gendering motherly research into the academy
Last month a study was released* by Yana Gellen** of the Becker Friedman Institute for Economics at The University of Chicago, “Motherhood and the Gender Productivity Gap.”
Some outlets, like the American Enterprise Institute and Wall Street Journal, have jumped onto the study and claimed this is the reason that working mothers don’t earn as much as men – they aren’t working as much or as productively. But does the study really show that? And what does all this mean for working mothers in the academy?
Does this study prove that mothers are less productive?
In short, no. Digging into the methods – there are some major problems with how this study was done.
- Productivity as percentage. The study makes claims about women’s and mothers’ productivity as a percentage of single men’s labor. This interesting methodological decision automatically norms whatever people coded as single men are…
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