extensively higher education has opened itself to women since 1871. This was the year when Harriet Cooke became the first American woman to work as a full-time professor with a salary comparable to her male peers. A century later, women held one-fifth of the country's doctoral degrees, and by the mid-2000s, that figure had risen to just over half. Upward trends have been observed not only in fields traditionally considered feminine, but also in engineering, the life and physical sciences, and mathematics.
Even as barriers are falling for women on a PhD track, Do Babies Matter? documents the impact of children on the careers of men and women in higher education, Citing extensive data provided by the National Science Foundation's Survey of Doctorate Recipients, the authors convincingly demonstrate that although childless men and women in the sciences earn tenure at relatively similar rates, the probability of a woman with a young child earning tenure is dramatically lower. The survey also reveals that whereas 70 percent...