SIDEBAR: Are Marriage and Science Compatible for Women?

Doctoral women scientists and engineers are far less likely than men to be married: 66 percent of women doctoral scientists and engineers are married, compared with 83 percent of men. (See figure 5-7.) Doctoral women are twice as likely as men never to have married or to be divorced. Twelve percent of the women, but only 6 percent of the men, were divorced, and 19 percent of the women, but only 9 percent of the men, were single and never married.

One factor in the differing marital status of men and women scientists and engineers is the younger ages of the women-16 percent of the doctoral women, but only 10 percent of the doctoral men, are younger than 35. Among younger doctoral scientists and engineers, more nearly equal proportions of men and women are married. Among those 35 or older, however, women are far less likely than men to be married. For example, among doctoral scientists and engineers between the ages of 45 and 54, 64 percent of the women, compared with 85 percent of the men, are married.

Among those who are married, women scientists and engineers are also more likely than men to face problems in accommodating dual careers. Doctoral women are twice as likely as men to have a spouse working full time. (See figure 5-8.) Eighty-four percent of the married women, but only 42 percent of the married men, have a spouse working full time. Only 10 percent of the married women, but 38 percent of the married men, have a spouse not working.

Women scientists and engineers who are married are more likely than men to be married to a scientist or engineer. (See figure 5-9.) Fifty-five percent of women, but only 32 percent of men, are married to a natural scientist or engineer.


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