November 9, 2017
I am surprised that so many articles get away with just putting everything off on some nefarious and unsubstantiated male bias. On the other hand, men, like myself, who stayed home with their families and did the majority of the child rearing are never given credit for the work we do or the effort we put out. We are always wearing the same target of being some sort of white priviledged, sexist, unconciously biased, undeserving, nepotist. For the record, I am a mixed race father of three who works from 5am-3pm most days, and spends the rest of the time with his kids. Throughout my graduate career I was constantly bombarded by funding and scholarship opportunities aimed at bringing or keeping women in science (males need not apply). I did not receive a scholarship until my publication rate (9 as a PhD) made it impossible to ignore me. I have never found a funding opportunity aimed at child-rearing males, but was told I could not take paternal leave when my children were born. We lived near or on campus to make things work. During my post-doctoral career I also saw many women who I thought would make excellent scientists quit the field. Not because they felt there was some sort of bias that would work against them, but because they valued having a stable life with opportunities to engage in different activities over the uncertainty and required focus of a scientific career. Male or female, we all know most PI's work more hours than they would in any other job. It's a sacrifice that one has to choose to make, and one major bias in our society is that men have to provide for their families. If you don't you are not valued. That is strong motivation for many males to persist in a difficult work field. but I also wonder if the real reason men are more likely to stay in science than women is because they are also more likely to gamble. Indeed. many white collar careers where there is a gender bias are associated with a great deal of uncertainty. I'm not saying there is no sexim in any work place, but study after study shows that men are more than twice as likely to gamble as women, and pursuing a career in science is one of the biggest gambles an individual can make. By the way, the idea for males gambling more in their career choices came from some studies I am reading that serendipitously are by predominantly female researchers. Maybe they have some incite we should consider when thinking about these issues rather than attributing everything to nepotistic sexism.
A comparative study of men and women gamblers in Victoria. Nerilee Hinga , Alex Russella , Barry Tolchardb & Lia Nower. 2014
Risk Factors for Gambling Problems: an anlysis by gender. Alex Russella , Barry Tolchardb & Lia Nower. 2016
Gambling Harm and Crime Careers. 2017.