Want tenure faster, lose the husband

Well, this is interesting:

Robert B. Townsend, deputy director of the AHA, surveyed 2,240 associate and full professors of history and released the findings in this month’s Perspectives on History. Female historians who were either married or had been married at the time of the 2010 survey took an average of 7.8 years to move from associate to full professor. Women who had never married were promoted in an average of 6.7 years. Almost two times as many of the female full professors listed their status as divorced or separated, which suggests their professional obligations were somehow less compatible with marriage than their male colleagues. They were also more likely than their male colleagues to have never wed at all.

Conversely, male historians who were or had been married advanced in 5.9 years. The unmarried man took 6.4 years, a bit longer.

Clearly, rank discrimination against married women.  Ummm, no.  Of course not that simple.  Among other things, you’ve got to wonder how much “married” is actually a reflection of “children in the home” insofar as it effects an academic career.  Or:

Women were two times as likely to take leave to support their partner’s career, the study said. “This explains why marriage accelerates a man’s career,” said Seth Rockman, an associate professor of history at Brown University. “If men can continue to find wives who will abandon their professional aspirations to assist their husbands, well, that’s it in a nutshell.” Rockman, who is married Nummedal, called the statistics depressing. “The degree of backsliding in the current generation is stunning.”

I think there’s all sorts of interesting things going on here, but I suspect a huge part of it is the disproportionate impact children have on a woman’s career as compared to man’s, yet, at least according to the article, parenthood is not even mentioned  Wives won’t need to “abandon their professional aspirations to assist their husbands” unless their is child-rearing to be done.   Argh!  Historians.

Photo of the day

The Post has a very cool, interactive, billion pixel photo of the inauguration.  Definitely worth taking a look at it.  Here’s just a screenshot:


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