postdoc disparity

C.J. Fuller cjfuller at
Thu Aug 14 07:46:26 EST 1997

In article <5stimk$di7 at>, mbrown at fred (Megan Brown) wrote:

>Actually, I have observed just the opposite where I work. It seems that
>more women postdocs are married than male postdocs. As a small but
>representative sample of how it is at my institution, consider the lab I 
>work in: In the last 4 years, there have been 5 women postdocs to pass
>through. Four of five were married with children. One was single. Of the 
>men, four of four were single.
>I think this phenomenon relates to women in
>general getting married at an earlier age than men, probably due to their
>biological clock/more limited childbearing years. The "problem" careerwise
>for women tending to marry earlier than men is that more men are able to
>devote more resources (e.g. time) to their research and getting ahead than
>those people (both men and women) who are already married and have kids.
>Also, the single person can be more geographically flexible (a real
>necessity when searching for an academic job) in his/her job search, not
>having to concern him or herself with whether a spouse will be able to
>also find a job in the same town.
Megan-Have you considered the ages of these male and female postdocs? 
It's been my experience that more women postdocs received their PhDs at a
later age than their male counterparts.  They may have spent their 20's
bringing forth progeny, then went back to school in their 30's when the
children were old enough to be in school themselves.  And if the husband
has the more lucrative job...  Need I say more?


C.J. Fuller
<mailto:cjfuller at>
<mailto:cjfuller at>

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