And, honestly, bad form for not linking to it directly while linking to a somewhat partisan source that describes it instead.
I agree with creating family leave and daycare policies, given that they are backed up by the public as a whole. Blaming universities for not having them is not reasonable, to put it mildly.
I probably disagree with most of what the National Review publishes, but to criticize this article because it's published in that magazine, or because it's by Christina Hoff Sommers, is a blatant ad hominem argument.
Are Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams proven liars? They are the authors of the study in question.
“It has to do with timing. It’s really biased against women,” said Williams, who is also the director of the Cornell Institute for Women in Science. “Women have to have all their kids and do all their best work, and it all has to happen in the same six to eight years.”
In the study, Ceci and Williams propose alternatives that would allow women to gain tenure while simultaneously raising their children. The professors’ suggestions include part-time positions that are still on the tenure track, which would extend the period of time for women to make tenure and allow them to take leaves of absence to raise their kids.
“The society and the way that our universities are designed are based on an out-of-date model where men would work and women would stay home,” Williams said. “When you hired an assistant professor in the old days, it was a man who had a wife who stayed home. And this model is disadvantageous for women.”
Those who noted the ad hominem attacks were wise not to get over fallacious argument. There maybe be methodological or other problems with the study, but the fact that someone at the National Review decided to write about it has no bearing on the study's merits.
I think it's flawed to suggest that better maternity policies are the answer to workplace gender inequality. What we need instead are better parental leave policies and an expectation (impossible to create by legislation or policy, I know) that male partners will take on their share of the parenting responsibility.
The primary factors in women’s underrepresentation are preferences and choices — both freely made and constrained: “Women choose at a young age not to pursue math-intensive careers, with few adolescent girls expressing desires to be engineers or physicists, preferring instead to be medical doctors, veterinarians, biologists, psychologists, and lawyers. Females make this choice despite earning higher math and science grades than males throughout schooling”
Today, the dearth of women in math-based fields is related to three factors, one of which (fertility/lifestyle choices) hinders women in all fields, not just mathematical ones, whereas the others (career preferences and ability differences) impact women in math-based fields. Regarding the role of math-related career preferences, adolescent girls often prefer careers focusing on people as opposed to things, and this preference accounts for their burgeoning numbers in such fields as medicine and biology, and their smaller presence in math-intensive fields such as computer science, physics, engineering, chemistry, and mathematics, even when math ability is equated.
Law, arguably a worse profession in terms of work-life balance, has made more progress than science in terms of getting women into the profession, if not to the highest levels.
« Older This kid and his bird make some amusing videos abo... | 2210 GMT: Libya's 2nd Secretar... Newer »
This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments
Buy a Shirt