LETTERS Date: May 16, 1988

Double Ties That Bind We were most interested by the article, "Academic Couples Stymied By Attitudes in Workplace," (March 21, 1988) since it bears on a topic we are currently studying.

Data on the incidence among women of what we call the "double tie," to a field, by professional degree and by marriage to a man in the same field, are scarce. Our 1985 survey of women physicists disclosed that, of 479 female physicists, 49% were the wives, ex-wives, or widows of physicists.

In the same year the American Chemical Society’s survey of chemists asked, for the first time, whether married chemists’ spouses were also chemists; among female PhD. chemists, 27% were currently married to chemists; among male Ph.D. chemists, 7% were. Fava’s earlier (1968) examination of women sociologists found that 25% were present or former wives of sociologists. These figures would be merely "interesting"...

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