measures of family ties are related to tenure status and academic rank, but the contribution of family ties to tenure status and academic rank was different for women than for men.
Contrary to expectations based on economic and social capital perspectives, having dependents and having a spouse or partner employed at the same institution were both unrelated to tenure and rank among women faculty at 4-year institutions in the fall of 1999. In contrast, men appeared to have benefitted in terms of their tenure status and academic rank from having dependents and in terms of their academic rank from being married. Compared with other men, men without dependents were substantially less likely to hold tenured positions and were more likely to hold the lowest academic ranks of instructor, lecturer, and ‘other.’ Men also appeared to benefit in terms of their academic rank from being married. Specifically, men with a spouse or partner who was employed at the same institution were less likely to hold the lowest ranks of assistant professor and instructor, lecturer, or other rank than they were to hold the highest ranks of full and associate professor. Men with a spouse or partner who was not employed in higher education were more likely than other men to hold the rank of full professor.
Kulis and Sicotte (2002:2) examined “whether women are disproportionately drawn to large cities, areas with many local colleges, and the regional centers of doctoral production.” Reviewing the literature, they suggested, regardless of academic achievement, wives in dual-career households were more likely to be the “trailing spouse” or “tied migrant” whose career suffered after a move, or were the one who was constrained from moving to a more advantageous career destination (p. 6). To test such hypotheses, they turned to the 1998 SDR. Their findings were essentially that women were congregated in fewer geographical areas. Women “scientists overall have more geographically constrained careers in academia, even controlling for marital status, parental responsibilities, and age” (p. 21). Women in these areas also had reduced career outcomes compared with men.”
Mason and Goulden (2002) conducted research on “family formation and its effects on the career lives of both women and men academics from the time they receive their doctorates until 20 years later.” They employed data from the SDR for 1973-1999. They found “in the sciences and engineering, among those working in academia, men who have early babies are strikingly more successful in earning tenure than women who have early babies. Surprisingly, having early babies seems to help men; men who have early babies achieve tenure at slightly higher rates than people who do not have early babies. Women with early babies often do not get as far as ladder-rank jobs.” Data from the analysis of the SDR suggested many married women with children indicated that they were considering leaving academia.