Motherhood and Graduate Education: 1970–2000

Article

Abstract

This study examines issues related to the fertility of graduate students over time. First, it examines changes in motherhood rates between 1970 and 2000 among women aged 20–49 who are enrolled in graduate school, both by themselves and relative to prevailing trends among women not enrolled in graduate school, and to other college educated women. Overall, women enrolled in graduate school are increasingly likely to be mothers of young children, and are increasingly similar to non-graduate students. Second, it examines the timing of these births, and finds that almost half of births occur while women are enrolled in graduate school. Third, a brief review of current maternity leave policies and childcare options available to graduate students is presented. Results are discussed in terms of institutional changes within academia, changes between cohorts that attended graduate school in these decades, and the policy needs of graduate student mothers.

Keywords

Motherhood Fertility Graduate school Graduate students Higher education 

References

  1. Allen, M., & Castlement, T. (2001). Fighting the pipeline fallacy. In A. Brooks & A. Mackinnon (Eds.), Gender and the restructured university. Philadelphia: The Society for Research and Open University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Boulis, A. K., & Jacobs, J. A. (2007). Women becoming doctors: Women’s entry in the medical profession in the United States, 1970–2000. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press.Google Scholar
  3. Conrad, L., & Phillips, E. M. (1995). From isolation to collaboration: A positive change for postgraduate women? Higher Education, 30, 313–322. doi:10.1007/BF01383755.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Cooksey, E. C., & Rindfuss, R. R. (2001). Patterns of work and schooling in young adulthood. Sociological Forum, 16(4), 731–755. doi:10.1023/A:1012842230505.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Dugger, K. (2001). Women in higher education in the United States: 1. Has there been progress? The International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 21(1), 118–130. doi:10.1108/01443330110789637.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Fleer, E. (2004, September, 14). Ditch the boyfriend. The Chronicle of Higher Education.Google Scholar
  7. Garms, I. (2006, April 27). A pregnant pause. The Chronicle of Higher Education.Google Scholar
  8. Gauthier, A. H., & Hatzius, J. (1997). Family benefits and fertility: An econometric analysis. Population Studies, 51(3), 295–306. doi:10.1080/0032472031000150066.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goldin, C. (2004). The long road to the fast track: Career and family. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 596, 20–35. doi:10.1177/0002716204267959.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Goldin, C., & Katz, L. F. (2002). The power of the pill: Oral contraceptives and women’s career and marriage decisions. The Journal of Political Economy, 110(4), 730–770. doi:10.1086/340778.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Jacobs, J. A. (1996). Gender inequality and higher education. Annual Review of Sociology, 22, 153–185. doi:10.1146/annurev.soc.22.1.153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Jacobs, J. A., & Winslow, S. E. (2004). The academic life course, time pressures, and gender inequality. Community Work & Family, 7(2), 143–161. doi:10.1080/1366880042000245443.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Houseknecht, S. K., & Spanier, G. B. (1980). Marital disruption and higher education among women in the United States. The Sociological Quarterly, 21, 375–389. doi:10.1111/j.1533-8525.1980.tb00619.x.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Kanter, R. Moss. (1977). Men and woman of the corporation. New York: Basic Books, Inc., Publishers.Google Scholar
  15. Kemkes-Grottenthaler, A. (2003). Postponing or rejecting parenthood? Results of a survey among female academic professional. Journal of Biosocial Science, 35, 213–226. doi:10.1017/S002193200300213X.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Killien, M. (1987). Childbearing choices of professional women. Health Care for Women International, 8(2–3), 121–131.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Mason, M. A., & Goulden, M. (2002). Do babies matter? Academe, 88(6), 21–27.Google Scholar
  18. Mason, M. A., & Goulden, M. (2004a). Marriage and baby blues: Redefining gender equity in the academy. The Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, 596, 86–103. doi:10.1177/0002716204268744.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Mason, M. A., & Goulden, M. (2004b). Do babies matter (Part II)? Closing the baby gap. Academe, 90(6), 10–15.Google Scholar
  20. Mason, M. A., Goulden, M., & Frasch, K. (2007). Graduate student parents: The underserved minority. Communicator. Council of Graduate Schools, 40(4), 1–5.Google Scholar
  21. Miree, C. E., & Frieze, I. H. (1999). Children and careers: A longitudinal study of the impact of young children on critical career outcomes of MBAs. Sex Roles, 41(11/12), 787–808. doi:10.1023/A:1018876211875.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Morgan, S. P. (1996). Characteristic features of modern American fertility. Population and Development Review, 22 (Supplement: Fertility in the United States: New Patterns, New Theories), 19–63.Google Scholar
  23. Preston, S. H., Heuveline, P., & Guillot, M. (2001). Demography: Measuring and modeling population processes. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  24. Rindfuss, R. R., Bumpass, L., & St. John, C., (1980). Education and fertility: Implications for the roles women occupy. American Sociological Review, 45(3), 431–447. doi:10.2307/2095176.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Rindfuss, R. R., Morgan, S. P., & Offutt, K. (1996). Education and the changing age pattern of American fertility: 1963–1989. Demography, 33(3), 277–290. doi:10.2307/2061761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rothblum, E. D. (1988). Leaving the ivory tower: Factors contributing to women’s voluntary resignation from academia. Frontiers, 10(2), 14–17. doi:10.2307/3346465.Google Scholar
  27. Ruggles, S., Sobek, M., Alexander, T., Firthc, C. A., Geoken, R., Hall, P. K., et al. (2005). Integrated public use microdata series: Version 3.0 (machine-readable database). Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota Population Center.Google Scholar
  28. Sandefur, G. D., Eggerlilng-Boeck, J., & Park, H. (2005). Chapter 9: Off to a good start? Postsecondary education and early adult life. In R. A. Settersten Jr., F. F. Furstenburg Jr., & R. C. Rumbaut (Eds.), On the frontier of adulthood (pp. 292–392). Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  29. Schweber, S. (2005, April 12). It’s all an illusion. The Chronicle of Higher Education.Google Scholar
  30. Smulyan, L. (2004). Redefining self and success: Becoming teachers and doctors. Gender and Education, 16(2), 225–245. doi:10.1080/09540250310001690591.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Spalter-Roth, R., & Kennelly, I. (2004). The best time to have a baby: Institutional resources and family strategies among early career sociologists. ASA Research Brief (pp. 1–18).Google Scholar
  32. Thornton, A., Axinn, W. G., & Teachman, J. D. (1995). The influence of school enrollment and accumulation on cohabitation and marriage in early adulthood. American Sociological Review, 60(5), 767–774. doi:10.2307/2096321.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistics. (2003). Digest of Education Statistics. Tables 267, 270 & 273.Google Scholar
  34. Valian, V. (2004). Beyond gender schemas: Improving the advancement of women in academia. NWSA Journal, 16(1), 207–220. doi:10.2979/NWS.2004.16.1.207.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. van Anders, S. M. (2004). Why the academic pipeline leaks: Fewer men than women perceive barriers to becoming professors. Sex Roles, 50(9/10), 511–521. doi:10.1007/s11199-004-5461-9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Weeks, J. R. (2002). Population: An introduction to concept and issues (8th ed.). Wadsworth Group.Google Scholar
  37. Williams, J. C. (2004a, April 20). Singing the grad-student baby blues. The Chronicle of Higher Education.Google Scholar
  38. Williams, J. C. (2004b, June 17). Easing the grad-student baby blues. The Chronicle of Higher Education.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Sociology and DemographyUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations