Friday, May 23, 2008

Calling Mama PhD

The Mama PhD gals have started their blogging over at Inside Higher Ed--and what interesting timing. Turns out two new studies suggest that academe may hinder parenthood, and that as a result many female academics may be opting not to have kids. Watch for the Mama PhD anthology in July.

4 comments:

gryff said...

Another interesting one. This is strictly anecdotal from personal experience :)

A few years back I was teaching in a university ... a department that was all female except me. There were 8 staff - 7 women and me. Initially the chair was an ex-nun and there was one lady who was a spinster - the rest all happily married, and all but one with children.

After about 3 years the chair was replaced by by the married lady without a child ... but she got pregnant, had the baby, and breast fed sometimes at work.

Perhaps in some university departments things are tougher. I would suggest though that Ada Lovelace set an example a long time ago. She is often credited with being the first computer programmer , died at 36, but was mother to two sons and a daughter :)

Regards as always,

gryff :)

Catherine said...

Oh I have a lot to say on this topic, as you might imagine. Thanks for posting on the subject. I think it would have been helpful if the studies had kept track of parental leave policies at respondents' universities. When I came to my university, very few assistant professors had children, in part because they only way to get time off to raise them was to accumulate enough sick days to string into a semester. That took about seven years, same as a book. But midway through my time, an enlightened Chancellor (the wonderful Nancy Cantor, now President of Syracuse) instituted parental leave from teaching duties for one semester following a birth or adoption, and there was a population explosion. Hmmmmmm.

Caroline said...

You can be sure our bloggers will be addressing these studies! Our book references the studies by Mary Ann Mason and Marc Goulden, summarized in their two "Do Babies Matter?" papers. And the very first essay in our book, "The Conversation," wrestles with the question of whether or not to have a child...

Deborah Siegel said...

Catherine - SO interesting, that timing...Hmm is right! We need more Nancy Cantors. Caroline - I can't wait to see the book. Gryff - welcome back! I love your comment about Ada Lovelace. I had no idea...