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Why Do Men Publish More Papers Than Women? Motherhood Plays Key Role


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woman with a child on her lap at a computer

The publishing productivity penalty for mothers persists but appears to have shrunk over time.

Credit: University of Colorado Boulder

Women in academia typically experience a significant decline in productivity after having children while men do not, which University of Colorado Boulder researchers attribute to persistent differences in parenting roles.

The researchers describe their work in "The Unequal Impact of Parenthood in Academia," published in the journal Science Advances.

The team polled more than 3,000 faculty in computer science , history, and business departments at 450 U.S. and Canadian universities in 2018, and compiled data on publishing rates and institutions' leave policies. Generally, academics who are parents tend to publish more papers than non-parents, and fathers publish more than mothers; women publish 20% fewer papers than they would be expected to otherwise in the years after childbirth.

Among CS faculty, mothers produce an average 17.6 fewer papers than fathers in the decade following childbirth. CU Boulder's Allison Morgan said, "While leave policies are very important for women in choosing their jobs, they are often either missing or incredibly hard to navigate."

From University of Colorado Boulder
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Abstracts Copyright © 2021 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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