Wednesday, August 10, 2011

"I Wanted More Kids"

Why don’t more women pursue careers in the sciences? A new study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, suggests a simple, if saddening, answer: Nearly half of women scientists say their career has caused them to have fewer children than they’d like. About a quarter of men also expressed similar disappointments–even though the male scientists polled seem to have about the same number of children as everyone else in the U.S. Read more.

I do recall a husband and wife team - both scientists - at my undergraduate college who made it pretty public that their careers came first and they were not intending to have children.  What surprised me most was the reaction of my Chem-Tech roommate, Mr. Sarcastic Analyst, who had the wife in one of his chemistry classes. He expressed his regret when upon learning of their position. Go figure. 

1 comment:

Assistant Village Idiot said...

We were just a few years later, and the switchover to people putting careers first was well under way. We were not unique, but a bit odd in wanting children, and fairly soon.

It may be more than just personal. Scientists can do arithmetic and have more understanding of genetics, and may figure that they have an obligation to have more children. We have always had a tension between the two ideas in the West, with elites of one sort or another sometimes believing they should preserve holdings by limiting children and sometimes believing they should have more children for "future influence."

If I had to do over again, I would take a job that made more money so we could have had more children.