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Sexism In Science?

March 22, 2015

Are women held back in science because of sexism?  A recently published paper from Cornell researchers proves this isn’t the case.  When carefully examining the hiring, salary, promotion, productivity, and job satisfaction of men and women in these fields, there is no evidence of sexism.

PhD women are as likely as men to be invited to interview for a tenure-track job, to be offered such a job; to receive comparable salaries and be promoted as often to assistant professor. Their rates of grant funding rates are comparable with men. They work similar hours; and express similar levels of career satisfaction. Against this backdrop, there was an interesting pattern in publication rate.

For women without children , the rate was the same as that of men without children –but women with children published at the lowest rate. Men with children are the most productive. Now, the data from childless men and childless women suggests that there are not sexist barriers to women’s success, but what about women with children– The ones with the lowest publication rate? While research is needed to fill in the picture, but you could speculate that this disparity exists because fathers are more likely to have a spouse caring full-time for their children than mothers. It’s not rocket science: it is easier to have kids and a career if someone else is doing the lion’s share of the child care. This reflects cultural conventions, not sexism. Even so, it appears that these differences in publication did not affect promotion to asst prof.”

Whenever you hear internet feminists vilifying males in the math-based sciences, boldly declaring that we’re a “men’s club” who create a misogynistic work environment, keep in mind that the women who actually work with us report similar levels of job satisfaction and are just as successful.

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