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Thursday, October 12, 2006

Men Want Children

Last year the New York Times reported that many women at elite universities plan to stop working after having children. The article caused much controversy. Now a new study sheds light on women's post-childbirth plans. Yale's Women's Center released a survey last week that found that 0.7 percent of men and 4.1 percent of women at Yale plan to leave the work force after having children.

Victoria Brescoll, who conducted the survey in 2005-6, suggests that men and women value their careers equally, because 4.1. percent does not count as many. But that is not quite right. I am sure men and women do value their careers equally. But it is not quite right that 4.1. percent does not count as many. She is right that we cannot conclude that many women plan to stop working after having children (compared to women who do not plan to stop working). But we can conclude that many women plan to stop working when they have children (compared to men).

Interestingly, the Yale study also found that more men than women plan to have children. So, why do more women than men plan to leave the work force after having children when more men than women plan to have children? Perhaps because child-birth often has a negative impact on a woman's career but often has no impact on a man's.

(via Inside Higher Ed)

2 comments:

Gary Ostertag said...

Hi Brit,

I don't know about the Yale study, but the Times piece was effectively debunked last year by Katha Pollitt in her column in The Nation. It's here:

http://www.thenation.com/doc/20051017/pollitt

Brit Brogaard said...

Thanks for the reference, Gary!