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Old 12-04-2014, 11:15 AM
 
6,129 posts, read 6,807,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aplcr0331 View Post
Maybe girls are not as interested in STEM as much as boys? I know that's not a cool and hip way to look at it, but...could it just be choice/biology/interest and such and not because engineer's are socially retarded rapists?

That's not what the article said.

It said the life of an academic in the sciences is extremely demanding and not conclusive in any way to family life. So women AND men who want to be involved with their families either shy away from that path all together or make sacrifices in expense of their careers (as in, they don't get as far as those who prioritize work first).

This is not a new revelation. People who research women in the sciences have been saying this for years.

If you want to be a science professor, either you need to forgo a family or have a spouse who is willing to be the primary caretaker of the children. Women are less likely to choose the former or find the latter. Hell, even taking time off to give birth to children can be problematic when you have a lab to run. You can always have kids and then neglect them but people tend to not want to go that route.

The path to science professorship is not likely to change either, because men (mostly with wives who do all the housework and childrearing) are still in charge, and they are not likely to "get" the implications of the demands that are made on aspiring and current (untenured) professors. Their attitude is "I did this, so should you, this is how it always has worked, anything else is lowering the standards for you new generation of wimps". So it never changes.

Last edited by Tinawina; 12-04-2014 at 11:57 AM..
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Old 12-04-2014, 11:52 AM
 
Location: State of Transition
102,193 posts, read 107,809,412 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by syracusa View Post
Not sure what you mean.
Engineering may be lower prestige than MD and maybe law, but it's still higher prestige than teaching, nursing, etc; and yet you don't see women running away from such occupations just because they are lower in prestige.
Since when are women refusing certain jobs because of low prestige...especially engineering, which is not that low? :-).
I'm not sure you read or understood the rest of my post. Parents aren't guiding women who are talented in math to use that talent in the field of engineering. For one thing, it's a traditionally male field, so it doesn't occur to a lot of parents. But those who do get advised to steer their daughter into engineering tend to dismiss that field. Look around this forum, a lot of people say engineering is for geeky misfits. There are some very strange attitudes in the US toward engineers.

University engineering departments have special programs to welcome women to the field, but the women aren't getting the message. More outreach needs to be done. The outreach needs to happen in highschool.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:02 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,847 posts, read 6,180,565 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DewDropInn View Post
Lol. So you want the SAH moms to shut the heck up. Yes, I suppose that would make it easier for you to be heard while you deliver yet another podium-shaking lecture.
Although I don't agree with all of the statements syracusa has made, I think he/she has made some excellent points on this thread and pointed out things, that while not popular, are, in fact, reality.

I absolutely agree that having a single breadwinner family with a SAH parent (which is overwhelmingly still likely to be the woman) is mutually beneficial to the entire family- as long as both partners are supportive of this arrangement. I know for a fact that since I run the entire household and handle all issues, my husband can focus 100% of his time on his job, which is one that is very mentally, emotionally, and (occasionally) physically challenging. The risk comes in as syracusa points out: that the breadwinner decides to leave the SAH parent, who now has a very difficult time transitioning back into the workforce. 50% of marriages end in divorce, but 50% do not. Moreover, the divorce rate is correlated to certain things (lower income level, education etc) that are not as likely to be the case in higher socio-ecomonic households (which is not to say it never happens, of course). Needless to say, for many of us, it is a risk we have decided to take.

I am a SAH Mom to two young girls. I have a Master's degree and put my husband through Med school and earned double what he did in residency. I gave us a damn good lifestyle, and now, I don't have to work. We didn't arrive at this point through luck or happenstance. We worked together to make it happen and we've earned it. I could work outside the home if I wanted to and my husband would totally be supportive of this. I just don't want to, because as has already been pointed out, working kind of sucks. I don't need it to validate myself as an intelligent, accomplished individual. Believe me, I do work as a SAHM, but nowhere near as hard (or to as questionable an end) as I did when I was working outside the home. I think a lot of SAH parents feel the need to validate themselves by describing what they do at home with a certain amount of hyperbole. I have just never felt the need to do that.

The only time it bothers me to be "only" a SAH parent is the feedback I get from my kids. They have never known me to work, and certainly don't appreciate what I do for them now. Why? Because they are 7 and 4. Interestingly, I have been looking around a bit to get back into the workforce, but only on a limited PT basis. I am only doing it because I do think I need to protect myself to a degree in the event something were to happen to my husband or relationship.
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Old 12-04-2014, 12:30 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,541 posts, read 5,475,138 times
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I'm an academically-minded woman who didn't pursue higher education because I have four children and we chose for my husband to complete his PhD. We chose that path simply because he was farther along in his education than I was at the time (he's five years older), we wanted to have children and we both agreed that we wanted them to have a dedicated stay-at-home parent. It was purely practical.

Having said all that, I think there is more to it than gender roles. If you look at the research on the male brain vs. the female brain and how they think and learn differently I think it becomes apparent that men and women are often very different in more ways than just what you can see on the outside. However, these are generalizations. It seems to me that there is about a 60/40 split in male thinking vs female thinking. 60% of men think "like a man" or what is traditionally thought to be more masculine patterns of rationality, but then 40% of them don't. The same goes for women but it's flip-flopped. 40% of women think "like men" and 60% think like women. I think more men are attracted to the rational style of thinking used in higher education than women. But then there are certainly women like me who chose not to pursue an academic career because of gender roles.

I won't say I have no regrets (and may still go back at some point) but I will say I think the choice I made was a good one and I'm glad I have been able to be as involved in my kid's lives as I have been. It has been good for them and it has also been a growing experience for me. There are still paths I can choose professionally that will be fulfilling once I'm done being a mom full-time. Probably not the scientific research I would have enjoyed just because of the number of years necessary for completing that kind of work. Sometimes we just have to choose between two good things. :-) And that's okay.
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Old 12-04-2014, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,297 posts, read 120,711,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
first hammer on the way......
DH is engineer who had academic experience. He's certainly not a social butterfly but he can hold his own. But he is rather contemplative and more cerebral than most people.

Son is physics professor and he is the most social person I know. Always up for a party, his company is sought after and he's very popular with the ladies. He laments he has a hard time finding women who have the same interests he does. They both enjoy the Big Bang Theory, especially the engineer vs scientist banter.
My DH is a PhD physicist who worked in academia for a time. He's not dysfunctional. In fact, I found him and his friends/coworkers far more functional than many other men I've known.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
That's not what the article said.

It said the life of an academic in the sciences is extremely demanding and not conclusive in any way to family life. So women AND men who want to be involved with their families either shy away from that path all together or make sacrifices in expense of their careers (as in, they don't get as far as those who prioritize work first).

This is not a new revelation. People who research women in the sciences have been saying this for years.

If you want to be a science professor, either you need to forgo a family or have a spouse who is willing to be the primary caretaker of the children. Women are less likely to choose the former or find the latter. Hell, even taking time off to give birth to children can be problematic when you have a lab to run. You can always have kids and then neglect them but people tend to not want to go that route.

The path to science professorship is not likely to change either, because men (mostly with wives who do all the housework and childrearing) are still in charge, and they are not likely to "get" the implications of the demands that are made on aspiring and current (untenured) professors. Their attitude is "I did this, so should you, this is how it always has worked, anything else is lowering the standards for you new generation of wimps". So it never changes.
You know, here's where I'm going to get flamed. All the studies about stress on the job put university professors near the bottom of the pack.
The 10 Least Stressful Jobs in America | TIME.com

I find this comment from the link highly entertaining:
"Other studies have found that academic scientists may have flexible schedules, but they work long hours, at least 55 hours a week. More, if you count the mental labor working out a problem away from the lab."


What a crock of, well, compost anyway! DH used to say that. He also used that thinking to justify two hour lunches (but, but, but, we were talking about work!), etc. As if the rest of us don't think about work when we're not there, or talk about work at our lunches.

I recall an article from a year or two ago that a former university professor who became a member of the Obama administration wrote. She talked about how much easier it was to "have it all" when working as a professor, where one has far more control of their time, than in the admin job. Well, no duh! I
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:24 PM
 
6,129 posts, read 6,807,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
My DH is a PhD physicist who worked in academia for a time. He's not dysfunctional. In fact, I found him and his friends/coworkers far more functional than many other men I've known.



You know, here's where I'm going to get flamed. All the studies about stress on the job put university professors near the bottom of the pack.
The 10 Least Stressful Jobs in America | TIME.com

I find this comment from the link highly entertaining:
"Other studies have found that academic scientists may have flexible schedules, but they work long hours, at least 55 hours a week. More, if you count the mental labor working out a problem away from the lab."


What a crock of, well, compost anyway! DH used to say that. He also used that thinking to justify two hour lunches (but, but, but, we were talking about work!), etc. As if the rest of us don't think about work when we're not there, or talk about work at our lunches.

I recall an article from a year or two ago that a former university professor who became a member of the Obama administration wrote. She talked about how much easier it was to "have it all" when working as a professor, where one has far more control of their time, than in the admin job. Well, no duh! I
Not all professors, this applies to professors IN THE SCIENCES, specifically people who are in the disciplines that requires them to win grants and run a lab in order to conduct thier research. Biology, chemistry and related fields are the main culprits. It's even worse if its a research 1 school.

This has been studied up the wazoo so it's no like there is anything to ague about.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:29 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,297 posts, read 120,711,654 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tinawina View Post
Not all professors, this applies to professors IN THE SCIENCES, specifically people who are in the disciplines that requires them to win grants and run a lab in order to conduct thier research. Biology, chemistry and related fields are the main culprits. It's even worse if its a research 1 school.

This has been studied up the wazoo so it's no like there is anything to ague about.
My husband worked in the physics department of the University of Illinois, one of the highest ranked physics schools in the US. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.
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Old 12-04-2014, 07:38 PM
 
6,129 posts, read 6,807,419 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katiana View Post
My husband worked in the physics department of the University of Illinois, one of the highest ranked physics schools in the US. Trust me, I know what I'm talking about.
I don't think your experience is invalid, it's just that one experience doesn't trump many. I mean if we want to be anecdotal I could say I've known plenty of stressed science professors, some of them very close friends. That's why we have research, ya know? No worries.
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Old 12-05-2014, 12:05 AM
 
10,829 posts, read 5,433,247 times
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I know that it's politically incorrect to point out obvious gender differences, but boys are more likely than girls to be fascinated by machines, more likely to take things apart and put them back together again, etc. They are more comfortable with numbers.

So it is more likely that they will have the interest and aptitude to become mathematicians, scientists and engineers.

When Harvard University President Lawrence Summers said something like the above, he became persona non grata on the Harvard campus. But an obvious truth is not something that is invalidated by political correctness.

Of course, there have been great women scientists (or at least one I can think of: Mme. Curie), but rare exceptions do not disprove the rule.

As for the division of household labor between husband and wife, I don't see that this has anything at all to do with men being the overwhelming majority of scientists, mathematicians and engineers.

Did these men only go into science because they "knew" in advance when they were children that they would eventually have stay-at-home wives who would do all the chores and child rearing so that they could devote all their time to science?

What an absurd supposition.

I grew up when most moms were stay-at-home moms. They had a lot on their plate, what with raising children and taking care of the household. But they also had time for hobbies and socializing with other housewives, and generally speaking, they were dominant over their husbands. Their minds did not atrophy just because they were stay-at-home moms. They were highly intelligent, articulate and interesting individuals.

In addition, being likely to live longer, these stay-at-home moms could look forward to having total control over the money their husbands would leave them later in life. On the other hand, their husbands might divorce them and trade them in for a "new and younger model." But said husbands would still have to pay alimony and child support, and many of the "old models" had no trouble finding new husbands if they wanted them.

The real winners in recent years have been the employers who (starting in the 1970s) suddenly had women pouring into the work force. The law of supply and demand being what it is, the almost doubling in the supply of workers resulted in wages and salaries being cut in half.

I do not see anything so great about both husband and wife having to work in order to achieve a middle class life style when such a lifestyle was achieved in the past by only the husband working. And I certainly do not think it is great for kids to have both parents working.

Labor in this country has become almost worthless thanks not only to what I mentioned above, but also to offshoring of jobs ("globalization"), automation, and the addition of millions of both legal and illegal immigrants regardless of high unemployment for U.S. citizens.

Just look at how much people are saving for retirement nowadays. It's a frighteningly low figure. They just don't make enough money.

The middle class is disappearing, to be replaced by the 99% and the 1%.
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Old 12-05-2014, 05:32 AM
 
9,741 posts, read 11,156,127 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Obviously written by someone who has never been married or had children. Who does the laundry, the grocery shopping, the cooking, the cleaning, the bill paying, the chauffeuring? Either partner can do these things or share these responsibilities but the fact remains there most definitely is A LOT to do at home and today it is still the woman who puts in a full day at work and comes home to her second full time job.
Agreed. I'm a fan of one person staying home so that the other parent can focus on his/her career. We chose that path. Being self employed, my income benefited by my focus. But the big reason why we chose this path was our kids. Our goal was to nurture then to the fullest. Dropping them off at a sitter wasn't our preference. My wife passed on a 6 figure sales job in her industry and that was back in the early 90's. That was real money. But she did the accounting for our business which was 3-4 hours a day. But my focus allowed for me to make-up the difference.

It was the right choice for us.
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