Click for next page ( 171


The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 170
8. MINORITIES AND WOMEN At i ts pubI i c me et ing, the C ommitte e wa s a ske ~ by sever a ~ Dart icipants to consider problems encountered by minorities and women in pursuing graduate training and employment in the biomedical and behavioral sciences. For its analyses the Committee relied on data from its own survey of recent graduates in these areas and from another NRC survey of doctorate recipients. Findings from these surveys were compared to results from a more detailed study of minorities and women in all areas of learning (NRC, in press} in order to provide a perspective. MINOP.ITIES IN THE BIOMEDICAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES Members of minority groups t--blacks, Chicanos, Puerto Ricans, Asians, and American Indians--while representing approximately ~ 7 percent of the U. S. population, constitute a much smaller proportion of those who obtain research doctorates in this country. This section deals with minority individual s with doctorates in the biomedical and behavioral sciences and indicates some of the factors that may be relay ed ~ o the underrepresentation of these groups in aches e areas . The di scus sion and tabulations pre sensed here focus on native-born U. S. citizens. If naturalized and foreign citizens were inch uded, the overall figures on minority representation in the Ph. D. Papua ation would be greatly inflated {NRC, 1974, pp. 20-23~. The f igures presented are taken from the Survey of Earned Doctorates (NEC, 1973-76), which has included a question on minority status since ~ 973 . Because the . numbers for groups other than blacks have always been quite smaQ I, the anal yses that follow do not attempt to dif f erentiate among the various minorities, excep+ in cases for which the observed dif ferences are especially large. However, the Committee ads aware that each m nority group may have had a different experience in graduate science education. Over the last four years there has been a gradual increase in minority representation among doctoral recipien is in a:] ~ area s of ~ earning . In the b iomedical sciences there has been a decrease in the percentage of minors ty scientists. Among native-born {1. S. citizens in ~ 70

OCR for page 170
this area, minority members represented 5. ~ percent of 1973 and ~ 974 Ph. D. ' s and 4. 2 percent of ~ 976 doctorate recipients (Appendix Jig. In the behavioral sciences, on the other hand, there ha s been an increase in minority representation. In 1973, 3. 9 percent of behavioral science doctorates were awarded to minority group members and in 1976, 5.9 percent (Appendix J1} . All groups except Asians particle pated in this increase to some degree. The decline In minority representation in the biomedical sciences, despite an increase in the minority percentage of all Ph.D. 's, is partly explained in a tabulation of Ph.D. 's who had received biomedical baccalaureate degrees (Appendix J2 ~ . Of whites who had received the B. A. in the biomedical area and subsequently earned doctcrates, approximately two- thirds received their advanced degrees in the same area. The percentage was similar for Chicanos and even higher for Asians. For the other minorities, however, the proportion of Ph. D . recipients with biomedical bacca ~ acreages who obtainer] their Ph.D. 's in the same area was considerably smaller. This was strikingly so among blacks, of whom only 43 .7 percent with biomedical B.A. ' s had completed the Ph.D. in the same area, whir e 44. 3 percent had obtained doctoral degrees in education. This shift into educate on has undoubtedly been a mad or f actor i n the dec ~ ine in the black representation among biomedical Ph.D.'s. A similar pattern prevailed for those doctorate recipients with baccalaureates in the behavioral sciences. Every group except the Puerto Ricans had a smaller Proportion than whites of individuals who continued in the . . same area to complete the doctorate. Again, less than half the black Ph.D. recipients with behavioral science baccalaureates obtained Ph.D.'s in the same area (many held doctorates in education). These findings may be explained, in part, by the fact that education has traditionally been an area with substantial be ack representation. It is also an area in which it is possible for individuals Lo earn a living in their profession whi le obtaining graduate degrees. This may be a particular concern for many minority members who can ess afford the costs associated with graduate education. In ~ he biomedical sciences, small ler proportions of all minority groups except Asians received their doctorates before the age of 30, compared to who tes ~ In the behavioral scar ences, this finding held for all minority groups (Appendix J3 ~ . In both areas, approximately one-f if th of the blacks obtained their doctorate s at the age of 4 0 or ater. Various factors combined to produce this outcome. In both biomedical and behavioral fields, more minority members than whites started graduate work after the age of 25. Thi s was true f or every group except American Indians i n ~ he biomedical sciences and Puerto Ricans in the behavioral sciences (Appendix J4) . In both areas, subsolar Tally smaller proportions of blacks started graduate ~ 71

OCR for page 170
work before the age of 2 5 than whites, although no such difference was found among women in the behavioral sciences. In both the biomedical and behaviors l sciences, minority members s pen ~ more time away from graduate study than whites. Asians in the blame Cal fields were the c'nly exception. Strikingly high percentages of blacks, 28. 7 percent in the biomedical sciences and 2 4. 5 percent in the behavioral s ciences, spent more than three years away after ini' icing graduate study (Appendix J5) . It was also found that all minority group members except Asians hall more dependent s a t the time the y c ompl e t ed the doc to rate than ~ id whites {Appendix J61. These factors may al, contribute to the reluctance of minority members to enter postdoctoral study. In fact, Chicanos and As' ens in both areas and Puerto Ricans in the behavioral sciences showed higher percentages than who tes of Ph.D. 's planning postdoctoral study, but the proportions for the 0 ~ her groups, particularly blacks, were much smaller (Appendixes J7. ~ and J7. 2) . To the extent that in certain areas, particularly in the biomedical sciences, audit tonal training beyond the Ph. D. is required, blacks Ray have been ef fictively discouraged from initial entry into graduate educe' ion in such an area. Utilization of training after receipt of the doctorate does not appear to be a problem for minorities at- this time. With the exception of American Indians in the behavioral sciences, the percent age of minority individuals with firm empl oym~nt c o~runi~ meets at th e ti me the degree wa s awe rded was similar to that of whites (Appendix Jet. Of those with employment plans, similar proportions of whites and minorities reported these commitments to be in the area of the doctoral degree (Appendix J91. In the biomedical sciences, a slightly higher percentage of minority than white doctorate recipients had such plans, and in the behavioral sciences the proportion was slightly smaller for minority individuals. The Committee believes that the evidence cited above clearly indicates that additional efforts must be made to provide more opportunities for minorities to enter and to complete without undue delay predoctoral training programs. Hence, the Committee urges that special policies be developed by the funding agencies that are targeted directly to the needs of minoring ies . Such programs should be in addition to the Minority Access to Research Careers (MARC} and Minority Biomedical Support (MBS) programs of NIH, and the program of ADAMHA that provides training funds to s e le ate d net i one l pro f e s s iona l sac i eti e s, wh i c h in tu rn award fellowships to minorities in the behavioral sciences. . . . Recommendations. In order to encourage more minority appl icants to enter and complete graduate training without 172

OCR for page 170
undue delay, the Committee recommends that: ~1) AL:AMHA provide predict oral support f or minor) ties starting with the first year of graduate training (instead of the third year under current pol icy), and (2) special effort be made by each agency ~ o encourage qualified minority applicants to undertake postdoctora ~ training by establishing a special postdoctoral fellowship program targeted to minorities. WOMEN IN THE BIOMEDICAL AND BEHAVIORAL SCIENCES Representation of women among U. S. doctorate recipients has changed drama~ical~ y over the last decade. The proportion of women receiving doctorates has doubled during this time, 2 going from ~1. 6 percent in 1966 {NRC, 1976-77, 1976 report, p. 4) ~ o 23.3 percent in 1976 (NRC, 1976-77, 1977 report, p. 4) . Women now comprise 23.3 percent of the doctorate recipients in the biomedical sciences and 33.4 percent in the behavioral sciences (Appendix Jig. These changes have occurred dur ing a time in whi ch many barriers to graduate study for women have disappeared. This trend was i, lustra~ed by findings from the Committee' s survey of recent Ph.D. 's, which showed only small differences between the number o f men and women with graduate training support by traineeships/fe~ lowships and research grants (Appendixes B18. 1, B18.2, E16.1, and E16.2} . Nevertheless, to some extent the graduate training patterns of women sty ll differ from those of men. Numerous s' udies have pointed out that, while the median age at comp lesion of the degree is simi lar for both sexes, there is a broader range for women (Astir, ~ 969; Carnegie Commission on Higher Education, ~ 973; Centra, ~ 974) . This Proved to be the case for recent degree recipients in the biomedical and behavioral sci ences, as shown by the data from the Survey of Earned Doctorates. That survey showed that simile ar proportions of men and women completed the doctorate degree before the age of 30, but women represented a smaller proportion of the 30 to 3 9 age-group and a larger proportion of the over-40 group (Appendix Jag. One factor in this difference is the fording that women are more likely to begin graduate training after the age of 35 (Appendix J4) and, as a group, women take more time out from graduate work after they have enro1 led. This pattern Is more distinctive in the biomedical than the behavioral sciences (Appendix Jay. Such results have led a number of observers to suggest that spe c ia ~ con s ide ration s i ~ admi ssion be given to c iaer women and that part-time study arrangements be made for women who have acquired dependents before undertaking graduate work. In addition to such issues in graduate training, it is Of ear that women are likely to encoun' er greater problems in the utilization of their training. According to the 173

OCR for page 170
commi~tee's survey of recent doctorate recipients, women were less likely than men to find the overall Ph. D. training relevant to their present employment situation (Appendixes B9 and E91. This evaluation is more an accurate reflection of the general employment situation of women than of their recent training experience. Following recei pt of the degree, women with biomedical and behavioral science doctorates spent less time than men in full-tire employment and more time than men in part-time work, in seeking employment, and in postdoctoral study (Appendixes B' and E1. 1) . The same situation prevailed at the time of the survey in October 1976 (Appendixes E2 and E2. 1) . Findings also showed that women were more likely than men to be employed in educational institutions and less likely to work for government (Appendixes B3 and E3. 1) . They were less likely than men to be engaged in administrati on or management and, in the behavioral sciences, less likely To spend some time in research (Appendixes BE and E4. 1) . In terms of measures of professional success, women still clearly lag behind men. Women were less ~ ikely than their male counterparts to have achieved tenure and, in the biomedical sciences, cons i derabI y le s s li ke ly to be in tenu re- track pos it i ons (Appendixes B12 and E12. 1) . In every employment sector in both areas and in all age-groups (except among behavioral scientists below the age of 30) , women earned less ~ hen men (Appendixes J10. 1, J10. 2, and JO 0. 3) . Many of ~ hese differences in the professional utilization of men and women di sappeared when data from the Comrnit~ee's survey of recent Ph.D. Is were analyzed by marital status. Single women in both fields spent as much total time fully employed following receipt of the degree as single men and much more total time than married women (Appendixes J] ~ and J12} . Marital status did not affect the holding of postdoctoral fellowships for women but did f or men; single men were much more likely than married men to have held or be holding such appointments. Among women who took postdoctoral appointments soon after the degree, however, married women were much more likely than sing] e women to cite lack of employment as the reason for doing so (Appendix J] 3) . The data showed that single women were more like, y than married ones to be in =ducationa l institutions (Appendix J] 4} . This has been the alternative traditionally preferred by professional women, and it may be that single status permits the mobi Pity or barge inir.g power needed to achieve such positions. In both areas the single women spent a smaller portion of their time in research than married women {Appendix J] 5) . In the academic labor force, single women were more likely than married ones to be in ~enure-track positions. However, single scientists of both sexes were less likely than married men to hold such positions (Appendix J] 6) . Married women were less likely to find the 174

OCR for page 170
overall doctoral experience relevant to their e~FIcyment situation than either single men or single women. Married men were most likely to find this experience relevant (Appendix J171. The Committee does not believe that any specific recommendations concerning the support of women under the NRSA program is necessary except for that rooted in Chapter 9 concerning payback provisions by women who must interrupt their training because of pregnancy. The Committee does urge that academic departments continue to recognize some of the disparities noted in this report and give greater emphasis to providing teaching and research assistantship opportunities to women in the future. 175

OCR for page 170
FOOTNOTES 1 . For capsule descriptions of the various minorities, see NEC (~ n press) . 2. Although data on the number of women earning doctorate s are ava-' ~ able as far back as 1920, figures we'= reported only for the last ~ 0 years, since this is the period in which the greatest increase has occurred. 176