The Atlantic has covered the research of SMU’s Anne Lincoln, an assistant professor in the Department of Sociology. The article “Being a College Professor Isn’t All It’s Cracked Up to Be” was published Aug. 10 in the online edition of the The Atlantic.
Lincoln’s study found that nearly half of all women scientists and one-quarter of male scientists at the nation’s top research universities said their career has kept them from having as many children as they had wanted. The study, “Scientists Want More Children,” appears in the current issue of the journal PLoS ONE.
By John Hudson
Though it consistently ranks as one of the most desired professions in the country, being a college professor isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Sure, professors have reduced summer hours, have flexible schedules, and their kids get discounted tuition, but according to a new study by sociologists Elaine Howard Ecklund of Rice University and Anne Lincoln of Southern Methodist University, the job’s got a number of hidden downsides. Here’s what they found and here’s what they missed in their examination of the great ivory tower occupation.
It’s bad for fathers
The sociologists’ study, as reported by The Wall Street Journal, noted that men, in particular, were more dissatisfied with their work-and-family lives than women and that “one-quarter of male scientists at the nation’s top research universities said their career has kept them from having as many children as they had wanted.” Dr. Ecklund adds that “The fact that having fewer children than desired has a greater impact on men’s life satisfaction is an important finding because most research on the relationship between family life and pursuing a career in science has focused almost exclusively on the lives of women.”
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