Inside Higher Ed
August 18th, 2014
In discussions about the gender gap among tenured professors at
research universities, there is little dispute that there are far more
men than women with tenure in most disciplines. But why? Many have
speculated that men are outperforming women in research, which is
particularly valued over teaching and service at research universities.
With women (of those with children) shouldering a disproportionate share
of child care, the theory goes, they may not be able to keep up with
publishing and research to the same extent as their male counterparts.
A study presented here Sunday at the annual meeting of the American
Sociological Association finds that those assumptions may be untrue in
some disciplines. The study compared tenure rates at research
universities in computer science, English and sociology -- and then
controlled for research productivity.
Not only are men more likely than women to earn tenure, but in
computer science and sociology, they are significantly more likely to
earn tenure than are women who have the same research productivity. In
English men are slightly (but not in a statistically significant way)
more likely than women to earn tenure.