Should Professional Women Ever Get Married?
While this study has been criticized, I believe it. Women face hurdles in the academic world that men do not, or more correctly and broadly, women face hurdles that men don’t. You would think that in the supposedly more liberal world of colleges and universities there would be more income equality.
It is important that the issues is actively being discussed. At least, we are not pretending that things are better or by far, worse, not even seeing a problem. Most successful sexism relies on a practiced acceptance of the status quo. Acknowledging a problem, recognizing it, is the first step in action.
The first question of our analysis: Do we want professional women to get married? The current situation mitigates against this but some would see this as an action of the free market, and suggest that delaying or avoiding marriage is a natural phenomenon. Since, every last detail of the problem is a human creation, I find free market naturalism, treating humanity like a slightly more sophisticated herd of wildebeests, little more than ridiculous. What humans have created, humans can change. I think that the question is flawed. A better question: Do we want professional women to have children?
Perhaps marriage itself is a social institution that needs re-examination. I think that highly educated women are likely to make better than average parents. Certainly this is the case with the academic women I know. If we value the child rearing quality of women, then we as a society should not penalize women for having children.
We can do this through subsidized and regulated, professional day care. We can do this through paid leave. We can do this by giving up stigmatizing single mothers and divorced women. The practice of slut shaming has outlived its purpose, keeping women in their place and regulating their sexuality. We can do better.
Women in this generation will not escape the social pressures like diminished professional lives that go with our current customs but a new world is possible where we achieve parity. I won’t see it. Maybe the current generation won’t see it, and maybe the one after that. But we can lay the foundation here and now. We are not helpless. We have to recognize our power and use it.
Hope and action are not contradictory. The time for change is now.
Female economists penalized for getting married, married men rewarded.
According to a study that was presented earlier this month at the American Economic Association, women (who make up about a third of Ph.D students in economics) who got married in the first five years after they received their Ph.D.s had a 23 percent salary growth penalty—in other words, their salaries grew much more slowly— compared with their unmarried female counterparts. Men who got married in the half decade after they got their doctorates? They received a 25 percent salary growth bump—their salaries grew by a larger margin—compared to other men. Wendy Stock, a co-author of the study and a professor of economics at Montana State University, said in an email that among female economists, the penalty for having children was not statistically significant. “In addition, our estimates didn’t indicate that the impact of having a child was any different for males than for females,” Stock wrote. (If Ph.D. candidates have children while still in graduate school, they take longer to complete their studies, regardless of gender).