Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Women's Doctoral Rate is a Huge Success Story

Women earn nearly half of all Ph.D.s in the United States. They vary from 3/4ths of Psychology and English Literature doctorates, to about 1/4th of Physics and Computer Science doctorates.

I believe this distribution reflects the distribution of women's interests.

The overall proportion of Ph.D.s earned by women is what I would expect. More women come out as top students in college, which should lead to women getting more than half of all doctorates. But the normal timing and duration of a doctoral program conflicts directly with having children, which affects women more than men. This combination of push and pull factors leads me to expect that slightly under half of all Ph.D.s would be earned by women.

This chart seems to me certify a huge success story.

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