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The relationship between nuclear family structure and female achievement

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Title:
The relationship between nuclear family structure and female achievement
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Monson, Rela Geffen
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English
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xii, 138 leaves. : ; 28 cm.

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Children ( jstor )
Family size ( jstor )
Fathers ( jstor )
High schools ( jstor )
Mothers ( jstor )
Parents ( jstor )
Questionnaires ( jstor )
Siblings ( jstor )
Women ( jstor )
Womens studies ( jstor )
Achievement motivation ( lcsh )
Dissertations, Academic -- Sociology -- UF ( lcsh )
Family ( lcsh )
Sociology thesis Ph. D ( lcsh )
Women -- Employment ( lcsh )
City of Miami ( local )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

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Thesis -- University of Florida.
Bibliography:
Bibliography: leaves 91-95.
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Typescript.
General Note:
Vita.

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University of Florida
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University of Florida
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Copyright [name of dissertation author]. Permission granted to the University of Florida to digitize, archive and distribute this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.
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13989449 ( OCLC )
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Full Text
















THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NUCLEAR FAMILY
STRUCTURE AND FEMALE ACHIEVEMENT





By




RELA GEFFEN MONSON


A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY









UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1972




THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NUCLEAR FAMILY
STRUCTURE AND FEMALE ACHIEVEMENT
By
RELA GEFFEN MONSON
J
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1972


For Michael and Uri Zvi


AC KNOWL EDG EMENT S
I owe the attainment of this degree to many people who
encouraged me throughout the years. First, were my parents,
who encouraged their own youngest of two girls to become an
'achiever.' Second, was my husband, Michael, who for eight
years has never known a wife who was not also a student, and
who provided moral, emotional and financial support through
out difficult years. Third, to my teachers, too numerous
to mention by name, and especially to the members of my doc
toral committee at the University of Florida, I say thank-
you. Finally, to the chairman of my doctoral committee,
Dr. Benjamin Gorman, a wish that I may be as generous with
myself to future students as he has been to me.
Philadelphia, Pa. Rea G. Monson
November, 1972
iii


TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Acknowledgements iii
List of Tables v
Abstract ix
Chapter I Theoretical Background 1
Chapter II Methodology of the Study 12
Chapter III The Demographic Background of
the Respondents 28
Chapter IV Testing Hypotheses 60
Chapter V Summary and Conclusions 83
References 91
Appendix 96
Biographical Sketch 138
IV


LIST OF TABLES
Table
III-l
III-2
III-3
III-4
T
III-5
III-6
III-7
III-8
III-9
Page
Ethnic Affiliation of Fathers of Respondents 31
by Field of Respondents (in percent)
Number of Siblings in Family of Orientation 33
of Respondents by Field of Respondents (in
percent)
Religious Affiliation of Fathers by Field of 35
Respondents and for Total U.S. (in percent)
Respondents' Fathers' Educational Attainment 37
Compared with that of 35-44 Year Old Heads
of Household in 1940 and 1950 (in percent)
Fathers' Income Rank by Field of Respondents 39
(in percent)
Major Occupation Group of Head of Household q 40
for 1940 and 1950 for Ages 35-44 Compared
With Distribution of Respondents' Fathers
(in percent)
Percent of Respondents Whose Mothers Worked 42
Outside the Home After Marriage and Percent
of Respondents Whose Mothers Worked While
the Respondents Were Growing Up
Percent of Respondents Whose Mothers Worked 43
Outside the Home While They Were Growing Up
by Field of Respondent
Occupations of Respondents' Mothers Compared 45
With All Females in the Labor Force 14 Years
Old and Over Classified into Social-Economic
Groups, 1940, for the United States (in per
cent)
v


Table Page
III-10 Community Involvement of Mothers by Field 47
of Daughters (in percent)
III-ll Percent of Mothers Who Worked After Children 47
by Community Involvement of Mother
III-12 Ranks of Graduate Faculties in Fields of 51
Respondents for Universities Where They
Attained the Ph.D. (in percent)
III-13 Present Academic Ranks of Respondents Con- 51
trolled for Imputed Age (in percent)
III-14 Marriage and Divorce Rates by Field of Re- 52
spondent (in percent)
III-15 Academic Achievement of Husbands by Field 54
of Wife
IV1 Percentage Distribution of Sibling Sex Compo- 61
sition of Nuclear Family of Respondents Com
pared with Theoretical Expected Percentages
IV-2 Sibling Sex Composition of Respondents' Fami- 62
lies and of Theoretical Population by Family
Size (in percent)
IV-3 Sibling Sex Composition of Family of Orienta- 63
tion by Field of Specialization of Respondents
(in percent)
IV-4 Percent Distribution of Family Size by Field 63
of Respondents
IV-5 Percent Distribution of Sibling Sex Composi- 65
tion of Family of Orientation by Religion of
Mother of Respondent
IV-6 Percent All-Female Sibling Families of Re- 66
spondents by Family Size by Religion of
Father, Compared with Hypothetical Distri
bution
vi


Table
Page
IV-7 Number of Siblings by Sibling Sex Composi- 67
tion of Respondents' Families, Controlling
for Ethnicity of Father and Compared with
Hypothetical All-Female Sibling Distribution
and Total Percent of Those Who Checked Any
Ethnic Affiliation Who Are From All-Female
Sibling Families
IV-8 Present Academic Rank for Respondents Ages 73
23-35 by Family Size (in percent)
IV-9 Present Academic Rank for Respondents Ages 73
36-45 by Family Size (in percent)
IV-10 Present Academic Rank for Respondents Ages 73
46-70 by Family Size (in percent)
IV11 Percent Distribution of Respondents Who Are 74
Assistant Professors by Age for Only Children
Compared to Respondents With Siblings
IV-12 Percent Distribution of Respondents Who Are 74
Associate and Full Professors by Age for Only
Children Compared to Respondents With Siblings
IV-13 Percent Distribution of Number of Children in 75
Family of Orientation by Rank of School Where
Attained Ph.D.
IV-14 Percent Distribution of Respondents Who Are 78
Oldest, Middle, and Youngest Children by
Number of Siblings (Without Only Children)
IV-15 Birth Order of Respondents by Sibling Sex 78
Composition After Eliminating Only Children
(in percent)
IV-16 Is Respondent Youngest Sibling by Sibling Sex 79
Composition of Family of Orientation (Exclud
ing Only Children) (in percent)
vii


Table
Page
IV-17 Ordinal Position of the Respondent by Rank
of School Where Received Ph.D. (in percent )
viii
80


Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida in
Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NUCLEAR FAMILY
STRUCTURE AND FEMALE ACHIEVEMENT
By
Rela Geffen Monson
December, 1972
Chairman: Benjamin Gorman
Major Department: Sociology
This study explores the linkages between nuclear family
structure and female achievement- Special emphasis is placed
on the dynamics of the all-female sibling family, family
size, and the meaning of ordinal position for women. It is
asserted that coming from an all-female sibling family will
be positively related to achievement, due to the resolution
by parents in favor of female achievement of the conflict
between traditional sex-role definitions and the fulfillment
of the "American Dream" through the upward mobility of their
children. A 70 percent return rate to a mailed questionnaire
IX


yielded a sample of 485 women Ph.D.'s who held the rank of
assistant professor or above in universities granting graduate
degrees in their fields. The women came from the fields of
psychology, sociology, biology, and chemistry. Internal com
parisons were then possible between achievers in the social
and natural sciences. In addition, census cohorts and hypo
thetical distributions of sibling sex composition of families
of different sizes were used for comparison with the achievers.
The mailed questionnaire contained no attitudinal items, but
requested specific information concerning the structure of
the nuclear family, the socio-economic status of the family
of orientation of the respondents, maternal employment, and
a description of the family of procreation including details
of husband's education and occupation. Over 70 percent of
the women wrote comments on their family backgrounds and aca
demic careers on the back of the instrument. These data were
coded and utilized in the analysis.
A summary of the findings follows. First, middle class
socio-economic status of the family of orientation was posi
tively related to achievement. Second, maternal employment
was related to achievement. Diversified female role models
were also provided by mothers who were active in voluntary
x


community organizations. Nearly half of the mothers worked
while their daughters were growing up. Many were active
outside the home in paid jobs as well as in voluntary asso
ciations. Third, the respondents came overwhelmingly from
small families in urban environments. There were a dispro
portionate number of Jews. Fourth, one third reported con
scious identification with an ethnic group. Fifth, they came
from stable homes where both parents were present while they
were growing up. All of the above general findings held for
women in both the social and natural sciences.
For the sample as a whole, there were no significant
differences in sex composition of sibling groups for female
achievers. However, when compared by ethnicity of parents
and by religious groupings, disproportionate percentages of
all-female sibling families emerged for certain groups and
family sizes. Among Jews there were a disportionate number
of all-female sibling families for three and four children
families. For affiliates with ethnic groups, those from
Western and Northern Europe came disproportionately from all
female sibling families for families of size three, four,
and five. Though the women came disproportionately from
small families, family size was not linked to rank of school
xi


attended for doctoral study. Eventual achievement of higher
professional rank was linked to small size of family of
orientation. With regard to ordinal position, those who
were in extreme positions were more likely to have been
achievers in the first place, but once possessing the doc
toral degree, their attainment within their fields was un
related to ordinal position.
The composite portrait of the life style of the aca
demic women which emerged from the study was of women suc
cessfully combining academic careers with marriage and
motherhood. Future research measuring ideological commit
ment to traditional sex-role definitions by parents of fe
male achievers and the meaning of identification with min
ority and immigrant groups for achievement was suggested.
In addition, a parallel study of parental attitude toward
male sex-role definitions in all-male sibling families was
suggested.
Xll


CHAPTER I
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
The sociologist chooses and delineates his area of study
within the boundaries of societal conceptions of his subject
matter area. American society is highly concerned with its
open-class qualities which lead to the dream of upward mobil
ity for all. Study of the structural, and cultural factors
which lead to achievement of particular groups within the
society, or the lack of achievement by others, has been a
focus of research. However, these studies have most often
concentrated on achievement of men and have ignored women.
Perhaps the paucity of meaningful data on female achievement
is due to sex-role definitions which persist in our society
and which, in effect, define achievement as an aspect of
the male role. This theory of sex-role is best expressed
in the Parsonian (Parsons,1955:23) formulation of the di
vision of labor by sex within the family, with the woman
performing the expressive role while the man is the instru
mental leader. This study is specifically concerned with
the linkages between nuclear family structure and female
1


2
achievement. Special emphasis will be placed on the dynam
ics of the all-female sibling family, as well as the mean
ing of birth order for women.
We will begin with the hypothesis that parents have a
great effect on the socialization of their children, includ
ing children's achievement orientation and motivation. In
a recent survey of the sociological literature on the family
in the last decade (Walters and Stinnett,1971:120) it is
noted that
Consensus existed among the studies reviewed that
academic achievement, leadership, and creative
thinking of children was positively related to warm,
accepting, understanding, and autonomy-granting
parent-child relationships. The studies also indi
cate that parents of children who are high academic
achievers tend to value and encourage academic
achievement.
In his discussion of family structure and educational at
tainment, Elder (1969:51) puts it succinctly:
Family structure is one of the more important de
terminants of achievement motivation and skills.
Many of the personal qualities and skills that en
able children to meet standards of excellence ...
are acquired in parent-child relations providing
guidance and yet allowing the child freedom to
develop independent mastery and responsible deci
sion-making.
We assert that parents have certain role expectations
for sons and daughters and that these expectations usually
differ. This is so despite the fact that boys and girls


3
are often exposed to similar educational situations. Child
ren's perceptions of the desirability of certain sex-linked
activities have been studied even in five year olds (Fauls
and Smith,1956:105-17). In that study, five year olds of
both sexes were shown a series of paired pictures showing
a sex-appropriate and a sex-inappropriate activity. Both
their personal preferences and their beliefs about the acti
vity that mother and father would prefer for boys and girls
were investigated. Boys chose 'masculine' activities more
often than girls did, and children of both sexes indicated
that the parents preferred the activities appropriate to the
child's sex more often than the sex-inappropriate activities.
This issue of sex-role learning is discussed in a broad way
by Williams (1970:80) where he states that
It is a commonplace observation that in our culture
there are many similarities in the values parents
attempt to develop in boys and girls, for example,
independence and social maturity. But there are im
portant differences also. Girls are more likely
than boys to emphasize being well liked; to value
interpersonal harmony and success; to stress the
"tender virtues" of kindness, consideration, sympathy,
and understanding; to attach great importance to
moral values and aesthetic considerations.
Our society is a success oriented one. Achievement mo
tivation is considered crucial to maturity, and parents
dream and scheme for the upward mobility of their offspring.


4
As Williams (1970:454-5) notes ,
All societies have standards of character and pro
ficiency, and accord rewards to those best meeting
whatever standards are most highly appraised, whe
ther of military prowess, ritual knowledge, asceti
cism, piety, or whatnot. The comparatively strik
ing feature of American culture is its tendency to
identify standards of personal excellence with com
petitive occupational achievement.
Indeed, parents who themselves are successful in a limited
way or who have personally defined their own experience as
failure "may mute their original goal-emphasis and may defer
further efforts to reach the goal, attempting to reach it
vicariously through their children" (Merton,1961:159). In
accord with this desire for achievement and the differential
expectations for boys and girls, parents usually project
this expectation upon their sons rather than their daughters.
This fact is documented well by the psychological and socio
logical literature on achievement which deals almost exclu
sively with the origins of achievement orientation in males.
The acknowledged classics in the field, for example, the
study by Rosen and D'Andrade (1969) of the "Psychosocial
Origins of Achievement Motivation," concern males only. In
a discussion of this same point, Matina Horner, a psycholo
gist, (1970:50) states that:
Even more striking is the absence of any mention of
achievement motivation by McClelland (1961). Using


5
evidence from vases, flags, doodles, and children's
books, he was able to study achievement motivation
in such diverse samples as Indians, Quakers, and
Ancient Greeks but not in women. This was not an
oversight ... there are in fact not many meaningful
data.
We have already speculated that the lack of meaningful data
is due to the linkage of the ideal of achievement with the
male role. We argue that despite this sex-role stereotype,
the parents' desire for achievement on the part of their
children is so strong that in the absence of a male child
the parents will allow, encourage, or push daughters into
the achievement role. Psathas (1968:260-1) suggests that

The rationale for the present consideration of sib
lings together with family finances lies in the
view that education and training can be expensive,
that work is generally defined as being the primary
responsibility of males and that consequently, be
cause education is seen as a major determinant of
social mobility, the education of sons for occupa
tions is expected to predominate over that for
daughters. Thus, with given levels of income, the
chances of a girl entering an occupation that in
volves expensive and lengthy preparation will de
pend on the presence or absence of male siblings,
their proximity in age and their birth order in re
lation to the girl.
In summary, one of our hypotheses is that coming from an all -
female sibling family will be positively related to achieve
ment. Within this framework, birth order and family size
may determine which sister achieves. This hypothesis sug
gests that it is the structural variables rather than per-


6
sonality traits which lead to achievement motivation in fe
males, and affirms the primacy of sociological over psycho
logical determination.
In an article which summarizes the decade's research
(Walters and Stinnett,1971:123-4), the importance of ordinal
position is noted.
The literature indicates that parental responses to
children are a function of the ordinal position of
the child and size of the family. The findings sug
gest that parents tend to be more supportive of and
also tend to exert more pressure for achievement
upon first-born children.
Since most of the work on birth order concerns males only,
the effect of ordinal position on females is unclear. Some
theorists (Epstein,1970:79; Kammayer,1966) suggest that be
ing first-born works against the autonomy of the girl.
Parents might be more apt to chart a known course
for their first-born; and for women in most cases
this would be a traditionally defined sex role ...
the older daughter might easily become a surrogate
mother in her family. (Epstein,1970:79)
Kammayer (1966:508-16) found that first-born girls are more
traditionally oriented toward the female role. However, he
never specified whether his first-born girls who were more
oriented toward traditional roles came from mixed-sex sib
lings or all female families. In a study of birth order
and responsibility (Harris and Howard,1968) the most consis-


7
tent finding was that the first of sexin comparison with
the later of sexendorsed an earlier age for assumption of
responsibilities on the part of children. Also, "As a
group, the girls gave earlier responsibility and indepen
dence scores than did the boys" (Harris and Howard,1968:
431). This factor operated independently of birth order.
The authors then go on to attribute seriousness of purpose
and career commitment for first of sex males to high respon
sibility orientation. They ignore the anomalous finding for
females of higher responsibility scores and lower career
commitment. The above data suggest that birth order may
have a different meaning for males than for females and
within the context of an all-female versus a mixed-sex sib
ling structure.
Ordinal position may be linked to achievement for fe
males, but as implied above the advantages of being the
eldest are unclear. In fact, it may be that the youngest
in all-female sibling families is the most likely to
achieve. Her definition by the parents as the last child
entails the recognition that they must fulfill their
achievement desires through a daughter. The elder sisters
may have already been socialized to a more traditional fe
male role, leaving the youngest the most latitude as to


8
role definitions. We hypothesize some patterned relation
ship between ordinal position and achievement within the
all-female structural context. However, the exact nature
of this relationship and its similarities and divergences
from that of men's birth order and achievement is left to
emerge from the data.
Two other major relationships are to be investigated.
The first concerns the relationship between family of orien
tation's socio-economic background and female achievement.
Secondly, we anticipate a positive relationship between ma-
t
ternal employment and female achievement. We expect that
most achievers come from middle-class backgrounds. Indices
of this background which are commonly used in the literature
are the education of the parents, the income level of the
family, and the occupation of the father. Higher levels of
education, income, and occupational rank are positively re
lated to achievement (Turner,1962; Psathas,1968; Sewell and
Shah,1968). Walters and Stinnett (1971:24) state that
The literature indicates that basic differences
exist in parent-child relationships according to
social class which reflect different living con
ditions. The studies generally indicate that
middle-class parents tend to be both more suppor
tive and controlling of their children, and that
they are more likely to discipline their children
by utilizing reason and appeals to guilt and are
less likely to use physical punishment than are
lower-class parents.


9
It is clear that social access to the means for achievement
in American society is unequally distributed. Wealth, race,
social status, and sex all have an effect on opportunities.
Values vary in different segments of society as well, values
that are passed on from parents to children. Coser (1969:
xi, xiii), in her introduction to Life Cycle and Achievement
in America, notes that
Insistence on character building and personality
growth governs the outlook of the middle and upper-
middle class parents, who prepare their children
for occupations in the professions and executive
work ... Child-rearing practices that are focused
on the use of external authority not only are con
gruent with the occupational roles available to
the members of the working class but also help to
de-emphasize the notion of individual achievement.
We expect to find a relationship between middle-class status
of the nuclear family and female achievement. Female
achievers' backgrounds should include parents with higher
educational background than their peers, fathers with higher
income than their peers, and father and mothers whose occu
pations were in the upper status ranks of the American stra
tification system.
Maternal employment has often been viewed in the past
as detrimental to the stability of the home, and to chil
dren's development. However, a recent compilation of 22
empirical studies on the employed mother (Nye and Hoffman,


10
1963) has shown that maternal employment has no unfavorable
effects on children. The important factors are the mother's
reasons for working, the quality of the care which the chil
dren receive in her absence, and the attitudes of her hus
band. Our concern is with the positive relationship between
maternal employment and female achievement. In his study
of Life Styles of Educated Women, Ginzberg (1966:29-30) ex
plored the employment backgrounds of the mothers of his re
spondents and the effects of such employment on them. He
found that the greatest influence was reported by women whose
mothers had worked after they were married.
In fact 2 out of every 3 girls whose mothers had
worked after marriage reported that this had an
effect on their own plans. Almost all saw the in
fluence as positive. While they were growing up
they looked forward to emulating their mothers
and combining home and work.
Our study explores the variables of maternal employment after
marriage and maternal employment while raising children.
Several other studies (Psathas,1968; Astin,1969; Almquist
and Angrist,1970; Harmon,1972) have found positive relation
ships between having a working mother and the subsequent
decision by their daughters to include work and homemaking
in their own lifestyles. We also explore the community ac
tivism of the mothers of our respondents. Our supposition
is that voluntary community involvem nt could provide a


11
model of a broader female role than homemaker for daughters,
just as the outside work of a mother for remuneration does.
Finally, we speculate that achieving women who combine the
roles of domesticity and career may be married to men whose
mothers have worked. Such men, we feel, would tend to be
more supportive of their wives careers than the sons of women
who did not work after marriage.
We have introduced the major foci of our study: nuclear
family structure of the achieving female, socio-economic
background of her family, type of role model provided her
by her mother, and type of spouse role-expectations provided
her husband by his mother. We shall now turn to the metho
dological approach used to collect the data needed for test
ing our hypotheses.


CHAPTER II
METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
Our study of female achievement necessitated the col
lection of specific information about the nuclear family
structure of women who were achievers. In addition, we
needed some data on their families of procreation. Inher
ent in the previous statements was the need to define the
term 'achievers' so that the parameters of our population
would be clear, and an appropriate sampling frame could be
devised. The population defined was one which consisted of
all women fulfilling certain criteria within several fields
of academia. The academic community was chosen for study
because it internally specifies several criteria of achieve
ment. The first of these is the doctoral degree, and the
second is the rank-title scale used for professors. Our
sample was restricted to those holding doctorates and current
employment in an academic institution which had a graduate
program in the specialty of the women to be sampled. The
percent of women who had met these standards of achievement
in the academic world was small. Thus, the ones who had
12


13
'made it' in the academic world could be assumed to have
exceptional persistence and ambition and could clearly be
called achievers. Women were to be chosen from four sub
fields within the university: two social sciences and two
natural sciences. This decision was based on the notion
that women who chose careers in fields considered 'most
masculine' by society as a whole would be an 'ideal type'
of achieving females and might differ systematically from
those who achieved in fields more socially acceptable for
women. The specific natural and social sciences were chosen
partially because of the availability of directories of
their members which facilitated contact with them through
the mails. The women chosen from the four fields were
viewed as members of four sub-samples of the population of
women who had achieved through academic careers.
We decided to select a national sample in the interest
of broad applicability of results. In order to reach a
large number of women with limited financial resources at
our disposal, we utilized a mailed questionnaire which was
simple and brief. The selection of women from the four sub
fields of psychology, sociology, biology, and chemistry in
sured that some meaningful comparison groups would be built
into the sample, though a control group of non-achievers
was not to be sampled.


14
Sampling Procedure
The psychology sample was drawn from the 1970 biograph
ical directory published by the American Psychological Asso
ciation. Graduate departments were marked off in the section
which divides the membership by schools. Schools which
granted graduate degrees were ascertained through Graduate
Study in Psychology 1971-72. which is also published by the
American Psychological Association. Pages to be used were
selected by three"digit random numbers taken from a table
of random numbers. These pages were from the geographical
and institutional directory of membership found in the back
of the larger directory. All schools on the page so chosen
had all of their female Ph.D.'s with a rank of assistant
professor or above selected for the sample. Each name se
lected was checked in the biographical section of the direc
tory in order to eliminate all those below the rank of as
sistant professor, with foreign degrees, or with degrees in
education. We continued sampling pages until 225 were se
lected. Of these, 27 had doctorates in education and were
eliminated from the sample leaving 198. The problem of
names will be discussed later for all the groups together.
The decision to eliminate those with foreign degrees from
consideration was based on the assumption that socialization


15
patterns differ in different cultures, and that those with
degrees from abroad were likely to have been raised with
different sex-role definitions and expectations than our
American sample. Thus, leaving them in might bias the
sample. Those who were raised in foreign countries and who
went to graduate school in the United States were eliminated
later when returned questionnaires revealed that they at
tended high school abroad. (See upcoming section on return
rate.)
The sociology sample was drawn from Guide to Graduate
Departments of Sociology 1971, which is a publication of the
American Sociological Association. The sample consisted of
all women listed in the guide who had their doctorates in
sociology and the necessary rank of assistant professor or
above. Thus, women with joint appointments with other de
partments were selected for the sample if a check with the
larger American Sociological Association membership directory
showed them to be members of the association and to have com
pleted their graduate degrees in sociology. A total of 206
women were selected in this manner.
The chemistry sample was originally drawn from the
International Chemistry Directory 1969-70. It included all
women listed in the directory who met the aforementioned


16
criteria of achievement in chemistry. This list was then
cross-checked with the American Chemical Society Directory
of Graduate Research, 1969, and the 147 women in schools
with graduate programs were selected out of the original
list. The women teaching in colleges of osteopathy were
included in the sample although they did not appear in the
graduate directory. Because of the shortage of women in
graduate departments of chemistry, those in chemistry and
biochemistry were included as long as.they were listed in
the American Chemical Society directory.
The biology sample was drawn from the Annual Guides
to Graduate Study, 1971, Book II; Biological and Health
Related Sciences. Women were selected from the following
sections: virology, botany, cellular and molecular biology,
microbiology, genetics programs, pathology, physiology, and
zoology. They were chosen through random selection of pages
using a three-digit random number from a table of random
numbers. All women on a page (one school) were then se
lected for the sample. In this manner 212 women were cho
sen.
In the selection procedure in all fields certain first
names were automatically eliminated because they are given
to both men and women. Thus, people with the names of Lynn,


17
Jean, Francis, and Marion were not selected for the sample.
(Despite this precaution, we received notes from 13 males
who were kind enough to specify their sex and to let us know
that they should be eliminated from the sample.)
The completed list of 762 respondents was then com
piled. Each was given an identification number in which
the first digit signified field of expertise. Question
naires were mailed to them at their university addresses.
It was felt that respondents were more apt to answer mail
received at their offices. Also, university addresses were
more permanent than home addresses and secretarial help
would lead to forwarding of questionnaires to those on leave
or at new posts.
The Final SampleReturn Rate
The questionnaires were mailed out on March 1, 1972.
In all, 762 were mailed with the following breakdown: 198
psychologists, 206 sociologists, 146 chemists and 212 bio
logists. The mailing was timed so that there would be ade
quate time for response before spring vacations. The re
sponse was swift and gratifying. Of the questionnaires later
judged usable for the study, 457 or 94 percent had been re
turned by March 30, 1972. The response rate was computed


18
for each of the fields and for the total sample. Several
factors were taken into account. Questionnaires which were
returned with notes stating that the respondents were male
were eliminated from the sample size. Those who specified
that they had attended high school abroad were also elimin
ated. Three were returned with notes stating that the re
spondents were deceased. These were also eliminated as were
retirees and professors-emeritus who wrote back and stated
that they did not wish to fill out the questionnaire. Those
who sent letters of refusal or whose instruments were re
turned by the post office as wrong addresses were tabulated
but kept in the sample size. Here are the results of this
tabulation by field.
Of the 198 psychologists who were mailed questionnaires,
124 returned usable ones. In addition there were 13 wrong
addresses, 3 foreigners, 1 male, 2 retirees, and one who re
fused to fill out the instrument. Thus, a total of 144 re
spondents were accounted for. The final sample size after
eliminating foreigners, males and retirees was 192. This
yields a 65 percent return rate for the psychology sub
sample .
Of the 206 sociologists who were mailed the question
naire, 138 returned usable ones. In addition there were 2


19
wrong addresses, 17 foreigners, 5 males, 3 refusals, and
one received after the coding deadline (June 1, 1972).
Thus, a total of 166 respondents were accounted for. The
final sample size after eliminating foreigners, males, and
retirees was 184. This yields a 74 percent return rate
for the sociology sub-sample.
Of the 146 chemists who were mailed the questionnaires,
80 returned usable ones. In addition there were 12 wrong
addresses, 7 foreigners, 7 males, 2 deceased, and one mailed
in after the coding deadline. Thus, a total of 109 respon
dents were accounted for. The final sample size after elim
inating foreigners, males and deceased was 130. This yields
a 61 percent return rate for the chemistry sub-sample.
Of the 212 biologists who were mailed the question
naire, 143 returned usable ones. In addition, there were
2 wrong addresses, 14 foreigners, 2 males, 1 deceased, 1
retired, and 1 received after the coding deadline. Thus,
a total of 164 respondents was accounted for. The final
sample size after eliminating foreigners, males, retirees,
and deceased was 194. This yields a 73 percent return rate
for the biology sub-sample.
The final sample size after eliminating males, for
eigners, retirees, and deceased was 700. Of this total,


20
485 usable questionnaires were coded and appear in the
tables. This yields a total return rate of 69.4 percent.
Had we extrapolated the eliminated categories to those who
didn't return the questionnaire according to the same per
centages in which they appeared in the returned sample, the
return rate would have been well over 70 percent. The so
ciologists and biologists had the highest return rate, seem
ingly eliminating any explanation of variation in rates by
natural versus social sciences. We have no reason to sus
pect that our respondents differ systematically from the
non-respondents as our independent variables relate to nu
clear family structure and not to attitude. The later ar
riving questionnaires did not differ from those received
immediately. In any case, as previously noted, 94 percent
were received within the first month. Those questionnaires
which were returned were fully filled out and were often
accompanied by notes, letters, and even articles for the re
searcher. In addition, 79 percent of the respondents made
comments on the back of the questionnaire in the space pro
vided.
Major Variables
Through the questionnaire, we sought to obtain suffi
cient data to test our hypotheses and to compare our sample


21
with those tested by others in studies of birth order and
of achievement. In some cases, we wanted more complete in
formation than had previously been gathered in such re
search. Thus, we needed complete information on the struc
ture of the family of orientation including size of family,
spacing and sex of children, birth order of children, place
ment of respondent, and educational and occupational achieve
ment of siblings. With regard to respondents' parents, we
requested information on religion, ethnicity, family stabil
ity, educational attainment, work records of mother and
father, community activism of the mother, and a rough income
ranking of the family. For each respondent we asked academic
rank, year of completion of the doctorate, and the institu
tion at which the doctorate was completed. In addition, we
asked whether the respondent attended high school in a rural
or urban area, and in which section of the country she grew
up. With regard to family of procreation we asked the re
spondent's marital status, and the educational and occupa
tional status of her husband. We asked if the husband's
mother ever worked. Finally, room was left for comments, and,
as noted above, 79 percent of the women utilized this option.
No attitudinal questions were included in the instru
ment, although some attitudinal data were collected through


22
the comments. This ommission was a conscious decision based
on sociological and financial considerations. We were con
cerned with structural antecedents of female achievement,
not perceived components of success. It was believed that
the objective questions would suffice for analysis of our
hypotheses.
Creating A Control Group
Several of the major hypotheses of the study required
a control group for verification. For example, we could not
state that we had a "disproportionate" number of achievers
from all-female families if we had no idea of what the actual
distribution of family sizes and sex make-up was in the larger
population of the United States. Similarly, we needed to
know income distributions of the United States, number of
women married in the total population of our respondents'
age cohorts, and the fertility of this same group. The de
mands of the above hypotheses led to the use of census data
to create a hypothetical control group for the study. As
previously noted, for the researcher to undertake a survey
of a control group of non-achievers would have involved pro
hibitive expense. Although comparisons could be made among
the women in our four sub-fields, we sought a larger and
more meaningful population for major comparisons. At issue


23
were the special or distinctive qualities of achievers' nu
clear families, and the ways in which achievers' families
differed from those of non-achievers, or the general popu
lation. Data on family properties of the general population
were available from the United States Census.
Different census years were utilized for comparisons
with figures for our respondents. Questions which related
to the family of orientation of the respondents required the
use of comparative figures which approximated the distribu
tion of the United States population when respondents were
growing up in their families of orientation. Since 80 per
cent of our respondents were between the ages of 25 and 45,
fertility data for their mothers' cohorts were taken from
the 1950 census, approximating the decade in which most of
the mothers of our respondents completed their child-bearing
years. Similarly, data on occupations and educational
achievement for comparison with their mothers' and fathers'
educations and occupations were taken from 1940 and 1950
census material for men and women of middle age. For compar
isons involving our respondents own characteristics and those
of their families of procreation, the 1960 and if possible
the 1970 census was used.
In the discussion of the hypotheses relating to all
female sibling nuclear families of orientation, a hypothetical


24
statistical distribution of such families in the population
was computed mathematically. This distribution took into
account the fact that one member of each of the families in
our sample was fixed as female. Ideal percentages of all
female versus mixed-sex sibling families were computed for
each family size and used as a base line for comparison with
the families of orientation of our respondents.
Coding
Since there were no attitudinal data included in the
instrument, most of the coding was quite straightforward.
However, several problems did have to be solved. All ques
tions about occupation were coded using the 1970 census oc
cupation code. Several additional coding categories, such
as student and housewife, were added to this code so that
we could usefully categorize all of the major occupations
of our respondents and their families. The census occupation
code was then collapsed into thirteen categories: profes
sionals, executives, semi-professionals, managers and pro
prietors, technical workers, sales personnel, clerical
workers, craftsmen, operatives, laborers, service workers,
students, and housewives. The census region code was used
for categorizing regional distribution of respondents.


25
City size was calculated through the use of a 1950 atlas and
then coded by size categories to yield an approximate break
down of respondents by rural and urban residence while they
were growing up. School rankings for universities where
our respondents received their doctoral degrees were computed
through the use of Roose and Anderson's (1970) ratings of
graduate programs. When women were sampled who had completed
doctorates in sub-fields of a discipline such as chemistry
or biochemistry, composite rankings were computed. Inadver
tantly, the age of the respondent was not included in the
personal data in the instrument. An approximate measure of
age was computed from the year that they completed the Ph.D.
This approximate measure was then used as the control vari
able for such tables as comparisons of professorial rank at
tained by women with different backgrounds.
Not only did many women take advantage of the option
of making comments on the back of the questionnaire, but
they often added sheets of comments and letters to the in
vestigator. This outpouring of data about their own personal
decisions to pursue academic careers and to obtain the Ph.D.
degrees was an added source of information for us. There
fore, a code was developed for these qualitative data. The
code emerged from the comments themselves rather than being


26
superimposed upon them. Thus, any person or situation men
tioned repeatedly by the women as significant in their aca
demic development was coded. The actual codes developed
and the marginals for the entire sample will be found in
the Appendix.
Statistical Analysis
Most of the data collected were nominal although some
such as professorial rankings, occupational classifications,
and graduate faculty ratings of universities were ordinal.
The key distinctions used in the analysis, such as achiever
t
and non-achiever, were nominal in character. They were
tested through the use of X as a measure of goodness-of-fit
when proportions of achievers from all-female sibling fami-
lies were compared with a hypothetical distribution. X as
a measure of independence was used when testing the nature
of the relationship between such variables as ethnic affil
iation and family size.
In the case of the data regarding sibling group sex
composition, chance probability was calculated by assuming
that the probability of the birth of a daughter as against
that of a son was 50 percent. Thus, the probability that
a sibling group of n children would be composed solely of


27
females, including the respondent whose sex was known, was
p = M"-1.
We have now described the theoretical background of the
study together with some of the hypotheses which we sought
to test. In addition, in this chapter the methodological
execution of the study was traced. Let us now turn to the
results. We shall begin by describing the women who responded
to our questionnaire and thus enriched our knowledge of aca
demic women.


CHAPTER III
THE DEMOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND
OF THE RESPONDENTS
While this chapter is devoted mainly to the demographic
parameters of the sample group, these descriptions become
meaningful only against a backdrop of the parameters of the
general population from which they came. In some cases this
sample comparison with the larger population is also a test
of hypotheses concerning the background of academic women.
This is particularly evident in the discussion of the re
spondents' socio-economic background and in the discussion
of their mothers as role models.
Women chosen on so stringent criteria of achievement
as that which we employed clearly would differ from their
age cohorts in the general population. But how? Would they
be products of broken or stable homes? Would they combine
marriage with career achievement and motherhood as well?
In this chapter we present the first and most general pic
ture of the parameters of this unusual group of women.
Our respondents ranged in age from their mid-twenties
to early seventies: 80 percent were between the ages of
28


29
25 and 45. Age distribution did not differ significantly
by sub-fieId. They came, overwhelmingly, from urban back
grounds. In fact, 32 percent grew up in cities with over
a million in population and only 15 percent grew up in towns
with under 5,000 inhabitants. These figures stand in con
trast to the general population in the 1940 and 1950 cen
suses which serve as our imputed base cohorts. In 1940,
56.3 percent of the national population was classed as urban
and in 1950 64 percent of the national population was so
classified. According to Smith (1960:97), this was partially
due to a change in definition. If the same definition had
been used for both years, then the 1950 national population
would have been classified as 59 percent urban. Using com
parable definitions, at least 85 percent of our respondents
grew up in urban settings. We can focus this more starkly
by noting that 32 percent of our respondents grew up in
cities with 1,000,000 or more inhabitants, while, according
to the 1950 census (U.S. Bureau of the Census,1952:6,7),
only 11.5 percent of the total national population then lived
in cities of over 1,000,000. In comparing the sample's dis
tribution by regions of the country with that for the total
United States population in 1950, we found that the Northeast
and Middle Atlantic states were over-represented in the


30
sample. This was probably due to the fact that certain re
gions of the country were more urbanized than others and our
respondents come disproportionately from urban settings (Dun
can and Reiss,1956:29).
Comparing the several sub-fields, women from all of the
sub-fields came from urban backgrounds. The psychologists
were the least likely of all to come from rural areas, with
only 8 percent from towns of under 5,000 population. With
regard to regional distribution, there was no divergence
from the general trend toward the Middle Atlantic and East
North Central states by sub-field, except for the exception
ally high percentages of women biologists and chemists from
the Middle Atlantic states (43 percent and 41 percent respec
tively) Complete marginals for the total sample on age dis
tribution and rural-urban and regional distribution will be
found in the Appendix.
Since over 98 percent of our respondents were Caucasian
we shall consider them a "white" sample for census compari
sons. One-third of the women identified an ethnic group
with which their parents considered themselves affiliated.
Among alternatives offered, and frequently checked, were
Italian, Irish, Polish, and German. In addition, some re
spondents checked "other" and many wrote in ethnic groups


31
not on our offered list. Two such groups were volunteered
so often that they were coded separately: English and Jew
ish. We had included Jewish as a category under religious
affiliation, but did not offer it as an option under the
item on ethnic affiliation. Despite this, 25 percent of
all those who reported an ethnic identification wrote in the
category of Jewish and checked it. The "other" category
which was not recoded consisted mainly of Northern and West
ern Europeans groups together with a small number of Slovaks,
Australians, Lebanese and Canadians. Table III-l gives the
distribution of ethnicity by sub-field for the fathers of
the respondents, after excluding the 69 percent of the sample
who checked no ethnic identity for father.
TABLE III-l
ETHNIC AFFILIATION OF FATHERS OF
RESPONDENTS BY FIELD OF RESPONDENTS
(in percent )
ETHNIC
GROUP
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology
Chemistry
Biology
Italian
6
2
4
10
Irish
14
14
9
5
Polish
9
2
13
10
German
20
24
26
20
Other
26
22
35
23
J ewish
23
37
13
20
English
3
0
0
13
(N)
(35)
(51)
(23)
(40)


32
More of the sociologists came from families with ethnic af
filiations than any other group. This difference was largely
accounted for by those sociologists who wrote in the category
Jewish. The marginals for the total sample for ethnic af
filiation of mothers and fathers will be found in the Appen
dix.
Most of our respondents grew up in homes with smaller
families than was the norm for their cohorts in the 1940
census. Two-child families were the modal nuclear family
structure in the sample (36 percent) while in the general
population two-child families accounted for only 22 percent
of the total. As with regional distribution, this may be
related to the highly urban concentration in the sample.
According to T. Lynn Smith (1960:311),
Among the white population in every one of the
forty-eight states, for the period between April,
1945, and 1950, the fertility ratio of the urban
population is substantially lower than those for
the rural-nonfarm and the rural-farm categories;
... The tendency of the birth rate of the rural
population of the United States to exceed that
of the urban has been known, of course, for some
time, ... Nevertheless, it is important to see
the degree to which it persists throughout the
length and breadth of the country, even after
the upsurge in the urban birth rate since 1935
and after the elimination of so much of the dif
ference between the rural and urban ways of life
that has accompanied the perfection of modern
means of communication and transportation.


33
Still, more than half of our respondents grew up in homes
with three or more children. Table III-2 shows the break
down of family size by sub-field of respondent. With the
exception of the fact that more of the biologists than any
other group come from large families, field of specializa
tion is unrelated to family size.
TABLE III-2
NUMBER OF SIBLINGS IN FAMILY OF ORIENTATION
OF RESPONDENTS BY FIELD OF RESPONDENTS
(in percent )
FIELD
1
NUMBER OF SIBLINGS
234 5-8
(N)
Psychology
21
39
21
10
10
(124)
Sociology
17
38
20
14
10
(138)
Biology
18
32
20
13
17
(143)
Chemistry
14
36
26
15
9
( 80)
Approximately one-quarter of the respondents reported that
their family was separated for some length of time while
they were young. In most of these cases the father was ab
sent. The most common reason for such separations for all
sub-fields was the death of one parent (39 percent). Next
in import was divorce,which accounted for 23 percent of the
broken homes. Other separations were a product of illness
of a parent, or separation from the father because of war
or army services on a career basis.


34
Close to 60 percent of the respondents reported that
their parents were affiliated with a Protestant denomination.
Another 12 percent of the fathers were Catholic, 22 percent
were Jewish, 2 percent other religions, and 7 percent wrote
in that their fathers had no religion or were agnostic.
Several of those who wrote in "no religion" or "agnostic"
had also written in Jewish under ethnicity. Table III-3
shows the religious affiliation of the fathers by the field
of the respondents. It also shows the approximate religious
breakdown of the United States population according to a
1957 survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census. It is
clear that Jews are disproportionately represented in this
sample, though the degree of disproportion varies. The so
cial sciences have more Jews than the natural sciences. It
has been estimately that there are between five and six mil
lion Jews in the population, constituting less than 3 percent
of the total population of the United States (Fine and Him-
melfarb,1971:5). The large percentage of Jews in the sample
may contribute to the small family size and large urban re
sidence of the sample. Jews are generally supposed to have
the lowest birth rate of any group in America, and to be the
most concentrated in urban areas. (See Smith,1960:330; Gold
stein, 1971 : 15, 34, 38. ) According to the census figures of


TABLE III-3
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION OF FATHERS BY
FIELD OF RESPONDENTS AND FOR TOTAL U.S.
(in percent )
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION
FIELD None or
Protestant Catholic Jewish Other Agnostic(N)
Psychology
51
13
25
Sociology
54
12
25
Biology
66
9
18
Chemistry
57
16
16
Census Approx
imations
66
26
3
7 (123)
7 (138)
6 (143)
10 ( 74)
i
OJ
ui
l
4


36
the 1957 survey, approximately 26 percent of the population
of the United States was Roman Catholic, while 66 percent
were members of various Protestant denominations. According
to the above figures, the Roman Catholics were most under
represented among our respondents. The small family size
for the group as a whole reflected this, also, since Roman
Catholics have the highest fertility rate of the three major
religious groups in the United States.
Socio-Economic Background
An important background characteristic of our respond
ents is the socio-economic status of the homes from which
they came. Several indicators of this status were included
in the questionnaire. The first concerned highest level of
educational attainment of both the mother and the father of
the respondent. (See Appendix for marginals for total
sample.) We found that over one-third of all the fathers
had completed at least a bachelor's degree, and 22 percent
of all the fathers possessed a graduate degree. One-quarter
of the mothers had at least a bachelor's degree. At the
other extreme, 31 percent of the mothers and 32 percent of
the fathers had not completed a high school diploma. If we
compare the figures for our respondents' families with those
for the general population, we find that in 1940 and in 1950


37
the educational level of the heads of household was much
lower than that for the fathers of our respondents. Table
III-4 makes this comparison. The census data are from
American Families (Glick,1957:89).
TABLE II1-4
RESPONDENTS' FATHERS' EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT
COMPARED WITH THAT OF 35-44 YEAR OLD
HEADS OF HOUSEHOLD IN 1940 AND 1950
(in percent )
EDUCATIONAL
ATTAINMENT
Fathers of
Respondents
Fathers of
1940 Cohort
Fathers of
1950 Cohort
Elementary
School
18
59
41
Some High
School
14
17
20
Graduated
High School
14
12
21
Some College
18
6
8
Four Years or
More of College
35
6
9
No Answer
2
1
2
Our respondents'
parents, from
all fields,
are more highly
educated than the general parental generation.
A second indicator of socio-economic status of the fam
ily is the income rank of the fathers. Here the variant
ages of the respondents made it difficult to ask an objective


38
question on salary. The meaning of a $5,000 a year income
in 1930 differed substantially from its meaning in 1950
and we had respondents who would report their father's in
comes from time periods varying from 1920-1960. Also, re
collection of exact parental income or realistic estimation
of it by the respondents was unlikely. Therefore, we de
vised a question which would be relative to a well-known
status in the economy to measure income. We asked: "When
you graduated from high school would you say that your
father's income was: less than that of a high school teacher
at that time, about the same as a high school teacher at
that time, or more than that of a high school teacher at
that time." The position of high school teacher was taken
as a rough indicator of middle class status and middle in
come. Of the 459 respondents who answered the question, 21
percent reported their father's income as less, 18 percent
as the same and 49 percent as more than a high school teacher
at that time. This scatter of respondents suggested that
our indicator question was sensitive, at least, to respond
ents perceptions of their parents'economic standing. Only
3 percent said that they were not able to answer the question.
This approximate distribution placed 67 percent of the re
spondents in a family of middle income or higher. This


39
picture fits well with the educational attainment of fathers
previously reported. The rankings of fathers' incomes did
not differ substantially by the field of the respondents,
although the social scientists came from slightly higher in
come ranks than did the natural sciences. (See Table III-5.)
TABLE III-5
FATHERS INCOME RANK BY FIELD OF RESPONDENTS
(in percent )
INCOME FIELD
RANK , , ,
Psychology Sociology Biology Chemistry
Less than High
School Teacher
15
22
24
21
Same as High
School Teacher
16
14
18
25
More than High
School Teacher
54
57
42
42
Don't Know
16
7
16
13
(N)
(115)
(125)
(141)
(79)
A third indicator of socio-economic status of families
of orientation of the respondents was the occupation of the
father. Occupation is, perhaps, the most commonly used in
dicator of stratification ranking in sociology. Table III-6
compares the rankings of our respondents' fathers with those
for heads of husband-wife households between the ages of


40
35 and 44 for the 1940 and 1950 censuses. Since the specific
content of the categories has altered somewhat from census
to census, and since we coded responses to the father's oc
cupation question on the 1970 census categories, the compar
ison is only approximate. For full data on the distribution
of the respondents' fathers by occupation, see the Appendix.
TABLE III-6
MAJOR OCCUPATION GROUP OF HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD
FOR 1940 AND 1950 FOR AGES 35-44 COMPARED
WITH DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS' FATHERS
(in percent )
OCCUPATIONAL GROUP
Fathers of
Respondents
Fathers of
1940 Cohort
Fathers of
1950 Cohort
Professional, Technical and
Kindred Workers (includes
executives and semi-profes
sionals)
38
6
9
Managers, Officials and
Proprietors except farm
30
13
14
Clerical, Sales and Kindred
Workers
11
13
12
Craftsmen, foremen
15
18
22
Operatives and Kindred
4
19
21
Laborers
1
24
19
Service Workers
1
6
4


41
The census data in Table III-6 are from American Families
(Glick,1957:95). It is clear that our respondents' fathers,
with especially heavy representation in the professional and
business categories, had higher ranking occupations than
their cohorts in the general population. From the previous
analysis of educational attainment, income level, and occu
pational status, it can be seen that our respondents parents
attained uniformly high rankings on the three indicators.
The majority of our respondents came from middle class fam
ilies .
Maternal Role Models
A key element in several of our hypotheses concerning
female achievement was the special effect a mother can have
on a daughter's motivation and success in achieving. Several
questions in the instrument were designed to reveal if the
mothers of the women in our sample were positive role models
for female achievement. We shall now discuss the general
findings concerning education, occupation, and community in
volvement of the mothers of our respondents.
The clearest model of a diversified role for adult mar
ried women is available to a young girl whose mother works
while she is growing up. We therefore asked if our respond
ents mothers had worked outside the home after marriage, and


42
if they had worked outside the home while the respondent was
growing up. Table III-7 shows the percentage distributions
on these two questions. The percent of mothers who never
worked was excluded from the table.
TABLE III-7
PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS WHOSE MOTHERS WORKED OUTSIDE THE
HOME AFTER MARRIAGE AND PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS WHOSE
MOTHERS WORKED WHILE THE RESPONDENTS WERE GROWING UP
PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS WHOSE MOTHERS:
Worked After Worked While Respondents
Marriage Were Growing Up
Worked
Part
Time
20
18
Worked
Full
Time
38
28
(N)
(478)
(477)
According to Glick in American Families (1957:90-91),
In 1940, one out of every eight wives of family
heads was in the labor force but by 1950 this
ratio had increased to one out of every five ...
According to 1950 data, the labor force partici
pation rate reached a low point of about 20 per
cent during the time when wives were most likely
to have small children at home, then rose to one-
fourth for married women about 40 years old.
If we analyze the percent of mothers working after
having children for our respondents by sub-field (Table III-
8), we find that the mothers of the social scientists were
more likely to have worked, though all of the sub-fields
showed a high proportion of mothers who had worked while
having children. The percent of mothers who never worked
was excluded from the table.


43
TABLE III-8
PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS WHOSE MOTHERS WORKED
OUTSIDE THE HOME WHILE THEY WERE GROWING UP
BY FIELD OF RESPONDENT
FIELD
Psychology
Sociology
Biology
Chemistry
Worked Part
Time
16
18
23
11
Worked Full
Time
42
29
23
35
(N)
(121)
(137)
(142)
(78)
It is easy to see from Tables III-7 and III-8 that many of
our respondents had mothers who not only had had the exper
ience of working after marriage, but who acted out this dual
role while their daughters were growing up and forming their
own definitions of appropriate sex-role behaviors. Astin
(1969:25) stated that for her sample one-fourth of all the
women reported that their mothers worked while they were
growing up. Astin considered this a high degree of career
orientation. Her respondents all received their doctorates
in 1957 and 1958 (though they varied in age). Our sample
reflected an even higher degree of career orientation of
the mothers of respondents, with almost half (46 percent)
working at least part time while their daughters were grow
ing up.


44
The very fact of a mother working in a white, predomin
antly middle class home is a significant influence on her
daughters. We should also consider the type of work she was
doing. Astin (1969:25) reported that 60 percent of the
mothers who worked while their daughters were growing up
were engaged in professional and managerial occupations.
For our sample, the breakdown differed. Approximately 47
percent of the mothers worked at jobs in the top four ranks
of jobs (professionals, executives, semi-professionals, ma
nagerial and proprieterial), but most of these were clerical
workers (25 percent) or involved semi-professional jobs often
stereotyped as "women's work." (See Appendix for complete
distribution.) We can make an approximate comparison between
the type of occupation the mothers of our respondents were
working at and the distribution of females in the labor force
14 years old and over in 1940 classified into social-economic
groups (U.S. Bureau of the Census,1940:187). Clearly the
mothers of our respondents were usually working at jobs
higher in status than the jobs of their contemporaries in
the labor force. The distribution of mothers' jobs by status
did not vary significantly by the later choice of social
versus natural science career for the daughters.


45
TABLE III-9
OCCUPATIONS OF RESPONDENTS MOTHERS COMPARED WITH
ALL FEMALES IN THE LABOR FORCE 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER
CLASSIFIED INTO SOCIAL-ECONOMIC GROUPS, 1940, FOR
THE UNITED STATES (IN PERCENT )
OCCUPATIONS*
Mothers of
Respondents
1940 Census
Professional Persons (includes
semi-professionals and executives)
39
12
Proprietors, Managers, and
Officials
9
7
Clerks and Kindred Workers
(Sales)
35
28
Skilled Workers and Foremen
(Craftsmen)
4
1
Semi-skilled Workers
(Operatives)
7
28
Unskilled Workers (Laborers
and Service)
6
25
*Other categories of ours which are collapsed to fit 1940
specifications appear in parentheses next to 1940 social-
economic categories.
The mothers of our respondents not only worked more
often, and at better jobs than their contemporaries, but
they also had attained higher levels of education than their
age cohorts in the general United States population. Accord
ing to the 1950 census (U.S. Bureau of the Census,1950:Tables
5,8), the median years of school completed for white, married
women living with their spouses between the ages of 45 and


46
54 was 9 years. The median years of education for the mothers
of our respondents is 11 years. For the full distribution
of educational attainment of the mothers of our respondents
see the Appendix. Also of note is the fact that 27 percent
of the mothers had higher educational attainment than their
husbands, and 59 percent had at least an equal education to
that of their husbands. Almost half (48 percent) had con
tinued their education beyond the high school diploma, and
one-fourth had completed a bachelor's degree.
There have been attempts to link daughters different
choice of life style to extra-familial activities partici
pated in by their mothers. For example, it has been sug
gested that mothers who do not work outside the home, but
who participate in voluntary community organizations in an
active manner, encourage their daughters to be volunteers
rather than career women. In our questionnaire, we asked
about the community involvement of mothers in the following
manner: "Was your mother ever involved in community acti
vities as an active participant or leader (church groups,
welfare rights, political action)?" Table III-10 shows the
community involvement of mothers by sub-field of the daugh
ters. Although there are more active members from sociology
than any other group, there seems little relationship between


47
community involvement for mothers and entrance into the na
tural rather than the social sciences by daughters.
TABLE III-10
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT OF MOTHERS
BY FIELD OF DAUGHTERS
(in percent )
COMMUNITY
INVOLVEMENT
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology Biology
Chemistry
Not involved
37
37
38
40
A member only
22
17
20
21
Active member
28
23
28
23
Mother a leader
13
25
14
16
(N)
(120)
(133)
(142)
(80)
What does emerge, however, is the mothers of our respondents
were participants in community activities. But are the
'joiners' different women from the 'careerists?' Table Hi
ll shows the results of cross-tabulating working mothers
with those who were active in community activities. If the
TABLE III-ll
PERCENT OF MOTHERS WHO WORKED AFTER CHILDREN
BY COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT OF MOTHER
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
MOTHER WORKED:
Mother Not
Involved
Member
Only
Mother
Active
Mother
Leader
N
Never
34
24
25
18
(252)
Part Time
38
20
24
18
( 87)
Full Time
44
12
28
16
(124)


48
mothers who were involved in volunteer work were also the
employed, then it would seem that the two models were not
mutually exclusive. Moreover, it may be that any enrichment
of the female role model leads to higher achievement on the
part of daughters. Thus, any maternal activity outside the
home would encourage consideration of broad options for life
styles of daughters. Table III-ll shows that 42 percent of
those who worked part time and 44 percent of those who worked
full time were either active members or leaders in community
activities. In addition, 34 percent of those who had never
worked after having children also had no memberships. Thus,
although those who were working full time were also the most
likely to be uninvolved in community activities (44 percent),
it is clear that working and community action often go to
gether. These findings tend to refute the idea that volun-
teerism and career commitment are mutually exclusive. The
mothers of our respondents emerged as active and energetic
women who provided models of community involvement and work
experience for their daughters. They must have been very
well organized and committed women. This is especially ap
parent when we recall that many of them displayed this com
petence in several worlds when it was not fashionable to do
sobetween 1930 and 1950.


49
At the close of the questionnaire a space was left for
comments on the significant events or persons who influenced
the respondents decision to obtain the Ph.D. and to pursue
an academic career. Of the 79 percent who chose to comment,
131 stated that their mothers had encouraged them, or that
they wished to be like a mother who worked. Another 12
women said that their mothers discouraged them, or that they
rebelled against their mother's role as housewife. In sum,
our respondents reported behavioral and ideological encour
agement by their mothers in the pursuit of their own careers.
An important demographic feature of the sample, which
will be discussed in greater detail in a later chapter, is
birth order. Most birth order studies have concluded that
first-born and only children generally achieve more than
later siblings (Walters and Stinnett,1971:123). For our
total sample, 54 percent were only or first-born children
(264), 27 percent were second-born (129), 10 percent were
third-born (49) and 15 percent were born fourth or later.
Astin (1969:26) reports that:
These proportions were similar to men doctorates
(Bayer,1967). The actual proportion of women
doctorates who were first-born and those who were
born fourth or later was somewhat greater than
can be accounted for by chance, a finding that
can probably be interpreted in economic terms:
that is, the first and the last child usually
benefit because greater financial resources are


50
available to the family at the time these child
ren enter college (Bayer,1967).
We tabulated the number of our respondents who were the
youngest in their families. For our respondents, 220 or
45 percent were the youngest in their families. If we sub
tract from this the 18 percent who were also only children,
this leaves 27 percent who were youngest among siblings.
Until now, we have discussed our respondents in their
families of orientation. We shall now consider their own
personal attainments, and their families of procreation.
Of concern is their academic achievement, their marital
status, the socio-economic status of their husbands, and
their children.
Respondents Academic Achievement
Two measures of achievement were included in the ques
tionnaire. One was a ranking of the graduate faculties in
the departments where our respondents received their Ph.D.
degrees. The second was a tabulation of the ranks they had
achieved at their age. Table III-12 shows the rankings of
graduate faculties by sub-field for the universities of which
the respondents are alumnae. For a discussion of the rank
ing system, see Chapter II. In the case of each field, two-
thirds of the respondents attended a school with top ranking.


51
TABLE III-12
RANKS OF GRADUATE FACULTIES IN FIELDS OF
RESPONDENTS FOR UNIVERSITIES WHERE THEY
ATTAINED THE PH.D. (in percent )
RANK
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology Biology
Chemistry
Excellent
75
63
69
70
Very Good
11
7
14
16
Good
5
14
10
10
Not Ranked
10
16
7
5
(N)
(124)
(138)
(143)
(80)
In terms of
professorial rank
attained,
our women have been
promoted as
they grew older.
Table III-
13 gives
the distri-
hution of our respondents by present academic rank control
ling for the age of the respondent.
TABLE III-13
PRESENT ACADEMIC RANKS OF RESPONDENTS
CONTROLLED
(in
' FOR IMPUTED AGE
percent )
IMPUTED
AGE
RANKS
Assistant Professor Associate
Professor
N
Under 25
90
10
0
( 23)
26-35
51
41
8
(268)
36-45
10
37
53
(127)
46-55
10
34
56
( 46)
56-65
0
12
88
( 16)
66-70
0
0
100
( 4)


52
Families of Procreation
In addition to their academic responsibilities, over
half of our respondents are currently married (55 percent),
and an additional 14 percent have been married and are cur
rently divorced, separated, or widowed. However, almost
one third of the women (32 percent) reported that they had
never been married. Thus, many more of them than their co
horts in the general population have remained single. Ac
cording to the 1960 census, in the age cohort of 40-44 years
86 percent of all women were married (Astin,1969:26). Mar
riage and divorce rates varied considerably in the sample
by field of specialization, with the natural scientists hav
ing a lower rate of marriage than the social scientists.
Table III-14 shows this comparison.
TABLE III-14
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE RATES BY
FIELD OF
RESPONDENT
(in percent
)
MARITAL
STATUS
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology
Chemistry
Biology
Never Married
30
20
36
44
Currently Married
56
63
54
48
Divorced
7
10
4
7
Separated
2
4
1
1
Widowed
6
4
5
1
(N)
(124)
(137)
(80)
(142)


53
Epstein (1970:95) reports that working women in general are
far more likely to marry today than in the past. However,
the women at the top of their professions show a higher in
cidence of being single.
A far higher percentage of the unmarried, compared
to men, tend to be found in the ranks of the pro
fessions. Even in 1960, those women employed in
the scientific and engineering fields were consid
erably less likely to be married than mentwo out
of five women scientists as contrasted with four
out of five men.
In Astin's sample (1969:27), 32.5 percent of those in the
natural sciences had never married, while 38 percent of
those in the social sciences were single. This is the re
verse of the relationship noted by Epstein and found in our
sample, that those in more 'masculine' occupations have
lower marriage rates. Despite these variations, the gen
eral finding is the samewomen in the professions marry
less often than other women in our society, though the trend
is toward more frequent marriage for them. Of the women in
our sample who had been married at least once, 84 percent
had had one marriage, 15 percent had had two marriages, and
less than 1 percent had had more than two marriages.
By all the socio-economic measures of status included
in the questionnaire, the husbands of our respondents had
high ratings. Ninety-nine percent of the husbands had com-


54
pleted some college and 85 percent had completed a graduate
degree. These high rankings did not differ by the field of
the wives. While it is true that all of the wives had gra
duate degrees, the educational level of these men is still
extraordinary. Men could have traded financial success for
educational attainment and still have had as high a status
as their wives. In the case of our respondents the husbands
shared an interest in academia as well as an equivalent so
cial status. The distribution of husband's occupations (see
Appendix) confirmed that very few of them were in business.
Most were professionals. In Table III-15 we tabulated the
number of Ph.D.s and medical doctors among the husbands by
field of the wife. We also found that 184 husbands were
professors and an additional 25 were working in research.
TABLE III-15
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF HUSBANDS BY FIELD OF WIFE
ACADEMIC
ACHIEVEMENT
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology Chemistry
Bioloqy
Ph.D.
47
60
34
45
M.D. (academic
medicine)
7
7
4 i
11
(N) *
(88)
(110)
(81)
(51)
*N's refer to total number of husbands in each field.


55
The table clearly demonstrates that most of the husbands are
professionals, who are involved in the academic world to
gether with their wives. Astin (1969) suggested that such
marriages to others in academia are encouraged by marriage
during graduate school, when potential mates are found in
the university community.
Of the 324 women who reported that they had ever been
married, 240 had also become mothers. In their families,
as in those of their parents, the two-child family predomin
ated, though 32 percent of those who had children had three
or more. Small families were the rule for all four sub-fields.
It is important to note that 245 women, or 51 percent of our
respondents, were childless. Even after we have taken into
consideration the fact that 154 of these have never married,
one third of the married women were childless. No doubt
many were still of child-bearing age and would have children
in the future. Still we have confirmed Astin's findings
(1969:29) that woman doctorates have lower fertility rates
that those of their contemporaries in the general population.
She found that the proportion of married women doctorates
who were childless was 28 percent (compared to our 30 percent)
and noted that this was "twice as large as the proportion
of childless 40-44 year old women in the general population"
(Astin,1969:31).


56
We were interested in finding out if the women felt
that their husbands were a positive influence on their at
taining the doctorates. Although we had no direct questions
on this subject included in the questionnaire, there are
two indicators of this influence. We did ask if the hus
band's mother ever worked as a general measure of exposure
of the husband, before his marriage, to divergent women's
roles. The actual question specified work outside the home
after having children so as to directly tap experience re
lating to conflicting women's roles. We found that of the
317 women who answered the question, 54 percent reported
that their husband's mother never worked, 20 percent that
she had worked part time and 26 percent that she had worked
full time after having children. Thus, as in the case of
the women themselves, many respondents' husbands had child
hood experience with mothers who provided models combining
career and home management. A second indicator of husband's
role in achievement emerged from the coding of the comments
at the close of the questionnaire. Before discussing these
comments, we state two qualifications. First, our major
focus was on structural factors in the family of orientation
which led to achievement and not on later influences. Second,
many of our women were unmarried or had completed their


57
degrees before marrying. In these cases there either could
not have been any influence from husband, or the influence
would have been limited to career achievement and advance
ment after attaining the Ph.D. Despite the above limita
tions, of the 375 women who chose to comment on significant
factors in their decision to obtain the Ph.D. degree and to
pursue an academic career, 130 mentioned the role of people
other than their parents in the decision-making process.
Of these 130, 75 (or 58 percent) cited the husband's influ
ence. Of these, 70 mentioned their husband's encouragement
and 5 noted their husband's discouragement. Some typical
comments were:
My husband is wonderfully supportive of my career,
thus I have not 'interrupted' it for child bearing.
With his help it has been possible to continue even
with young children.
Most important was my husband's attitudehis moral
and financial encouragement have been the most help
ful .
After we had been married 15 years my husband wanted
to get out of management and pursue his mathematical
interests. He entered graduate school ... actually,
my husband would not give up his job and change pro
fessions unless I would go to school, too. We were
looking for a complete change of life style which
included both of us actively involved outside the
home. Now, I would not have it any other waybut
without the initial pressure from these three men I
would have continued to think I could not obtain an
advanced degree and would have settled for a much
lower goal.


58
Throughout this chapter we have attempted to describe
our respondents in the most general fashion, and yet to por
tray them as real women in real life situations faced by
many women. We have seen that their decisions to opt for
a minority life style in their culture went together with
certain demographic characteristics of their families of
orientation. These included disproportionately small fami
lies, urban settings, certain ethnic and religious affilia
tions, middle class socio-economic status, parents with
above-average educations, and fathers with higher than aver
age occupations. Their families often included mothers who
worked after having children and who were active in voluntary
associations. Our respondents studied for their degrees in
the top ranked institutions in their fields, and have gone
on to attain high academic ranks, often while fulfilling
the roles of wife and mother. Their families of procreation
are distinguished by the high educational training received
by their husbands, their shared experience of the academic
world, and their low fertility rate. One third of the re
spondents never married, and 50 percent were childless.
Those who had married seemed to have stable relationships
as evidenced by the low rate of divorce they reported. If
we return to the questions posed at the beginning of this
chapter, we find that they have been answered. Our respondents


59
differed from their age cohorts in the population in degree,
but not in kind. They came from stable homes and they are
building stable homes for themselves. Most have sought to
combine career, marriage, and motherhood, often in imitation
of their own mothers. We have now been 'introduced' to our
respondents and in Chapter IV we shall go on to consider
their collective story in relation to our own specific theo
retical interests and hypotheses as they were delineated in
Chapter I.


CHAPTER IV
TESTING HYPOTHESES
The hypotheses to be tested in this study fall into
several categories. First there are those which relate spe
cifically to the relationship between the sex structure of
the nuclear family and female achievement. Second, we are
concerned with family size and achievement. Third, there
are general birth order propositions which have previously
been tested on men and which we seek to apply to the case
of female achievers. Fourth, there are hypotheses which
have been considered in the previous chapter, including the
relationship between socio-economic background and achieve
ment and that between maternal employment and female achieve
ment. This chapter focuses on those hypotheses which relate
female achievement to the sex composition of the nuclear
family, ordinal position, and family size.
Sex Composition of the Nuclear Family
Our original hypothesis was that, in the absence of male
children, parents would consider the need for fulfillment
of the American dream of upward mobility for their children
60


61
more important than accepted sex-role definitions. Conse
quently, they would allow, encourage, or push one of their
daughters to achieve in the occupational sphere. Should
these conjectures be correct, a sample of female achievers
should have contained a disproportionate number of women
from all-female sibling families. Table IV-1 shows the per
centage of all-female sibling families found in our sample,
and next to that a theoretical expected percentage derived
from a probability model. The calculation of the expected
percentages was discussed in Chapter II.
TABLE IV-1
PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF SIBLING SEX
COMPOSITION OF NUCLEAR FAMILY OF RESPONDENTS
COMPARED WITH THEORETICAL EXPECTED PERCENTAGES
COMPOSITION
Respondents
Theoretical
Expected
Percentages
All-Female
46
44
Mixed-Sex
54
56
(485)
Our sample as a whole did not contain a much higher propor
tion of women from all-female families of orientation than
expected, although the differences fall in the expected dir
ection. Table IV-2 shows the number of respondents from all
female families, by family size, and compares these percentages


62
with those expected for families of these sizes based on an
ideal probability distribution, x2 was computed separately
for each family size.
TABLE IV-2
SIBLING SEX COMPOSITION OF RESPONDENTS' FAMILIES
AND OF THEORETICAL POPULATION BY FAMILY SIZE
(in percent )
SEX
COMPOSITION
1
2
NUMBER OF CHILDREN
3 4 5 6
7
8+
Mixed
0
52
(92)
71
(83)
77 79
(48) (22)
* +
93
(13)
100
( 7)
100
( 9)
All-Female
100
(87)
48
(84)
29
(29)
23 21
(14) ( 6)
7
( 1)
0
0
Expected %
All-Female
100
50
25
12.5 6
3
1.5

* X2 = 4.5,
p < .05
+ X2
= 8, p <, .005
As family size increases, there is a greater likelihood than
expected of coming from an all-female family. For families
of four and five children, the number of respondents from
all-female families is significantly different from that ex
pected, and in the direction hypothesized. If we look at
the sibling sex composition of the family of orientation by
field of specialization of the respondents, we find that more
of those specializing in the social sciences come from all
female families. (See Table IV-3.) However, Table IV-4
shows that this was accounted for by the greater proportion
of small families of orientation among the social scientists.


63
TABLE IV-3
SIBLING SEX COMPOSITION OF FAMILY OF ORIENTATION
BY FIELD OF SPECIALIZATION OF RESPONDENTS
(in percent )
COMPOSITION
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology Chemistry
Biology
Mixed
52
52
60
56
All-Female
48
48
40
44
(124)
(138)
(80)
(143)
TABLE
IV-4
PERCENT
DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILY
SIZE
BY FIELD
OF RESPONDENTS
FIELD
NUMBER OF
CHILDREN
1
2
3
4
5
6
7 8+
Psychology
21
39
21
10
5
3
1 1 (124)
Sociology
17
38
20
14
4
2
1 3 (138)
Chemistry
14
36
26
15
3
4
3 ( 80)
Biology
18
32
20
13
10
3
1 3 (143)
These results suggest that choice of field of specialization
by women from all-female families was based on factors unre
lated to the sibling sex structure of the nuclear family.
Most probably, they were channeled into certain fields by
personal interest, exciting teachers, or excellence in these
fields in high school, and other factors mentioned in their
comments. The family of orientation may have fostered a


64
climate in which women were encouraged to go on to higher
education and career attainment, but it did not necessarily
specify participation in particular 'masculine' fields as
true proof of achievement. In fact, daughters' achievement
in the social sciences may have eased the conflict between
sex-role definitions and the need for a child who achieved,
since participation in the social sciences on a professional
level was more acceptable than in the natural sciences.
We next ask, are there any sub-groups within our sample
of achievers which showed a greater relationship between sex
structure of the nuclear family and achievement than we would
have expected by chance? To examine the above possibilities,
we controlled the relationship between sibling sex structure
of families of orientation and family size and looked at the
distribution of our respondents by religion and by ethnicity.
Table IV-5 examines the differences in sibling sex structure
of family of orientation by religious affiliation of mothers
of respondents. From Table IV-5 it appears that the Catholics
were producing less achievers from all-female families than
expected, and that the Jews were producing more. This was
partially due to the effect of family size. The role of fam
ily ideology may also have been crucial. Of course, this
is only a suggested interpretation. Jews are known for their


65
commitment to achievement, while Catholics are more influenced
by the traditional sex-role definitions exemplified by Mary
and stressed by the Church.
TABLE IV-5
PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF SIBLING SEX COMPOSITION
OF FAMILY OF ORIENTATION BY
RELIGION OF MOTHER OF RESPONDENT
SEX
COMPOSITION
Protestant
RELIGION
Catholic Jewish
Other
None or
Aqnostic
Mixed
56
60
49
60
42
All-Female
44
40
51
40
58
(N)
(279)
(69)
(105)
(10)
(19)
It is also of
note that
several of
the respondents
who wrote
in "none" or "agnostic" under religion of mother also wrote
in Jewish under ethnicity. What we may have represented
here, then, is a secularization curve. The more secular the
family, the more committed to achievement, and the less com
mitted to traditional sex-roles. Thus, the continuum from
religious to secular within religious categories goes:
Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, None or Agnostic (made up of
members of all groups mentioned previously who have been
completely secularized). Table IV-6 shows that even after
controlling for family size the percent of Jewish respondents
from all-female sibling families sized two and four is higher


66
than that for the other groups. The distinction between
Catholics and Protestants is not clear. The category of
none or agnostic was not included here because the numbers
were so small..The percentages for mixed sex sibling fam
ilies were not shown in the table.
TABLE IV-6
PERCENT ALL-FEMALE SIBLING FAMILIES OF RESPONDENTS
BY FAMILY SIZE BY RELIGION OF FATHER, COMPARED
WITH HYPOTHETICAL DISTRIBUTION
RELIGION
1
NUMBER OF CHILDREN
6
2
3
4
5
Catholic
100
38
40
29
66
25
(13)*
( 6)
( 4)
( 2)
( 2)
( 1)
Protestant
100
49
29
21
19
0
(48)
(42)
(17)
( 8)
( 3)
J ewi sh
100
54
33
37
25
0
(19)
(28)
( 8)
( 3)
( 1)
Expected percent
per family
size
100
50
25
12.5
6
3
*"N"'s in parentheses refer to
number of respondents
from all-female
sibling
families for
each religious group.
As we
noted
in Chapter III, one
third
of the respondent
reported that both their
parents were members of
some ethnic
group. In order to find out if ethnic affiliation affected
the relationship between sibling sex composition of the fam
ily and female achievement, we cross-tabulated sibling sex
composition by size of family with a control for ethnicity.
The results are found in Table IV-7.


67
TABLE IV-7
NUMBER OF SIBLINGS BY SIBLING SEX COMPOSITION
OF RESPONDENTS' FAMILIES CONTROLLING FOR ETHNICITY
OF FATHER AND COMPARED WITH HYPOTHETICAL ALL-FEMALE
SIBLING DISTRIBUTION AND TOTAL PERCENT OF THOSE
WHO CHECKED ANY ETHNIC AFFILIATION WHO ARE
FROM ALL-FEMALE SIBLING FAMILIES
SEX COMPOSITION AND
NUMBER
OF SIBLINGS
ETHNICITY
1
2
3
4
5
Mixed Sex
East and South
Europe
0
25
100
80
67
West and North
Europe
0
54
71
73
57
Jews
0
50
75
67
50
(N)
(24)
(21)
(14)
( 7)
All-Female Siblings
East and South
Europe
100
75
0
20
33
West and North
Europe
100
46
29
27
43
Jews
100
50
25
33
50
(N)
(24)
(24)
( 7)
( 5)
Total Sample
Percent All-Female
100
49
31
23
22
Total Percent All-
Female of Those Who
Checked An EthnicitylOO
50
25
26
42


68
TABLE IV-7 (cont.)
SEX COMPOSITION AND
NUMBER
OF SIBLINGS
ETHNICITY
1
2
3
4
5
Expected Percent
All-Female
100
50
25
12.5
6
In this table, ethnic groups were combined by geographical
areas. Eastern and Southern European ethnicity includes those
who checked Polish or Italian, while Western and Northern
Europe includes those who indicated affiliation with Irish,
English, or German ethnicity. Those who were included in
the "other" category were predominantly of Northern and
Western European descent as well. Therefore, for the calcu
lations in Table IV-7, "other" was combined with Western and
Northern Europe. Jews were separated into a third category.
The pattern which emerged in Table IV-7 was a positive link
between ethnicity and female achievement for women from all
female sibling families whose ethnic identification was with
Western and Northern Europe, as well as for the Jews, espe
cially in families with more than three children. In addi
tion, it appeared that for those who checked any ethnic iden
tification and who came from families of four or five child
ren, there was a greater likelihood of coming from an all
female family than for those who checked no ethnic affilia
tion.


69
Blau and Duncan (1967:240) in their study of male
achievement in the American occupational structure found
that members of white ethnic minorities from Western and
Northern Europe fared better in occupational success than
the dominant majority. This was not true for Poles or
Italians. They attributed the achievement of the Western
and Northern Europeans to the extra achievement motivation
felt by sons of immigrants, and the lower rates of achieve
ment by Eastern and Southern European immigrants' sons to
discrimination. Their finding seemed to parallel our own
concerning the push for achievement on the daughters of
Western and Northern European immigrants who still felt
ethnic ties. Padan-Eisenstark (1972) found that career women
in Israel do not come disproportionately from all-female sib
ling families. Using similar logic to our own, she hypothe
sized that women from all-female sibling families would be
disproportionately represented in a sample of career women
in Israel. Her findings directly contradict our own. The
Jews were the one group we consistently found to come dispro
portionately from all-female sibling families, and all of
Padan-Eisenstark's sample are Jewish.
When we combined the Blau and Duncan findings on sons
of immigrants from Northern and Western Europe with our own


70
findings on ethnic groups and the findings of the Israeli
study, a contextual explanation emerged. Members of minority
groups often have felt under pressure to achieve. Jews in
America, and children of immigrants who came from a culture
where they were the majority to one where they were a minor
ity, have felt that pressure. Jews in Israel, on the other
hand, are members of a majority group whose children are
expected to fill all of the occupational slots in the country
and develop no such minority pressure for achievement. But
how can we explain the lack of similar pattern among those
identified with Southern and Eastern European ethnic groups?
If more of the members of these groups were from Catholic
families, then the ideological pull of the traditional sex-
role definitions may have out-weighed the need for achieve
ment. If we conceive of female achievement as the end-product
of the resolution of conflict, then it is the relative weights
of the countervailing forces which lead to the emphasis on
sex-role definitions or to the dream of upward mobility.
For the family which placed greater emphasis on sex-role de
finitions than on achievement, upward mobility may be fore
gone or mobility may be 'achieved' through marriage by a
daughter.


71
In our findings on sibling sex composition of families
of female achievers we noted that the groups with the lowest
birth rates (those of Jewish and white Protestant background)
had the highest proportion of achievers from all-female sib
ling families even though the improbably large proportion
of female achievers came from large all-female sibling fami
lies. In the absence of early sons in a family of a group
in which two or at most three children is the norm, a deci
sion may be made to have more children in the hope of pro
ducing a male. This behavior would indicate a strong need
for a son as potential achiever. This strategy failing, the
parents put pressure on one of the girls to achieve. In
other words, a large family size in a white Protestant mid
dle class home or in a Jewish middle class home coupled with
the absence of male children indicated or coincided with
the parents' strong need for an achieving child and consequent
stress on their female children to achieve. The two pro
ceeding discussions were suggested by our findings, although
not conclusively supported by them. They both pointed to
interesting future lines of research.


72
Family Size
According to Blau and Duncan (1967:298), men from small
families (less than four children) achieve more than those
from larger families. Turner (1962:122) found that boys
from large families "are less likely than those from small
families to have high ambitions, regardless of background."
Turner also noted that "the insignificant coefficient of
-.05 for women fails to support the same conclusion, however.
Why the relationship should not apply to women students as
well as to men our data do not clarify"(1962:122). We have
already shown in Chapter III that our achieving women came
disproportionately from small families. However, let us
look at achievement within the sample. An indicator of
achievement included within the instrument was professorial
rank attained. When we controlled present academic rank by
age and examined family size by rank, we found that women
from smaller families attained higher rank only at the cul
mination of their careers. Tables IV-8, IV-9, and IV-10
illustrate this clearly. The first two tables (IV-8, IV-9)
seem to substantiate Turner's finding while the third (IV-10)
follows the Blau and Duncan finding.


73
TABLE IV-8
PRESENT ACADEMIC RANK FOR RESPONDENTS
AGES 23-35 BY FAMILY SIZE
(in percent )
FAMILY SIZE
RANK
Assistant
Professor
Associate and
Full Professor
(N)
1-4 Children
54
46
(261)
5+ Children
61
39
( 28)
X2 = .457 (not
significant)
TABLE IV-9
PRESENT ACADEMIC RANK FOR RESPONDENTS
AGES 36-45 BY FAMILY SIZE
(in percent )
FAMILY SIZE
RANK
Assistant and
Associate Professor Full
Professor
(N)
1-4 Children
49
51
(106)
5+ Children
52
48
( 27)
X2 = .159 (not significant)
TABLE IV-10
PRESENT ACADEMIC RANK FOR RESPONDENTS
AGES 46-70 BY FAMILY SIZE
(in percent )
FAMILY SIZE
RANK
Assistant and
Associate Professor Full
Professor
(N)
1-4 Children
28
72
( 57)
5+ Children
63
37
( 8)
X2 = 3.7, p <
.05 (at 3.84)


74
A second hypothesis advanced by Blau and Duncan (1967:
300) was that only children achieve even more than children
from small families regardless of the birth order of the
latter. When we looked at present academic rank by age by
family size for the only children among the respondents, we
found that there was no greater achievement for only child
ren than for respondents with siblings.
TABLE IV-11
PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS WHO ARE
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS BY AGE FOR ONLY CHILDREN
COMPARED TO RESPONDENTS WITH SIBLINGS
(Assistant
Professors)
AGE GROUPS
Only Children
With Siblings
23-35
95
90
36+
5
10
(N)
(36)
(140)
X2 is not significant
PERCENT
ASSOCIATE
CHILDREN
TABLE IV-12
DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS WHO ARE
: AND FULL PROFESSORS BY AGE FOR ONLY
COMPARED TO RESPONDENTS WITH SIBLINGS
(Associate and
Full Professors)
AGE GROUPS
Only Children
With Siblings
23-35
37
43
36+
63
57
(N)
(61)
(257)
X2 not significant


75
Tables IV-11 and IV-12 showed that women who were only child
ren did not attain significantly higher ranks than their age
cohorts with siblings.
A third hypothesis advanced by Blau and Duncan (1967:
300) is that men from small families started higher and ad
vanced further in their careers than those from large fami
lies. Did this hold for women as well? Our indicator of
"starting higher" was the school ranking of the institution
from which the woman received her Ph.D. Table IV-13 shows
the results of the cross-tabulation of number of siblings
with school rank.
TABLE IV-13
PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF NUMBER OF CHILDREN
IN FAMILY OF ORIENTATION BY RANK OF
SCHOOL WHERE ATTAINED PH.D.
NUMBER OF
SCHOOL
RANKING
CHILDREN
Excellent
Very Good
Good Not
Ranked
(N)
1-4 Children
70
12
7
12
(427)
5+ Children
69
10
10
12
( 52)
= .641 (not significant)
For our sample, women from small families did not start out
at higher ranked schools than those from larger families.
We have already shown that women from smaller families did
eventually attain higher rank than those from larger families,


76
parallelling the second part of the Blau and Duncan findings.
In sum, we have seen that family size did affect achieve
ment for our women. First of all, most of the respondents
came from families of smaller size than their cohorts in the
population. Second, those from smaller families eventually
attained higher rank than those from larger families. When
the only children were considered separately, they followed
the small family trend. No advantage was found for any par
ticular family size with regard to rank of school attended.
Perhaps this is a reflection on the superior quality of the
total sample.
Birth Order and Achievement
Most of the research linking ordinal position and
achievement has tested male subjects. Sometimes, the find
ings for males have been generalized to both sexes. (See
Chapter I.) In our theoretical argument, it was agreed that
birth order would affect achievement; however, the automatic
translation of the results for men into those for women was
avoided. In fact, we suggested that birth order might have
a different meaning for men than for women. We suggested
that a large percentage of youngest daughters might achieve,
rather than those who were eldest. We also hypothesized that
birth order may have had different meanings within different


77
contextsspecifically within the all-female versus the
mixed-sex family. Other hypotheses to be tested related to
the advantages of coming from the extreme positions in the
family, rather than being a middle child. The remainder of
this chapter will be concerned with the effect of ordinal
position on females as reflected by our sample of female
achievers.
The general findings on birth order for the total sample
were mentioned in Chapter III. There we noted a large pro
portion of first-born and only children, as well as a repli
cation of Astin's (1969) finding that there was an unusually
high percentage of children born fourth or later, and that
27 percent were the youngest of their families after the
elimination of the only children from the tabulations.
Table IV-14 shows the disproportionate number of eldest child
ren in the sample after elimination of the only children.
For this table, the expected frequencies within family size
were calculated using a probability model. Thus, the pro
bability of being a middle child in a three-child family was
one third. Two-child families were not included in the table
Within the two-child families, 54 percent of the respondents
were oldest and 46 percent youngest.


78
TABLE IV-14
PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS WHO ARE OLDEST,
MIDDLE AND YOUNGEST CHILDREN BY NUMBER OF SIBLINGS
(WITHOUT ONLY CHILDREN)
POSITION
NUMBER OF SIBLINGS
3 4 5
Oldest
45
39
47
Middle
27
42
33
Youngest
27
19
20
(N)
(102)
(62)
(15)
X2 = 19.52, p <.001 (d.f. = 4)
Let us now consider if birth order affected girls dif-
r
ferentially within the context of different sex structures
of the nuclear family. Did the eldest have a greater advan
tage if she came from a mixed-sex or an all-female sibling
family?
TABLE IV-15
BIRTH ORDER OF RESPONDENTS BY SIBLING SEX
COMPOSITION AFTER ELIMINATING ONLY CHILDREN
(in percent )
SEX COMPOSITION Eldest Not Eldest
Mixed-sex
42
58
(261)
50
50
(137)
All-Female


79
It appears from Table IV-15 that it was a greater advantage
to be an eldest daughter in an all-female sibling family
than in a mixed-sex sibling family. However, this could be
accounted for by remembering that the all-female sibling
families were smaller than the mixed-sex sibling families,
thus giving a greater a priori probability of not being
eldest. The expected relationship between being first-born
and achieving held for our women, and sex structure of the
sibling group did not affect it.
We looked at the comparative percentages of youngest
children within the context of all-female and mixed-sex
families of orientation for our sample.
TABLE IV-16
IS RESPONDENT YOUNGEST SIBLING BY SIBLING SEX
COMPOSITION OF FAMILY OF ORIENTATION
(EXCLUDING ONLY CHILDREN)
(in percent )
SEX COMPOSITION
Mixed-Sex
All-Female
Not youngest
64
63
Youngest
36
37
(N)
(264)
(134)
Table IV-16 shows no difference in placement origin for the
respondents on the basis of sex structure of the nuclear
family. Blau and Duncan (1967:307) suggested that children


80
in extreme positions are the most successful. Moreover,
they stated that this relationship held regardless of socio
economic status, family size, or the existence of an older
brother. For our total sample, we had the following distri
bution by position: 18 percent only children; 36 percent
eldest (excluding only children); 18 percent middle children;
and 27 percent youngest children (excluding only children).
Of course, for the 36 percent who came from two-child fami
lies, there was no possibility of being a middle child.
Using school rank as an indicator of achievement, we
tabulated the distribution of ordinal position of the respond
ents among the school ranks.
TABLE IV-17
ORDINAL POSITION OF THE RESPONDENT BY
RANK OF SCHOOL WHERE RECEIVED PH.D.
(in percent )
ORDINAL
POSITION
Excellent
SCHOOL
Very Good
RANKING
Good
Not Ranked
(N)
First-born
67.4
14.8
6.4
11.4
(264)
Second-born
72.0
5.4
13.2
9.3
(129)
Third-born
77.6
6.1
12.2
4.1
( 49)
Fourth-born
55.6
7.4
22.2
14.8
( 27)
Fifth-born
40.0
60.0
0
0
( 5)
Sixth-born
82.0
0
9.0
9.0
( ID
From Table IV-17, it did not appear that oldest children or
only children had higher achievement than the middle child
ren in our sample. Perhaps this was due to a screening


81
effect discussed by Blau and Duncan (1967:308-9). Male
middle children who had made it past the bachelor degree
were apt to be more successful in graduate school than those
from smaller families. In effect, then, the B.A. was the
biggest hurdle for a middle child to accomplish. Only the
truly superior ones made it, since they often had less emo
tional or financial support from their families than first
borns did. If this applied to women who chose to achieve
in 'masculine' terms, then our women, who were all past the
doctoral level, were reflecting this phenomenon. There
were less middle children than eldest or youngest in the
sample because less female middle children made it past the
B.A. than those in other positions. However, those that made
it past the bachelor degree went to schools of at least as
high a rank as any other group in the sample. This same
selection pattern is mirrored by the high ranks of institu
tions where our respondents received their Ph.D.'s compared
to male doctorates. Fewer women than men made it past the
B.A., but those who did often excelled in graduate school
(see Chapter III).
In sum, among our sample of female achievers there were
a high proportion of first-born and only children, as well
as of youngest children. However, ordinal position did not


82
have different meanings for women from families of different
sibling types. In fact, it had no meaning in terms of
achievement within the sample. Middle children were less
likely to make it through graduate school, but those who did
attain the Ph.D. achieved at least as well as their peers
who were first-born or youngest children.


CHAPTER V
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Through this study of female achievement, we set out
to explore a part of the socialization process which gives
impetus to a woman to achieve through a career instead of
or in addition to marriage. Our specific focus was the
effect of the sex composition of the sibling group of the
nuclear family of the respondents and the consequences of
the make-up of that sibling group for the achievement goals
of the parents. The 'push' toward achievement was assumed
to come originally and most powerfully from the parents.
Our analysis of the data, then, was really an analysis of
the countervailing forces at work on the parents and dir
ecting the parents' effect on the daughters. Those forces
influencing the parents which emerged during the study were
extent of ideological commitment to traditional sex-role
definitions and belonging to a minority or immigrant group
which made the need for achieving the American dream more
urgent.
Our more specific findings included the following.
First, socio-economic status of the family of orientation
83


84
was related to achievement. The respondents came overwhelm
ingly from middle class families. Their parents were highly
educated, middle income couples. Their fathers had presti
gious occupations. Second, the women in our sample very
often had diversified models of the female role. Many of
their mothers worked after they had childrenand they
worked out of choice at occupations of higher status than
their age cohorts. Not only did their mothers work for
salary, but also as volunteers in community organizations.
Often they were active members or leaders of these community
groups while having full-time jobs. Third, our respondents
came from urban environments. Fourth, at least one third
of them were consciously part of ethnic groups. Fifth, they
came from stable homes where both parents were present while
they were growing up. More than 95 percent of those who
mentioned relationships with parents and the parental influ
ence on their pursuit of an academic career in their comments
at the end of the questionnaire felt that their parents were
a positive influence on their decision.
The analysis of the hypotheses concerning the relation
ships between sex structure of the sibling group in the nu
clear family of the respondents, family size, and ordinal
position, and female achievement yielded the following results.


85
For the sample as a whole, there were no significant differ
ences in sex composition of sibling groups for female
achievers. However, when the respondents were compared by-
ethnicity of parents and by religious groupings, dispropor
tionate percentages of all-female sibling families emerged
for certain groups. Thus, among Jews there were a dispropor
tionate number of all-female sibling families for three and
four child families. For those who were affiliated with
ethnic groups, those who came from Western and Northern Eur
ope came disproportionately from all-female sibling families
for families of size three, four and five. The finding pre
viously noted for "religious" Jews also held true for "ethnic"
Jews. We have already discussed the possible linkage of the
findings for Jews and for children of immigrants from North
ern and Western Europe in Chapter IV. We speculated that
when couples from groups with low fertility rates continue
to have children in order to have a son, and don't succeed,
this leads to a push toward achievement for one of the
daughters. We found that ,as in the case of men, family size
had an effect on achievement. Our women came disproportion
ately from small families, compared with their age cohorts
in the census. While no advantage was found for any parti
cular family size in terms of rank of school attended for
the doctoral degree, eventual achievement of higher profes-


86
sional rank was related to small family size. This was un
like the finding for birth order where those who were in
the extreme positions were most likely to have attained a
doctoral degree, but, once possessing the degree, their at
tainment within their fields was unrelated to ordinal posi
tion.
Throughout the analysis, comparisons within the sample
were made by sub-field. While these comparisons were inter
esting, especially with regard to the demographic data, the
primary finding resulting from their use was that choice of
field was not related to structural factors in the nuclear
family, but to other, later forces in the respondents' lives.
Finally, there emerged from our data a composite portrait
of the life style of our respondents today. The two thirds
that were married most often had only one marriage. Their
husbands were as educated as they and shared their interest
and involvement in the academic community. They have mar
ried later and had fewer children than their age cohorts
in the census, but they seem to be successfully combining
family life, motherhood, and academic careers. Their hus
bands most often came from homes where their mothers worked
while raising children. Together, these couples are pro
viding the same kind of diversified female sex-role models


87
for their children of both sexes that their mothers often
provided for them.
Future research on the effect of variant sibling sex
compositions of nuclear families can be broadened in several
ways. First, in order to perform a more direct test of the
links between sibling sex structure of the nuclear family
parental ideology, and female achievement, it would be
useful to do a study of parent-daughter combinations. Such
a study would include actual measures of ideological com
mitment to traditional definitions of sex-role by the
parents. A second facit of a direct test of our hypothesis
would be the introduction of a control group of non
achieving women, rather than the use of the census cohort
of the respondents as a pseudo control group. A third way
of enriching future studies of female achievement is to
study women who have been successful in areas other than
academia. Such women would include business executives,
artists, professionals, and politicians. One cannot gen
eralize results of a study of academic women to success
ful women in all fields of endeavor. Fourth, the meaning
of identification with an ethnic group, a minority group,
or an immigrant group should be explored further. Finally,
a parallel study should be carried out of all-male sibling


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INGEST IEID E8FDDB42H_VFRZLY INGEST_TIME 2011-11-02T15:36:33Z PACKAGE AA00004934_00001
AGREEMENT_INFO ACCOUNT UF PROJECT UFDC
FILES


THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NUCLEAR FAMILY
STRUCTURE AND FEMALE ACHIEVEMENT
By
RELA GEFFEN MONSON
J
A DISSERTATION PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE COUNCIL OF THE
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY
UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
1972

For Michael and Uri Zvi

AC KNOWL EDG EMENT S
I owe the attainment of this degree to many people who
encouraged me throughout the years. First, were my parents,
who encouraged their own youngest of two girls to become an
'achiever.' Second, was my husband, Michael, who for eight
years has never known a wife who was not also a student, and
who provided moral, emotional and financial support through¬
out difficult years. Third, to my teachers, too numerous
to mention by name, and especially to the members of my doc¬
toral committee at the University of Florida, I say thank-
you. Finally, to the chairman of my doctoral committee,
Dr. Benjamin Gorman, a wish that I may be as generous with
myself to future students as he has been to me.
Philadelphia, Pa. Reía G. Monson
November, 1972
iii

TABLE OF CONTENTS
Page
Acknowledgements iii
List of Tables v
Abstract ix
Chapter I - Theoretical Background 1
Chapter II - Methodology of the Study 12
Chapter III - The Demographic Background of
the Respondents 28
Chapter IV - Testing Hypotheses 60
Chapter V - Summary and Conclusions 83
References 91
Appendix 96
Biographical Sketch 138
IV

LIST OF TABLES
Table
III-l
III-2
III-3
III-4
T
III-5
III-6
III-7
III-8
III-9
Page
Ethnic Affiliation of Fathers of Respondents 31
by Field of Respondents (in percent)
Number of Siblings in Family of Orientation 33
of Respondents by Field of Respondents (in
percent)
Religious Affiliation of Fathers by Field of 35
Respondents and for Total U.S. (in percent)
Respondents' Fathers' Educational Attainment 37
Compared with that of 35-44 Year Old Heads
of Household in 1940 and 1950 (in percent)
Fathers' Income Rank by Field of Respondents 39
(in percent)
Major Occupation Group of Head of Household q 40
for 1940 and 1950 for Ages 35-44 Compared
With Distribution of Respondents' Fathers
(in percent)
Percent of Respondents Whose Mothers Worked 42
Outside the Home After Marriage and Percent
of Respondents Whose Mothers Worked While
the Respondents Were Growing Up
Percent of Respondents Whose Mothers Worked 43
Outside the Home While They Were Growing Up
by Field of Respondent
Occupations of Respondents' Mothers Compared 45
With All Females in the Labor Force 14 Years
Old and Over Classified into Social-Economic
Groups, 1940, for the United States (in per¬
cent)
v

Table Page
III-10 Community Involvement of Mothers by Field 47
of Daughters (in percent)
III-ll Percent of Mothers Who Worked After Children 47
by Community Involvement of Mother
III-12 Ranks of Graduate Faculties in Fields of 51
Respondents for Universities Where They
Attained the Ph.D. (in percent)
III-13 Present Academic Ranks of Respondents Con- 51
trolled for Imputed Age (in percent)
III-14 Marriage and Divorce Rates by Field of Re- 52
spondent (in percent)
III-15 Academic Achievement of Husbands by Field 54
of Wife
IV—1 Percentage Distribution of Sibling Sex Compo- 61
sition of Nuclear Family of Respondents Com¬
pared with Theoretical Expected Percentages
IV-2 Sibling Sex Composition of Respondents' Fami- 62
lies and of Theoretical Population by Family
Size (in percent)
IV-3 Sibling Sex Composition of Family of Orienta- 63
tion by Field of Specialization of Respondents
(in percent)
IV-4 Percent Distribution of Family Size by Field 63
of Respondents
IV-5 Percent Distribution of Sibling Sex Composi- 65
tion of Family of Orientation by Religion of
Mother of Respondent
IV-6 Percent All-Female Sibling Families of Re- 66
spondents by Family Size by Religion of
Father, Compared with Hypothetical Distri¬
bution
vi

Table
Page
IV-7 Number of Siblings by Sibling Sex Composi- 67
tion of Respondents' Families, Controlling
for Ethnicity of Father and Compared with
Hypothetical All-Female Sibling Distribution
and Total Percent of Those Who Checked Any
Ethnic Affiliation Who Are From All-Female
Sibling Families
IV-8 Present Academic Rank for Respondents Ages 73
23-35 by Family Size (in percent)
IV-9 Present Academic Rank for Respondents Ages 73
36-45 by Family Size (in percent)
IV-10 Present Academic Rank for Respondents Ages 73
46-70 by Family Size (in percent)
IV—11 Percent Distribution of Respondents Who Are 74
Assistant Professors by Age for Only Children
Compared to Respondents With Siblings
IV-12 Percent Distribution of Respondents Who Are 74
Associate and Full Professors by Age for Only
Children Compared to Respondents With Siblings
IV-13 Percent Distribution of Number of Children in 75
Family of Orientation by Rank of School Where
Attained Ph.D.
IV-14 Percent Distribution of Respondents Who Are 78
Oldest, Middle, and Youngest Children by
Number of Siblings (Without Only Children)
IV-15 Birth Order of Respondents by Sibling Sex 78
Composition After Eliminating Only Children
(in percent)
IV-16 Is Respondent Youngest Sibling by Sibling Sex 79
Composition of Family of Orientation (Exclud¬
ing Only Children) (in percent)
vii

Table
Page
IV-17 Ordinal Position of the Respondent by Rank
of School Where Received Ph.D. (in percent )
viii
80

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the
Graduate Council of the University of Florida in
Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the
Degree of Doctor of Philosophy
THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN NUCLEAR FAMILY
STRUCTURE AND FEMALE ACHIEVEMENT
By
Rela Geffen Monson
December, 1972
Chairman: Benjamin Gorman
Major Department: Sociology
This study explores the linkages between nuclear family
structure and female achievement- Special emphasis is placed
on the dynamics of the all-female sibling family, family
size, and the meaning of ordinal position for women. It is
asserted that coming from an all-female sibling family will
be positively related to achievement, due to the resolution
by parents in favor of female achievement of the conflict
between traditional sex-role definitions and the fulfillment
of the "American Dream" through the upward mobility of their
children. A 70 percent return rate to a mailed questionnaire
IX

yielded a sample of 485 women Ph.D.'s who held the rank of
assistant professor or above in universities granting graduate
degrees in their fields. The women came from the fields of
psychology, sociology, biology, and chemistry. Internal com¬
parisons were then possible between achievers in the social
and natural sciences. In addition, census cohorts and hypo¬
thetical distributions of sibling sex composition of families
of different sizes were used for comparison with the achievers.
The mailed questionnaire contained no attitudinal items, but
requested specific information concerning the structure of
the nuclear family, the socio-economic status of the family
of orientation of the respondents, maternal employment, and
a description of the family of procreation including details
of husband's education and occupation. Over 70 percent of
the women wrote comments on their family backgrounds and aca¬
demic careers on the back of the instrument. These data were
coded and utilized in the analysis.
A summary of the findings follows. First, middle class
socio-economic status of the family of orientation was posi¬
tively related to achievement. Second, maternal employment
was related to achievement. Diversified female role models
were also provided by mothers who were active in voluntary
x

community organizations. Nearly half of the mothers worked
while their daughters were growing up. Many were active
outside the home in paid jobs as well as in voluntary asso¬
ciations. Third, the respondents came overwhelmingly from
small families in urban environments. There were a dispro¬
portionate number of Jews. Fourth, one third reported con¬
scious identification with an ethnic group. Fifth, they came
from stable homes where both parents were present while they
were growing up. All of the above general findings held for
women in both the social and natural sciences.
For the sample as a whole, there were no significant
differences in sex composition of sibling groups for female
achievers. However, when compared by ethnicity of parents
and by religious groupings, disproportionate percentages of
all-female sibling families emerged for certain groups and
family sizes. Among Jews there were a disportionate number
of all-female sibling families for three and four children
families. For affiliates with ethnic groups, those from
Western and Northern Europe came disproportionately from all¬
female sibling families for families of size three, four,
and five. Though the women came disproportionately from
small families, family size was not linked to rank of school
xi

attended for doctoral study. Eventual achievement of higher
professional rank was linked to small size of family of
orientation. With regard to ordinal position, those who
were in extreme positions were more likely to have been
achievers in the first place, but once possessing the doc¬
toral degree, their attainment within their fields was un¬
related to ordinal position.
The composite portrait of the life style of the aca¬
demic women which emerged from the study was of women suc¬
cessfully combining academic careers with marriage and
motherhood. Future research measuring ideological commit¬
ment to traditional sex-role definitions by parents of fe¬
male achievers and the meaning of identification with min¬
ority and immigrant groups for achievement was suggested.
In addition, a parallel study of parental attitude toward
male sex-role definitions in all-male sibling families was
suggested.
Xll

CHAPTER I
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
The sociologist chooses and delineates his area of study
within the boundaries of societal conceptions of his subject
matter area. American society is highly concerned with its
open-class qualities which lead to the dream of upward mobil¬
ity for all. Study of the structural, and cultural factors
which lead to achievement of particular groups within the
society, or the lack of achievement by others, has been a
focus of research. However, these studies have most often
concentrated on achievement of men and have ignored women.
Perhaps the paucity of meaningful data on female achievement
is due to sex-role definitions which persist in our society
and which, in effect, define achievement as an aspect of
the male role. This theory of sex-role is best expressed
in the Parsonian (Parsons,1955:23) formulation of the di¬
vision of labor by sex within the family, with the woman
performing the expressive role while the man is the instru¬
mental leader. This study is specifically concerned with
the linkages between nuclear family structure and female
1

2
achievement. Special emphasis will be placed on the dynam¬
ics of the all-female sibling family, as well as the mean¬
ing of birth order for women.
We will begin with the hypothesis that parents have a
great effect on the socialization of their children, includ¬
ing children's achievement orientation and motivation. In
a recent survey of the sociological literature on the family
in the last decade (Walters and Stinnett,1971:120) it is
noted that
Consensus existed among the studies reviewed that
academic achievement, leadership, and creative
thinking of children was positively related to warm,
accepting, understanding, and autonomy-granting
parent-child relationships. The studies also indi¬
cate that parents of children who are high academic
achievers tend to value and encourage academic
achievement.
In his discussion of family structure and educational at¬
tainment, Elder (1969:51) puts it succinctly:
Family structure is one of the more important de¬
terminants of achievement motivation and skills.
Many of the personal qualities and skills that en¬
able children to meet standards of excellence ...
are acquired in parent-child relations providing
guidance and yet allowing the child freedom to
develop independent mastery and responsible deci¬
sion-making.
We assert that parents have certain role expectations
for sons and daughters and that these expectations usually
differ. This is so despite the fact that boys and girls

3
are often exposed to similar educational situations. Child¬
ren's perceptions of the desirability of certain sex-linked
activities have been studied even in five year olds (Fauls
and Smith,1956:105-17). In that study, five year olds of
both sexes were shown a series of paired pictures showing
a sex-appropriate and a sex-inappropriate activity. Both
their personal preferences and their beliefs about the acti¬
vity that mother and father would prefer for boys and girls
were investigated. Boys chose 'masculine' activities more
often than girls did, and children of both sexes indicated
that the parents preferred the activities appropriate to the
child's sex more often than the sex-inappropriate activities.
This issue of sex-role learning is discussed in a broad way
by Williams (1970:80) where he states that
It is a commonplace observation that in our culture
there are many similarities in the values parents
attempt to develop in boys and girls, for example,
independence and social maturity. But there are im¬
portant differences also. Girls are more likely
than boys to emphasize being well liked; to value
interpersonal harmony and success; to stress the
"tender virtues" of kindness, consideration, sympathy,
and understanding; to attach great importance to
moral values and aesthetic considerations.
Our society is a success oriented one. Achievement mo¬
tivation is considered crucial to maturity, and parents
dream and scheme for the upward mobility of their offspring.

4
As Williams (1970:454-5) notes ,
All societies have standards of character and pro¬
ficiency, and accord rewards to those best meeting
whatever standards are most highly appraised, whe¬
ther of military prowess, ritual knowledge, asceti¬
cism, piety, or whatnot. The comparatively strik¬
ing feature of American culture is its tendency to
identify standards of personal excellence with com¬
petitive occupational achievement.
Indeed, parents who themselves are successful in a limited
way or who have personally defined their own experience as
failure "may mute their original goal-emphasis and may defer
further efforts to reach the goal, attempting to reach it
vicariously through their children" (Merton,1961:159). In
accord with this desire for achievement and the differential
expectations for boys and girls, parents usually project
this expectation upon their sons rather than their daughters.
This fact is documented well by the psychological and socio¬
logical literature on achievement which deals almost exclu¬
sively with the origins of achievement orientation in males.
The acknowledged classics in the field, for example, the
study by Rosen and D'Andrade (1969) of the "Psychosocial
Origins of Achievement Motivation," concern males only. In
a discussion of this same point, Matina Horner, a psycholo¬
gist, (1970:50) states that:
Even more striking is the absence of any mention of
achievement motivation by McClelland (1961). Using

5
evidence from vases, flags, doodles, and children's
books, he was able to study achievement motivation
in such diverse samples as Indians, Quakers, and
Ancient Greeks but not in women. This was not an
oversight ... there are in fact not many meaningful
data.
We have already speculated that the lack of meaningful data
is due to the linkage of the ideal of achievement with the
male role. We argue that despite this sex-role stereotype,
the parents' desire for achievement on the part of their
children is so strong that in the absence of a male child
the parents will allow, encourage, or push daughters into
the achievement role. Psathas (1968:260-1) suggests that
»
The rationale for the present consideration of sib¬
lings together with family finances lies in the
view that education and training can be expensive,
that work is generally defined as being the primary
responsibility of males and that consequently, be¬
cause education is seen as a major determinant of
social mobility, the education of sons for occupa¬
tions is expected to predominate over that for
daughters. Thus, with given levels of income, the
chances of a girl entering an occupation that in¬
volves expensive and lengthy preparation will de¬
pend on the presence or absence of male siblings,
their proximity in age and their birth order in re¬
lation to the girl.
In summary, one of our hypotheses is that coming from an all -
female sibling family will be positively related to achieve¬
ment. Within this framework, birth order and family size
may determine which sister achieves. This hypothesis sug¬
gests that it is the structural variables rather than per-

6
sonality traits which lead to achievement motivation in fe¬
males, and affirms the primacy of sociological over psycho¬
logical determination.
In an article which summarizes the decade's research
(Walters and Stinnett,1971:123-4), the importance of ordinal
position is noted.
The literature indicates that parental responses to
children are a function of the ordinal position of
the child and size of the family. The findings sug¬
gest that parents tend to be more supportive of and
also tend to exert more pressure for achievement
upon first-born children.
Since most of the work on birth order concerns males only,
the effect of ordinal position on females is unclear. Some
theorists (Epstein,1970:79; Kammayer,1966) suggest that be¬
ing first-born works against the autonomy of the girl.
Parents might be more apt to chart a known course
for their first-born; and for women in most cases
this would be a traditionally defined sex role ...
the older daughter might easily become a surrogate
mother in her family. (Epstein,1970:79)
Kammayer (1966:508-16) found that first-born girls are more
traditionally oriented toward the female role. However, he
never specified whether his first-born girls who were more
oriented toward traditional roles came from mixed-sex sib¬
lings or all female families. In a study of birth order
and responsibility (Harris and Howard,1968) the most consis-

7
tent finding was that the first of sex—in comparison with
the later of sex—endorsed an earlier age for assumption of
responsibilities on the part of children. Also, "As a
group, the girls gave earlier responsibility and indepen¬
dence scores than did the boys" (Harris and Howard,1968:
431). This factor operated independently of birth order.
The authors then go on to attribute seriousness of purpose
and career commitment for first of sex males to high respon¬
sibility orientation. They ignore the anomalous finding for
females of higher responsibility scores and lower career
commitment. The above data suggest that birth order may
have a different meaning for males than for females and
within the context of an all-female versus a mixed-sex sib¬
ling structure.
Ordinal position may be linked to achievement for fe¬
males, but as implied above the advantages of being the
eldest are unclear. In fact, it may be that the youngest
in all-female sibling families is the most likely to
achieve. Her definition by the parents as the last child
entails the recognition that they must fulfill their
achievement desires through a daughter. The elder sisters
may have already been socialized to a more traditional fe¬
male role, leaving the youngest the most latitude as to

8
role definitions. We hypothesize some patterned relation¬
ship between ordinal position and achievement within the
all-female structural context. However, the exact nature
of this relationship and its similarities and divergences
from that of men's birth order and achievement is left to
emerge from the data.
Two other major relationships are to be investigated.
The first concerns the relationship between family of orien¬
tation's socio-economic background and female achievement.
Secondly, we anticipate a positive relationship between ma-
t
ternal employment and female achievement. We expect that
most achievers come from middle-class backgrounds. Indices
of this background which are commonly used in the literature
are the education of the parents, the income level of the
family, and the occupation of the father. Higher levels of
education, income, and occupational rank are positively re¬
lated to achievement (Turner,1962; Psathas,1968; Sewell and
Shah,1968). Walters and Stinnett (1971:24) state that
The literature indicates that basic differences
exist in parent-child relationships according to
social class which reflect different living con¬
ditions. The studies generally indicate that
middle-class parents tend to be both more suppor¬
tive and controlling of their children, and that
they are more likely to discipline their children
by utilizing reason and appeals to guilt and are
less likely to use physical punishment than are
lower-class parents.

9
It is clear that social access to the means for achievement
in American society is unequally distributed. Wealth, race,
social status, and sex all have an effect on opportunities.
Values vary in different segments of society as well, values
that are passed on from parents to children. Coser (1969:
xi, xiii), in her introduction to Life Cycle and Achievement
in America, notes that
Insistence on character building and personality
growth governs the outlook of the middle and upper-
middle class parents, who prepare their children
for occupations in the professions and executive
work ... Child-rearing practices that are focused
on the use of external authority not only are con¬
gruent with the occupational roles available to
the members of the working class but also help to
de-emphasize the notion of individual achievement.
We expect to find a relationship between middle-class status
of the nuclear family and female achievement. Female
achievers' backgrounds should include parents with higher
educational background than their peers, fathers with higher
income than their peers, and father and mothers whose occu¬
pations were in the upper status ranks of the American stra¬
tification system.
Maternal employment has often been viewed in the past
as detrimental to the stability of the home, and to chil¬
dren's development. However, a recent compilation of 22
empirical studies on the employed mother (Nye and Hoffman,

10
1963) has shown that maternal employment has no unfavorable
effects on children. The important factors are the mother's
reasons for working, the quality of the care which the chil¬
dren receive in her absence, and the attitudes of her hus¬
band. Our concern is with the positive relationship between
maternal employment and female achievement. In his study
of Life Styles of Educated Women, Ginzberg (1966:29-30) ex¬
plored the employment backgrounds of the mothers of his re¬
spondents and the effects of such employment on them. He
found that the greatest influence was reported by women whose
mothers had worked after they were married.
In fact 2 out of every 3 girls whose mothers had
worked after marriage reported that this had an
effect on their own plans. Almost all saw the in¬
fluence as positive. While they were growing up
they looked forward to emulating their mothers
and combining home and work.
Our study explores the variables of maternal employment after
marriage and maternal employment while raising children.
Several other studies (Psathas,1968; Astin,1969; Almquist
and Angrist,1970; Hannon,1972) have found positive relation¬
ships between having a working mother and the subsequent
decision by their daughters to include work and homemaking
in their own lifestyles. We also explore the community ac¬
tivism of the mothers of our respondents. Our supposition
is that voluntary community involvem nt could provide a

11
model of a broader female role than homemaker for daughters,
just as the outside work of a mother for remuneration does.
Finally, we speculate that achieving women who combine the
roles of domesticity and career may be married to men whose
mothers have worked. Such men, we feel, would tend to be
more supportive of their wives careers than the sons of women
who did not work after marriage.
We have introduced the major foci of our study: nuclear
family structure of the achieving female, socio-economic
background of her family, type of role model provided her
by her mother, and type of spouse role-expectations provided
her husband by his mother. We shall now turn to the metho¬
dological approach used to collect the data needed for test¬
ing our hypotheses.

CHAPTER II
METHODOLOGY OF THE STUDY
Our study of female achievement necessitated the col¬
lection of specific information about the nuclear family
structure of women who were achievers. In addition, we
needed some data on their families of procreation. Inher¬
ent in the previous statements was the need to define the
term 'achievers' so that the parameters of our population
would be clear, and an appropriate sampling frame could be
devised. The population defined was one which consisted of
all women fulfilling certain criteria within several fields
of academia. The academic community was chosen for study
because it internally specifies several criteria of achieve¬
ment. The first of these is the doctoral degree, and the
second is the rank-title scale used for professors. Our
sample was restricted to those holding doctorates and current
employment in an academic institution which had a graduate
program in the specialty of the women to be sampled. The
percent of women who had met these standards of achievement
in the academic world was small. Thus, the ones who had
12

13
'made it' in the academic world could be assumed to have
exceptional persistence and ambition and could clearly be
called achievers. Women were to be chosen from four sub¬
fields within the university: two social sciences and two
natural sciences. This decision was based on the notion
that women who chose careers in fields considered 'most
masculine' by society as a whole would be an 'ideal type'
of achieving females and might differ systematically from
those who achieved in fields more socially acceptable for
women. The specific natural and social sciences were chosen
partially because of the availability of directories of
their members which facilitated contact with them through
the mails. The women chosen from the four fields were
viewed as members of four sub-samples of the population of
women who had achieved through academic careers.
We decided to select a national sample in the interest
of broad applicability of results. In order to reach a
large number of women with limited financial resources at
our disposal, we utilized a mailed questionnaire which was
simple and brief. The selection of women from the four sub¬
fields of psychology, sociology, biology, and chemistry in¬
sured that some meaningful comparison groups would be built
into the sample, though a control group of non-achievers
was not to be sampled.

14
Sampling Procedure
The psychology sample was drawn from the 1970 biograph¬
ical directory published by the American Psychological Asso¬
ciation. Graduate departments were marked off in the section
which divides the membership by schools. Schools which
granted graduate degrees were ascertained through Graduate
Study in Psychology 1971-72. which is also published by the
American Psychological Association. Pages to be used were
selected by three"digit random numbers taken from a table
of random numbers. These pages were from the geographical
and institutional directory of membership found in the back
of the larger directory. All schools on the page so chosen
had all of their female Ph.D.'s with a rank of assistant
professor or above selected for the sample. Each name se¬
lected was checked in the biographical section of the direc¬
tory in order to eliminate all those below the rank of as¬
sistant professor, with foreign degrees, or with degrees in
education. We continued sampling pages until 225 were se¬
lected. Of these, 27 had doctorates in education and were
eliminated from the sample leaving 198. The problem of
names will be discussed later for all the groups together.
The decision to eliminate those with foreign degrees from
consideration was based on the assumption that socialization

15
patterns differ in different cultures, and that those with
degrees from abroad were likely to have been raised with
different sex-role definitions and expectations than our
American sample. Thus, leaving them in might bias the
sample. Those who were raised in foreign countries and who
went to graduate school in the United States were eliminated
later when returned questionnaires revealed that they at¬
tended high school abroad. (See upcoming section on return
rate.)
The sociology sample was drawn from Guide to Graduate
Departments of Sociology 1971, which is a publication of the
American Sociological Association. The sample consisted of
all women listed in the guide who had their doctorates in
sociology and the necessary rank of assistant professor or
above. Thus, women with joint appointments with other de¬
partments were selected for the sample if a check with the
larger American Sociological Association membership directory
showed them to be members of the association and to have com¬
pleted their graduate degrees in sociology. A total of 206
women were selected in this manner.
The chemistry sample was originally drawn from the
International Chemistry Directory 1969-70. It included all
women listed in the directory who met the aforementioned

16
criteria of achievement in chemistry. This list was then
cross-checked with the American Chemical Society Directory
of Graduate Research, 1969, and the 147 women in schools
with graduate programs were selected out of the original
list. The women teaching in colleges of osteopathy were
included in the sample although they did not appear in the
graduate directory. Because of the shortage of women in
graduate departments of chemistry, those in chemistry and
biochemistry were included as long as.they were listed in
the American Chemical Society directory.
The biology sample was drawn from the Annual Guides
to Graduate Study, 1971, Book II; Biological and Health
Related Sciences. Women were selected from the following
sections: virology, botany, cellular and molecular biology,
microbiology, genetics programs, pathology, physiology, and
zoology. They were chosen through random selection of pages
using a three-digit random number from a table of random
numbers. All women on a page (one school) were then se¬
lected for the sample. In this manner 212 women were cho¬
sen .
In the selection procedure in all fields certain first
names were automatically eliminated because they are given
to both men and women. Thus, people with the names of Lynn,

17
Jean, Francis, and Marion were not selected for the sample.
(Despite this precaution, we received notes from 13 males
who were kind enough to specify their sex and to let us know
that they should be eliminated from the sample.)
The completed list of 762 respondents was then com¬
piled. Each was given an identification number in which
the first digit signified field of expertise. Question¬
naires were mailed to them at their university addresses.
It was felt that respondents were more apt to answer mail
received at their offices. Also, university addresses were
more permanent than home addresses and secretarial help
would lead to forwarding of questionnaires to those on leave
or at new posts.
The Final Sample—Return Rate
The questionnaires were mailed out on March 1, 1972.
In all, 762 were mailed with the following breakdown: 198
psychologists, 206 sociologists, 146 chemists and 212 bio¬
logists. The mailing was timed so that there would be ade¬
quate time for response before spring vacations. The re¬
sponse was swift and gratifying. Of the questionnaires later
judged usable for the study, 457 or 94 percent had been re¬
turned by March 30, 1972. The response rate was computed

18
for each of the fields and for the total sample. Several
factors were taken into account. Questionnaires which were
returned with notes stating that the respondents were male
were eliminated from the sample size. Those who specified
that they had attended high school abroad were also elimin¬
ated. Three were returned with notes stating that the re¬
spondents were deceased. These were also eliminated as were
retirees and professors-emeritus who wrote back and stated
that they did not wish to fill out the questionnaire. Those
who sent letters of refusal or whose instruments were re¬
turned by the post office as wrong addresses were tabulated
but kept in the sample size. Here are the results of this
tabulation by field.
Of the 198 psychologists who were mailed questionnaires,
124 returned usable ones. In addition there were 13 wrong
addresses, 3 foreigners, 1 male, 2 retirees, and one who re¬
fused to fill out the instrument. Thus, a total of 144 re¬
spondents were accounted for. The final sample size after
eliminating foreigners, males and retirees was 192. This
yields a 65 percent return rate for the psychology sub¬
sample .
Of the 206 sociologists who were mailed the question¬
naire, 138 returned usable ones. In addition there were 2

19
wrong addresses, 17 foreigners, 5 males, 3 refusals, and
one received after the coding deadline (June 1, 1972).
Thus, a total of 166 respondents were accounted for. The
final sample size after eliminating foreigners, males, and
retirees was 184. This yields a 74 percent return rate
for the sociology sub-sample.
Of the 146 chemists who were mailed the questionnaires,
80 returned usable ones. In addition there were 12 wrong
addresses, 7 foreigners, 7 males, 2 deceased, and one mailed
in after the coding deadline. Thus, a total of 109 respon¬
dents were accounted for. The final sample size after elim¬
inating foreigners, males and deceased was 130. This yields
a 61 percent return rate for the chemistry sub-sample.
Of the 212 biologists who were mailed the question¬
naire, 143 returned usable ones. In addition, there were
2 wrong addresses, 14 foreigners, 2 males, 1 deceased, 1
retired, and 1 received after the coding deadline. Thus,
a total of 164 respondents was accounted for. The final
sample size after eliminating foreigners, males, retirees,
and deceased was 194. This yields a 73 percent return rate
for the biology sub-sample.
The final sample size after eliminating males, for¬
eigners, retirees, and deceased was 700. Of this total,

20
485 usable questionnaires were coded and appear in the
tables. This yields a total return rate of 69.4 percent.
Had we extrapolated the eliminated categories to those who
didn't return the questionnaire according to the same per¬
centages in which they appeared in the returned sample, the
return rate would have been well over 70 percent. The so¬
ciologists and biologists had the highest return rate, seem¬
ingly eliminating any explanation of variation in rates by
natural versus social sciences. We have no reason to sus¬
pect that our respondents differ systematically from the
non-respondents as our independent variables relate to nu¬
clear family structure and not to attitude. The later ar¬
riving questionnaires did not differ from those received
immediately. In any case, as previously noted, 94 percent
were received within the first month. Those questionnaires
which were returned were fully filled out and were often
accompanied by notes, letters, and even articles for the re¬
searcher. In addition, 79 percent of the respondents made
comments on the back of the questionnaire in the space pro¬
vided.
Major Variables
Through the questionnaire, we sought to obtain suffi¬
cient data to test our hypotheses and to compare our sample

21
with those tested by others in studies of birth order and
of achievement. In some cases, we wanted more complete in¬
formation than had previously been gathered in such re¬
search. Thus, we needed complete information on the struc¬
ture of the family of orientation including size of family,
spacing and sex of children, birth order of children, place¬
ment of respondent, and educational and occupational achieve¬
ment of siblings. With regard to respondents' parents, we
requested information on religion, ethnicity, family stabil¬
ity, educational attainment, work records of mother and
father, community activism of the mother, and a rough income
ranking of the family. For each respondent we asked academic
rank, year of completion of the doctorate, and the institu¬
tion at which the doctorate was completed. In addition, we
asked whether the respondent attended high school in a rural
or urban area, and in which section of the country she grew
up. With regard to family of procreation we asked the re¬
spondent's marital status, and the educational and occupa¬
tional status of her husband. We asked if the husband's
mother ever worked. Finally, room was left for comments, and,
as noted above, 79 percent of the women utilized this option.
No attitudinal questions were included in the instru¬
ment, although some attitudinal data were collected through

22
the comments. This ommission was a conscious decision based
on sociological and financial considerations. We were con¬
cerned with structural antecedents of female achievement,
not perceived components of success. It was believed that
the objective questions would suffice for analysis of our
hypotheses.
Creating A Control Group
Several of the major hypotheses of the study required
a control group for verification. For example, we could not
state that we had a "disproportionate" number of achievers
from all-female families if we had no idea of what the actual
distribution of family sizes and sex make-up was in the larger
population of the United States. Similarly, we needed to
know income distributions of the United States, number of
women married in the total population of our respondents'
age cohorts, and the fertility of this same group. The de¬
mands of the above hypotheses led to the use of census data
to create a hypothetical control group for the study. As
previously noted, for the researcher to undertake a survey
of a control group of non-achievers would have involved pro¬
hibitive expense. Although comparisons could be made among
the women in our four sub-fields, we sought a larger and
more meaningful population for major comparisons. At issue

23
were the special or distinctive qualities of achievers' nu¬
clear families, and the ways in which achievers' families
differed from those of non-achievers, or the general popu¬
lation. Data on family properties of the general population
were available from the United States Census.
Different census years were utilized for comparisons
with figures for our respondents. Questions which related
to the family of orientation of the respondents required the
use of comparative figures which approximated the distribu¬
tion of the United States population when respondents were
growing up in their families of orientation. Since 80 per¬
cent of our respondents were between the ages of 25 and 45,
fertility data for their mothers' cohorts were taken from
the 1950 census, approximating the decade in which most of
the mothers of our respondents completed their child-bearing
years. Similarly, data on occupations and educational
achievement for comparison with their mothers' and fathers'
educations and occupations were taken from 1940 and 1950
census material for men and women of middle age. For compar¬
isons involving our respondents own characteristics and those
of their families of procreation, the 1960 and if possible
the 1970 census was used.
In the discussion of the hypotheses relating to all¬
female sibling nuclear families of orientation, a hypothetical

24
statistical distribution of such families in the population
was computed mathematically. This distribution took into
account the fact that one member of each of the families in
our sample was fixed as female. Ideal percentages of all¬
female versus mixed-sex sibling families were computed for
each family size and used as a base line for comparison with
the families of orientation of our respondents.
Coding
Since there were no attitudinal data included in the
instrument, most of the coding was quite straightforward.
However, several problems did have to be solved. All ques¬
tions about occupation were coded using the 1970 census oc¬
cupation code. Several additional coding categories, such
as student and housewife, were added to this code so that
we could usefully categorize all of the major occupations
of our respondents and their families. The census occupation
code was then collapsed into thirteen categories: profes¬
sionals, executives, semi-professionals, managers and pro¬
prietors, technical workers, sales personnel, clerical
workers, craftsmen, operatives, laborers, service workers,
students, and housewives. The census region code was used
for categorizing regional distribution of respondents.

25
City size was calculated through the use of a 1950 atlas and
then coded by size categories to yield an approximate break¬
down of respondents by rural and urban residence while they
were growing up. School rankings for universities where
our respondents received their doctoral degrees were computed
through the use of Roose and Anderson's (1970) ratings of
graduate programs. When women were sampled who had completed
doctorates in sub-fields of a discipline such as chemistry
or biochemistry, composite rankings were computed. Inadver¬
tantly, the age of the respondent was not included in the
personal data in the instrument. An approximate measure of
age was computed from the year that they completed the Ph.D.
This approximate measure was then used as the control vari¬
able for such tables as comparisons of professorial rank at¬
tained by women with different backgrounds.
Not only did many women take advantage of the option
of making comments on the back of the questionnaire, but
they often added sheets of comments and letters to the in¬
vestigator. This outpouring of data about their own personal
decisions to pursue academic careers and to obtain the Ph.D.
degrees was an added source of information for us. There¬
fore, a code was developed for these qualitative data. The
code emerged from the comments themselves rather than being

26
superimposed upon them. Thus, any person or situation men¬
tioned repeatedly by the women as significant in their aca¬
demic development was coded. The actual codes developed
and the marginals for the entire sample will be found in
the Appendix.
Statistical Analysis
Most of the data collected were nominal although some
such as professorial rankings, occupational classifications,
and graduate faculty ratings of universities were ordinal.
The key distinctions used in the analysis, such as achiever
t
and non-achiever, were nominal in character. They were
tested through the use of X as a measure of goodness-of-fit
when proportions of achievers from all-female sibling fami-
lies were compared with a hypothetical distribution. X as
a measure of independence was used when testing the nature
of the relationship between such variables as ethnic affil¬
iation and family size.
In the case of the data regarding sibling group sex
composition, chance probability was calculated by assuming
that the probability of the birth of a daughter as against
that of a son was 50 percent. Thus, the probability that
a sibling group of n children would be composed solely of

27
females, including the respondent whose sex was known, was
p = M"-1’.
We have now described the theoretical background of the
study together with some of the hypotheses which we sought
to test. In addition, in this chapter the methodological
execution of the study was traced. Let us now turn to the
results. We shall begin by describing the women who responded
to our questionnaire and thus enriched our knowledge of aca¬
demic women.

CHAPTER III
THE DEMOGRAPHIC BACKGROUND
OF THE RESPONDENTS
While this chapter is devoted mainly to the demographic
parameters of the sample group, these descriptions become
meaningful only against a backdrop of the parameters of the
general population from which they came. In some cases this
sample comparison with the larger population is also a test
of hypotheses concerning the background of academic women.
This is particularly evident in the discussion of the re¬
spondents' socio-economic background and in the discussion
of their mothers as role models.
Women chosen on so stringent criteria of achievement
as that which we employed clearly would differ from their
age cohorts in the general population. But how? Would they
be products of broken or stable homes? Would they combine
marriage with career achievement and motherhood as well?
In this chapter we present the first and most general pic¬
ture of the parameters of this unusual group of women.
Our respondents ranged in age from their mid-twenties
to early seventies: 80 percent were between the ages of
28

29
25 and 45. Age distribution did not differ significantly
by sub-fieId. They came, overwhelmingly, from urban back¬
grounds. In fact, 32 percent grew up in cities with over
a million in population and only 15 percent grew up in towns
with under 5,000 inhabitants. These figures stand in con¬
trast to the general population in the 1940 and 1950 cen¬
suses which serve as our imputed base cohorts. In 1940,
56.3 percent of the national population was classed as urban
and in 1950 64 percent of the national population was so
classified. According to Smith (1960:97), this was partially
due to a change in definition. If the same definition had
been used for both years, then the 1950 national population
would have been classified as 59 percent urban. Using com¬
parable definitions, at least 85 percent of our respondents
grew up in urban settings. We can focus this more starkly
by noting that 32 percent of our respondents grew up in
cities with 1,000,000 or more inhabitants, while, according
to the 1950 census (U.S. Bureau of the Census,1952:6,7),
only 11.5 percent of the total national population then lived
in cities of over 1,000,000. In comparing the sample's dis¬
tribution by regions of the country with that for the total
United States population in 1950, we found that the Northeast
and Middle Atlantic states were over-represented in the

30
sample. This was probably due to the fact that certain re¬
gions of the country were more urbanized than others and our
respondents come disproportionately from urban settings (Dun¬
can and Reiss,1956:29).
Comparing the several sub-fields, women from all of the
sub-fields came from urban backgrounds. The psychologists
were the least likely of all to come from rural areas, with
only 8 percent from towns of under 5,000 population. With
regard to regional distribution, there was no divergence
from the general trend toward the Middle Atlantic and East
North Central states by sub-field, except for the exception¬
ally high percentages of women biologists and chemists from
the Middle Atlantic states (43 percent and 41 percent respec¬
tively) . Complete marginals for the total sample on age dis¬
tribution and rural-urban and regional distribution will be
found in the Appendix.
Since over 98 percent of our respondents were Caucasian
we shall consider them a "white" sample for census compari¬
sons. One-third of the women identified an ethnic group
with which their parents considered themselves affiliated.
Among alternatives offered, and frequently checked, were
Italian, Irish, Polish, and German. In addition, some re¬
spondents checked "other" and many wrote in ethnic groups

31
not on our offered list. Two such groups were volunteered
so often that they were coded separately: English and Jew¬
ish. We had included Jewish as a category under religious
affiliation, but did not offer it as an option under the
item on ethnic affiliation. Despite this, 25 percent of
all those who reported an ethnic identification wrote in the
category of Jewish and checked it. The "other" category
which was not recoded consisted mainly of Northern and West¬
ern Europeans groups together with a small number of Slovaks,
Australians, Lebanese and Canadians. Table III-l gives the
distribution of ethnicity by sub-field for the fathers of
the respondents, after excluding the 69 percent of the sample
who checked no ethnic identity for father.
TABLE III-l
ETHNIC AFFILIATION OF FATHERS OF
RESPONDENTS BY FIELD OF RESPONDENTS
(in percent )
ETHNIC
GROUP
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology
Chemistry
Biology
Italian
6
2
4
10
Irish
14
14
9
5
Polish
9
2
13
10
German
20
24
26
20
Other
26
22
35
23
J ewish
23
37
13
20
English
3
0
0
13
(N)
(35)
(51)
(23)
(40)

32
More of the sociologists came from families with ethnic af¬
filiations than any other group. This difference was largely
accounted for by those sociologists who wrote in the category
Jewish. The marginals for the total sample for ethnic af¬
filiation of mothers and fathers will be found in the Appen¬
dix.
Most of our respondents grew up in homes with smaller
families than was the norm for their cohorts in the 1940
census. Two-child families were the modal nuclear family
structure in the sample (36 percent) while in the general
population two-child families accounted for only 22 percent
of the total. As with regional distribution, this may be
related to the highly urban concentration in the sample.
According to T. Lynn Smith (1960:311),
Among the white population in every one of the
forty-eight states, for the period between April,
1945, and 1950, the fertility ratio of the urban
population is substantially lower than those for
the rural-nonfarm and the rural-farm categories;
... The tendency of the birth rate of the rural
population of the United States to exceed that
of the urban has been known, of course, for some
time, ... Nevertheless, it is important to see
the degree to which it persists throughout the
length and breadth of the country, even after
the upsurge in the urban birth rate since 1935
and after the elimination of so much of the dif¬
ference between the rural and urban ways of life
that has accompanied the perfection of modern
means of communication and transportation.

33
Still, more than half of our respondents grew up in homes
with three or more children. Table III-2 shows the break¬
down of family size by sub-field of respondent. With the
exception of the fact that more of the biologists than any
other group come from large families, field of specializa¬
tion is unrelated to family size.
TABLE III-2
NUMBER OF SIBLINGS IN FAMILY OF ORIENTATION
OF RESPONDENTS BY FIELD OF RESPONDENTS
(in percent )
FIELD
1
NUMBER OF SIBLINGS
234 5-8
(N)
Psychology
21
39
21
10
10
(124)
Sociology
17
38
20
14
10
(138)
Biology
18
32
20
13
17
(143)
Chemistry
14
36
26
15
9
( 80)
Approximately one-quarter of the respondents reported that
their family was separated for some length of time while
they were young. In most of these cases the father was ab¬
sent. The most common reason for such separations for all
sub-fields was the death of one parent (39 percent). Next
in import was divorce,which accounted for 23 percent of the
broken homes. Other separations were a product of illness
of a parent, or separation from the father because of war
or army services on a career basis.

34
Close to 60 percent of the respondents reported that
their parents were affiliated with a Protestant denomination.
Another 12 percent of the fathers were Catholic, 22 percent
were Jewish, 2 percent other religions, and 7 percent wrote
in that their fathers had no religion or were agnostic.
Several of those who wrote in "no religion" or "agnostic"
had also written in Jewish under ethnicity. Table III-3
shows the religious affiliation of the fathers by the field
of the respondents. It also shows the approximate religious
breakdown of the United States population according to a
1957 survey conducted by the Bureau of the Census. It is
clear that Jews are disproportionately represented in this
sample, though the degree of disproportion varies. The so¬
cial sciences have more Jews than the natural sciences. It
has been estimately that there are between five and six mil¬
lion Jews in the population, constituting less than 3 percent
of the total population of the United States (Fine and Him-
melfarb,1971:5). The large percentage of Jews in the sample
may contribute to the small family size and large urban re¬
sidence of the sample. Jews are generally supposed to have
the lowest birth rate of any group in America, and to be the
most concentrated in urban areas. (See Smith,1960:330; Gold¬
stein, 1971 : 15, 34, 38. ) According to the census figures of

TABLE III-3
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION OF FATHERS BY
FIELD OF RESPONDENTS AND FOR TOTAL U.S.
(in percent )
RELIGIOUS AFFILIATION
FIELD None or
Protestant Catholic Jewish Other Agnostic(N)
Psychology
51
13
25
Sociology
54
12
25
Biology
66
9
18
Chemistry
57
16
16
Census Approx¬
imations
66
26
3
7 (123)
7 (138)
6 (143)
10 ( 74)
i
OJ
ui
l
4

36
the 1957 survey, approximately 26 percent of the population
of the United States was Roman Catholic, while 66 percent
were members of various Protestant denominations. According
to the above figures, the Roman Catholics were most under
represented among our respondents. The small family size
for the group as a whole reflected this, also, since Roman
Catholics have the highest fertility rate of the three major
religious groups in the United States.
Socio-Economic Background
An important background characteristic of our respond¬
ents is the socio-economic status of the homes from which
they came. Several indicators of this status were included
in the questionnaire. The first concerned highest level of
educational attainment of both the mother and the father of
the respondent. (See Appendix for marginals for total
sample.) We found that over one-third of all the fathers
had completed at least a bachelor's degree, and 22 percent
of all the fathers possessed a graduate degree. One-quarter
of the mothers had at least a bachelor's degree. At the
other extreme, 31 percent of the mothers and 32 percent of
the fathers had not completed a high school diploma. If we
compare the figures for our respondents' families with those
for the general population, we find that in 1940 and in 1950

37
the educational level of the heads of household was much
lower than that for the fathers of our respondents. Table
III-4 makes this comparison. The census data are from
American Families (Glick,1957:89).
TABLE II1-4
RESPONDENTS' FATHERS' EDUCATIONAL ATTAINMENT
COMPARED WITH THAT OF 35-44 YEAR OLD
HEADS OF HOUSEHOLD IN 1940 AND 1950
(in percent )
EDUCATIONAL
ATTAINMENT
Fathers of
Respondents
Fathers of
1940 Cohort
Fathers of
1950 Cohort
Elementary
School
18
59
41
Some High
School
14
17
20
Graduated
High School
14
12
21
Some College
18
6
8
Four Years or
More of College
35
6
9
No Answer
2
1
2
Our respondents'
parents, from
all fields,
are more highly
educated than the general parental generation.
A second indicator of socio-economic status of the fam¬
ily is the income rank of the fathers. Here the variant
ages of the respondents made it difficult to ask an objective

38
question on salary. The meaning of a $5,000 a year income
in 1930 differed substantially from its meaning in 1950—
and we had respondents who would report their father's in¬
comes from time periods varying from 1920-1960. Also, re¬
collection of exact parental income or realistic estimation
of it by the respondents was unlikely. Therefore, we de¬
vised a question which would be relative to a well-known
status in the economy to measure income. We asked: "When
you graduated from high school would you say that your
father's income was: less than that of a high school teacher
at that time, about the same as a high school teacher at
that time, or more than that of a high school teacher at
that time." The position of high school teacher was taken
as a rough indicator of middle class status and middle in¬
come. Of the 459 respondents who answered the question, 21
percent reported their father's income as less, 18 percent
as the same and 49 percent as more than a high school teacher
at that time. This scatter of respondents suggested that
our indicator question was sensitive, at least, to respond¬
ents perceptions of their parents'economic standing. Only
3 percent said that they were not able to answer the question.
This approximate distribution placed 67 percent of the re¬
spondents in a family of middle income or higher. This

39
picture fits well with the educational attainment of fathers
previously reported. The rankings of fathers' incomes did
not differ substantially by the field of the respondents,
although the social scientists came from slightly higher in¬
come ranks than did the natural sciences. (See Table III-5.)
TABLE III-5
FATHERS’ INCOME RANK BY FIELD OF RESPONDENTS
(in percent )
INCOME FIELD
RANK , , . , . , ,
Psychology Sociology Biology Chemistry
Less than High
School Teacher
15
22
24
21
Same as High
School Teacher
16
14
18
25
More than High
School Teacher
54
57
42
42
Don't Know
16
7
16
13
(N)
(115)
(125)
(141)
(79)
A third indicator of socio-economic status of families
of orientation of the respondents was the occupation of the
father. Occupation is, perhaps, the most commonly used in¬
dicator of stratification ranking in sociology. Table III-6
compares the rankings of our respondents' fathers with those
for heads of husband-wife households between the ages of

40
35 and 44 for the 1940 and 1950 censuses. Since the specific
content of the categories has altered somewhat from census
to census, and since we coded responses to the father's oc¬
cupation question on the 1970 census categories, the compar¬
ison is only approximate. For full data on the distribution
of the respondents' fathers by occupation, see the Appendix.
TABLE III-6
MAJOR OCCUPATION GROUP OF HEAD OF HOUSEHOLD
FOR 1940 AND 1950 FOR AGES 35-44 COMPARED
WITH DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS' FATHERS
(in percent )
W 4-) -P
m -P m p 4-i p
OCCUPATIONAL GROUP ° S 0 j: 0 £
to 43 to o to O
pa p u p u
(D O .a a, & o o
-P to -p in
(0 O rtf Cft rtf &4 Dh fp i—I p H
Professional, Technical and
Kindred Workers (includes
executives and semi-profes-
sionals)
38
6
9
Managers, Officials and
Proprietors except farm
30
13
14
Clerical, Sales and Kindred
Workers
11
13
12
Craftsmen, foremen
15
18
22
Operatives and Kindred
4
19
21
Laborers
1
24
19
Service Workers
1
6
4

41
The census data in Table III-6 are from American Families
(Glick,1957:95). It is clear that our respondents' fathers,
with especially heavy representation in the professional and
business categories, had higher ranking occupations than
their cohorts in the general population. From the previous
analysis of educational attainment, income level, and occu¬
pational status, it can be seen that our respondents parents
attained uniformly high rankings on the three indicators.
The majority of our respondents came from middle class fam¬
ilies .
Maternal Role Models
A key element in several of our hypotheses concerning
female achievement was the special effect a mother can have
on a daughter's motivation and success in achieving. Several
questions in the instrument were designed to reveal if the
mothers of the women in our sample were positive role models
for female achievement. We shall now discuss the general
findings concerning education, occupation, and community in¬
volvement of the mothers of our respondents.
The clearest model of a diversified role for adult mar¬
ried women is available to a young girl whose mother works
while she is growing up. We therefore asked if our respond¬
ents mothers had worked outside the home after marriage, and

42
if they had worked outside the home while the respondent was
growing up. Table III-7 shows the percentage distributions
on these two questions. The percent of mothers who never
worked was excluded from the table.
TABLE III-7
PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS WHOSE MOTHERS WORKED OUTSIDE THE
HOME AFTER MARRIAGE AND PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS WHOSE
MOTHERS WORKED WHILE THE RESPONDENTS WERE GROWING UP
PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS WHOSE MOTHERS:
Worked After Worked While Respondents
Marriage Were Growing Up
Worked
Part
Time
20
18
Worked
Full
Time
38
28
(N)
(478)
(477)
According to Glick in American Families (1957:90-91),
In 1940, one out of every eight wives of family
heads was in the labor force but by 1950 this
ratio had increased to one out of every five ...
According to 1950 data, the labor force partici¬
pation rate reached a low point of about 20 per¬
cent during the time when wives were most likely
to have small children at home, then rose to one-
fourth for married women about 40 years old.
If we analyze the percent of mothers working after
having children for our respondents by sub-field (Table III-
8), we find that the mothers of the social scientists were
more likely to have worked, though all of the sub-fields
showed a high proportion of mothers who had worked while
having children. The percent of mothers who never worked
was excluded from the table.

43
TABLE III-8
PERCENT OF RESPONDENTS WHOSE MOTHERS WORKED
OUTSIDE THE HOME WHILE THEY WERE GROWING UP
BY FIELD OF RESPONDENT
FIELD
Psychology
Sociology
Biology
Chemistry
Worked Part
Time
16
18
23
11
Worked Full
Time
42
29
23
35
(N)
(121)
(137)
(142)
(78)
It is easy to see from Tables III-7 and III-8 that many of
our respondents had mothers who not only had had the exper¬
ience of working after marriage, but who acted out this dual
role while their daughters were growing up and forming their
own definitions of appropriate sex-role behaviors. Astin
(1969:25) stated that for her sample one-fourth of all the
women reported that their mothers worked while they were
growing up. Astin considered this a high degree of career
orientation. Her respondents all received their doctorates
in 1957 and 1958 (though they varied in age). Our sample
reflected an even higher degree of career orientation of
the mothers of respondents, with almost half (46 percent)
working at least part time while their daughters were grow¬
ing up.

44
The very fact of a mother working in a white, predomin¬
antly middle class home is a significant influence on her
daughters. We should also consider the type of work she was
doing. Astin (1969:25) reported that 60 percent of the
mothers who worked while their daughters were growing up
were engaged in professional and managerial occupations.
For our sample, the breakdown differed. Approximately 47
percent of the mothers worked at jobs in the top four ranks
of jobs (professionals, executives, semi-professionals, ma¬
nagerial and proprieterial), but most of these were clerical
workers (25 percent) or involved semi-professional jobs often
stereotyped as "women's work." (See Appendix for complete
distribution.) We can make an approximate comparison between
the type of occupation the mothers of our respondents were
working at and the distribution of females in the labor force
14 years old and over in 1940 classified into social-economic
groups (U.S. Bureau of the Census,1940:187). Clearly the
mothers of our respondents were usually working at jobs
higher in status than the jobs of their contemporaries in
the labor force. The distribution of mothers' jobs by status
did not vary significantly by the later choice of social
versus natural science career for the daughters.

45
TABLE III-9
OCCUPATIONS OF RESPONDENTS’ MOTHERS COMPARED WITH
ALL FEMALES IN THE LABOR FORCE 14 YEARS OLD AND OVER
CLASSIFIED INTO SOCIAL-ECONOMIC GROUPS, 1940, FOR
THE UNITED STATES (IN PERCENT )
OCCUPATIONS*
Mothers of
Respondents
1940 Census
Professional Persons (includes
semi-professionals and executives)
39
12
Proprietors, Managers, and
Officials
9
7
Clerks and Kindred Workers
(Sales)
35
28
Skilled Workers and Foremen
(Craftsmen)
4
1
Semi-skilled Workers
(Operatives)
7
28
Unskilled Workers (Laborers
and Service)
6
25
*Other categories of ours which are collapsed to fit 1940
specifications appear in parentheses next to 1940 social-
economic categories.
The mothers of our respondents not only worked more
often, and at better jobs than their contemporaries, but
they also had attained higher levels of education than their
age cohorts in the general United States population. Accord¬
ing to the 1950 census (U.S. Bureau of the Census,1950:Tables
5,8), the median years of school completed for white, married
women living with their spouses between the ages of 45 and

46
54 was 9 years. The median years of education for the mothers
of our respondents is 11 years. For the full distribution
of educational attainment of the mothers of our respondents
see the Appendix. Also of note is the fact that 27 percent
of the mothers had higher educational attainment than their
husbands, and 59 percent had at least an equal education to
that of their husbands. Almost half (48 percent) had con¬
tinued their education beyond the high school diploma, and
one-fourth had completed a bachelor's degree.
There have been attempts to link daughters different
choice of life style to extra-familial activities partici¬
pated in by their mothers. For example, it has been sug¬
gested that mothers who do not work outside the home, but
who participate in voluntary community organizations in an
active manner, encourage their daughters to be volunteers
rather than career women. In our questionnaire, we asked
about the community involvement of mothers in the following
manner: "Was your mother ever involved in community acti¬
vities as an active participant or leader (church groups,
welfare rights, political action)?" Table III-10 shows the
community involvement of mothers by sub-field of the daugh¬
ters. Although there are more active members from sociology
than any other group, there seems little relationship between

47
community involvement for mothers and entrance into the na¬
tural rather than the social sciences by daughters.
TABLE III-10
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT OF MOTHERS
BY FIELD OF DAUGHTERS
(in percent )
COMMUNITY
INVOLVEMENT
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology Biology
Chemistry
Not involved
37
37
38
40
A member only
22
17
20
21
Active member
28
23
28
23
Mother a leader
13
25
14
16
(N)
(120)
(133)
(142)
(80)
What does emerge, however, is the mothers of our respondents
were participants in community activities. But are the
'joiners' different women from the 'careerists?' Table Hi¬
ll shows the results of cross-tabulating working mothers
with those who were active in community activities. If the
TABLE III-ll
PERCENT OF MOTHERS WHO WORKED AFTER CHILDREN
BY COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT OF MOTHER
COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
MOTHER WORKED:
Mother Not
Involved
Member
Only
Mother
Active
Mother
Leader
N
Never
34
24
25
18
(252)
Part Time
38
20
24
18
( 87)
Full Time
44
12
28
16
(124)

48
mothers who were involved in volunteer work were also the
employed, then it would seem that the two models were not
mutually exclusive. Moreover, it may be that any enrichment
of the female role model leads to higher achievement on the
part of daughters. Thus, any maternal activity outside the
home would encourage consideration of broad options for life
styles of daughters. Table III-ll shows that 42 percent of
those who worked part time and 44 percent of those who worked
full time were either active members or leaders in community
activities. In addition, 34 percent of those who had never
worked after having children also had no memberships. Thus,
although those who were working full time were also the most
likely to be uninvolved in community activities (44 percent),
it is clear that working and community action often go to¬
gether. These findings tend to refute the idea that volun-
teerism and career commitment are mutually exclusive. The
mothers of our respondents emerged as active and energetic
women who provided models of community involvement and work
experience for their daughters. They must have been very
well organized and committed women. This is especially ap¬
parent when we recall that many of them displayed this com¬
petence in several worlds when it was not fashionable to do
so—between 1930 and 1950.

49
At the close of the questionnaire a space was left for
comments on the significant events or persons who influenced
the respondents decision to obtain the Ph.D. and to pursue
an academic career. Of the 79 percent who chose to comment,
131 stated that their mothers had encouraged them, or that
they wished to be like a mother who worked. Another 12
women said that their mothers discouraged them, or that they
rebelled against their mother's role as housewife. In sum,
our respondents reported behavioral and ideological encour¬
agement by their mothers in the pursuit of their own careers.
An important demographic feature of the sample, which
will be discussed in greater detail in a later chapter, is
birth order. Most birth order studies have concluded that
first-born and only children generally achieve more than
later siblings (Walters and Stinnett,1971:123). For our
total sample, 54 percent were only or first-born children
(264), 27 percent were second-born (129), 10 percent were
third-born (49) and 15 percent were born fourth or later.
Astin (1969:26) reports that:
These proportions were similar to men doctorates
(Bayer,1967). The actual proportion of women
doctorates who were first-born and those who were
born fourth or later was somewhat greater than
can be accounted for by chance, a finding that
can probably be interpreted in economic terms:
that is, the first and the last child usually
benefit because greater financial resources are

50
available to the family at the time these child¬
ren enter college (Bayer,1967).
We tabulated the number of our respondents who were the
youngest in their families. For our respondents, 220 or
45 percent were the youngest in their families. If we sub¬
tract from this the 18 percent who were also only children,
this leaves 27 percent who were youngest among siblings.
Until now, we have discussed our respondents in their
families of orientation. We shall now consider their own
personal attainments, and their families of procreation.
Of concern is their academic achievement, their marital
status, the socio-economic status of their husbands, and
their children.
Respondents Academic Achievement
Two measures of achievement were included in the ques¬
tionnaire. One was a ranking of the graduate faculties in
the departments where our respondents received their Ph.D.
degrees. The second was a tabulation of the ranks they had
achieved at their age. Table III-12 shows the rankings of
graduate faculties by sub-field for the universities of which
the respondents are alumnae. For a discussion of the rank¬
ing system, see Chapter II. In the case of each field, two-
thirds of the respondents attended a school with top ranking.

51
TABLE III-12
RANKS OF GRADUATE FACULTIES IN FIELDS OF
RESPONDENTS FOR UNIVERSITIES WHERE THEY
ATTAINED THE PH.D. (in percent )
RANK
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology Biology
Chemistry
Excellent
75
63
69
70
Very Good
11
7
14
16
Good
5
14
10
10
Not Ranked
10
16
7
5
(N)
(124)
(138)
(143)
(80)
In terms of
professorial rank
attained,
our women have been
promoted as
they grew older.
Table III-
13 gives
the distri-
hution of our respondents by present academic rank control¬
ling for the age of the respondent.
TABLE III-13
PRESENT ACADEMIC RANKS OF RESPONDENTS
CONTROLLED
(in
' FOR IMPUTED AGE
percent )
IMPUTED
AGE
RANKS
Assistant Professor Associate
Professor
N
Under 25
90
10
0
( 23)
26-35
51
41
8
(268)
36-45
10
37
53
(127)
46-55
10
34
56
( 46)
56-65
0
12
88
( 16)
66-70
0
0
100
( 4)

52
Families of Procreation
In addition to their academic responsibilities, over
half of our respondents are currently married (55 percent),
and an additional 14 percent have been married and are cur¬
rently divorced, separated, or widowed. However, almost
one third of the women (32 percent) reported that they had
never been married. Thus, many more of them than their co¬
horts in the general population have remained single. Ac¬
cording to the 1960 census, in the age cohort of 40-44 years
86 percent of all women were married (Astin,1969:26). Mar¬
riage and divorce rates varied considerably in the sample
by field of specialization, with the natural scientists hav¬
ing a lower rate of marriage than the social scientists.
Table III-14 shows this comparison.
TABLE III-14
MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE RATES BY
FIELD OF
RESPONDENT
(in percent
)
MARITAL
STATUS
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology
Chemistry
Biology
Never Married
30
20
36
44
Currently Married
56
63
54
48
Divorced
7
10
4
7
Separated
2
4
1
1
Widowed
6
4
5
1
(N)
(124)
(137)
(80)
(142)

53
Epstein (1970:95) reports that working women in general are
far more likely to marry today than in the past. However,
the women at the top of their professions show a higher in¬
cidence of being single.
A far higher percentage of the unmarried, compared
to men, tend to be found in the ranks of the pro¬
fessions. Even in 1960, those women employed in
the scientific and engineering fields were consid¬
erably less likely to be married than men—two out
of five women scientists as contrasted with four
out of five men.
In Astin's sample (1969:27), 32.5 percent of those in the
natural sciences had never married, while 38 percent of
those in the social sciences were single. This is the re¬
verse of the relationship noted by Epstein and found in our
sample, that those in more 'masculine' occupations have
lower marriage rates. Despite these variations, the gen¬
eral finding is the same—women in the professions marry
less often than other women in our society, though the trend
is toward more frequent marriage for them. Of the women in
our sample who had been married at least once, 84 percent
had had one marriage, 15 percent had had two marriages, and
less than 1 percent had had more than two marriages.
By all the socio-economic measures of status included
in the questionnaire, the husbands of our respondents had
high ratings. Ninety-nine percent of the husbands had com-

54
pleted some college and 85 percent had completed a graduate
degree. These high rankings did not differ by the field of
the wives. While it is true that all of the wives had gra¬
duate degrees, the educational level of these men is still
extraordinary. Men could have traded financial success for
educational attainment and still have had as high a status
as their wives. In the case of our respondents the husbands
shared an interest in academia as well as an equivalent so¬
cial status. The distribution of husband's occupations (see
Appendix) confirmed that very few of them were in business.
Most were professionals. In Table III-15 we tabulated the
number of Ph.D.’s and medical doctors among the husbands by
field of the wife. We also found that 184 husbands were
professors and an additional 25 were working in research.
TABLE III-15
ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT OF HUSBANDS BY FIELD OF WIFE
ACADEMIC
ACHIEVEMENT
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology Chemistry
Biology
Ph.D.
47
60
34
45
M.D. (academic
medicine)
7
7
4 i
11
(N)*
(88)
(110)
(81)
(51)
*N's refer to total number of husbands in each field.

55
The table clearly demonstrates that most of the husbands are
professionals, who are involved in the academic world to¬
gether with their wives. Astin (1969) suggested that such
marriages to others in academia are encouraged by marriage
during graduate school, when potential mates are found in
the university community.
Of the 324 women who reported that they had ever been
married, 240 had also become mothers. In their families,
as in those of their parents, the two-child family predomin¬
ated, though 32 percent of those who had children had three
or more. Small families were the rule for all four sub-fields.
It is important to note that 245 women, or 51 percent of our
respondents, were childless. Even after we have taken into
consideration the fact that 154 of these have never married,
one third of the married women were childless. No doubt
many were still of child-bearing age and would have children
in the future. Still we have confirmed Astin's findings
(1969:29) that woman doctorates have lower fertility rates
that those of their contemporaries in the general population.
She found that the proportion of married women doctorates
who were childless was 28 percent (compared to our 30 percent)
and noted that this was "twice as large as the proportion
of childless 40-44 year old women in the general population"
(Astin,1969:31).

56
We were interested in finding out if the women felt
that their husbands were a positive influence on their at¬
taining the doctorates. Although we had no direct questions
on this subject included in the questionnaire, there are
two indicators of this influence. We did ask if the hus¬
band's mother ever worked as a general measure of exposure
of the husband, before his marriage, to divergent women's
roles. The actual question specified work outside the home
after having children so as to directly tap experience re¬
lating to conflicting women's roles. We found that of the
317 women who answered the question, 54 percent reported
that their husband's mother never worked, 20 percent that
she had worked part time and 26 percent that she had worked
full time after having children. Thus, as in the case of
the women themselves, many respondents' husbands had child¬
hood experience with mothers who provided models combining
career and home management. A second indicator of husband's
role in achievement emerged from the coding of the comments
at the close of the questionnaire. Before discussing these
comments, we state two qualifications. First, our major
focus was on structural factors in the family of orientation
which led to achievement and not on later influences. Second,
many of our women were unmarried or had completed their

57
degrees before marrying. In these cases there either could
not have been any influence from husband, or the influence
would have been limited to career achievement and advance¬
ment after attaining the Ph.D. Despite the above limita¬
tions, of the 375 women who chose to comment on significant
factors in their decision to obtain the Ph.D. degree and to
pursue an academic career, 130 mentioned the role of people
other than their parents in the decision-making process.
Of these 130, 75 (or 58 percent) cited the husband's influ¬
ence. Of these, 70 mentioned their husband's encouragement
and 5 noted their husband's discouragement. Some typical
comments were:
My husband is wonderfully supportive of my career,
thus I have not 'interrupted' it for child bearing.
With his help it has been possible to continue even
with young children.
Most important was my husband's attitude—his moral
and financial encouragement have been the most help¬
ful .
After we had been married 15 years my husband wanted
to get out of management and pursue his mathematical
interests. He entered graduate school ... actually,
my husband would not give up his job and change pro¬
fessions unless I would go to school, too. We were
looking for a complete change of life style which
included both of us actively involved outside the
home. Now, I would not have it any other way—but
without the initial pressure from these three men I
would have continued to think I could not obtain an
advanced degree and would have settled for a much
lower goal.

58
Throughout this chapter we have attempted to describe
our respondents in the most general fashion, and yet to por¬
tray them as real women in real life situations faced by
many women. We have seen that their decisions to opt for
a minority life style in their culture went together with
certain demographic characteristics of their families of
orientation. These included disproportionately small fami¬
lies, urban settings, certain ethnic and religious affilia¬
tions, middle class socio-economic status, parents with
above-average educations, and fathers with higher than aver¬
age occupations. Their families often included mothers who
worked after having children and who were active in voluntary
associations. Our respondents studied for their degrees in
the top ranked institutions in their fields, and have gone
on to attain high academic ranks, often while fulfilling
the roles of wife and mother. Their families of procreation
are distinguished by the high educational training received
by their husbands, their shared experience of the academic
world, and their low fertility rate. One third of the re¬
spondents never married, and 50 percent were childless.
Those who had married seemed to have stable relationships
as evidenced by the low rate of divorce they reported. If
we return to the questions posed at the beginning of this
chapter, we find that they have been answered. Our respondents

59
differed from their age cohorts in the population in degree,
but not in kind. They came from stable homes and they are
building stable homes for themselves. Most have sought to
combine career, marriage, and motherhood, often in imitation
of their own mothers. We have now been 'introduced' to our
respondents and in Chapter IV we shall go on to consider
their collective story in relation to our own specific theo¬
retical interests and hypotheses as they were delineated in
Chapter I.

CHAPTER IV
TESTING HYPOTHESES
The hypotheses to be tested in this study fall into
several categories. First there are those which relate spe¬
cifically to the relationship between the sex structure of
the nuclear family and female achievement. Second, we are
concerned with family size and achievement. Third, there
are general birth order propositions which have previously
been tested on men and which we seek to apply to the case
of female achievers. Fourth, there are hypotheses which
have been considered in the previous chapter, including the
relationship between socio-economic background and achieve¬
ment and that between maternal employment and female achieve¬
ment. This chapter focuses on those hypotheses which relate
female achievement to the sex composition of the nuclear
family, ordinal position, and family size.
Sex Composition of the Nuclear Family
Our original hypothesis was that, in the absence of male
children, parents would consider the need for fulfillment
of the American dream of upward mobility for their children
60

61
more important than accepted sex-role definitions. Conse¬
quently, they would allow, encourage, or push one of their
daughters to achieve in the occupational sphere. Should
these conjectures be correct, a sample of female achievers
should have contained a disproportionate number of women
from all-female sibling families. Table IV-1 shows the per¬
centage of all-female sibling families found in our sample,
and next to that a theoretical expected percentage derived
from a probability model. The calculation of the expected
percentages was discussed in Chapter II.
TABLE IV-1
PERCENTAGE DISTRIBUTION OF SIBLING SEX
COMPOSITION OF NUCLEAR FAMILY OF RESPONDENTS
COMPARED WITH THEORETICAL EXPECTED PERCENTAGES
COMPOSITION
Respondents
Theoretical
Expected
Percentages
All-Female
46
44
Mixed-Sex
54
56
(485)
Our sample as a whole did not contain a much higher propor¬
tion of women from all-female families of orientation than
expected, although the differences fall in the expected dir¬
ection. Table IV-2 shows the number of respondents from all¬
female families, by family size, and compares these percentages

62
with those expected for families of these sizes based on an
ideal probability distribution, x2 was computed separately
for each family size.
TABLE IV-2
SIBLING SEX COMPOSITION OF RESPONDENTS' FAMILIES
AND OF THEORETICAL POPULATION BY FAMILY SIZE
(in percent )
SEX
COMPOSITION
1
2
NUMBER OF CHILDREN
3 4 5 6
7
8+
Mixed
0
52
(92)
71
(83)
77 79
(48) (22)
* +
93
(13)
100
( 7)
100
( 9)
All-Female
100
(87)
48
(84)
29
(29)
23 21
(14) ( 6)
7
( 1)
0
0
Expected %
All-Female
100
50
25
12.5 6
3
1.5
— —
* X2 = 4.5,
p < .05
+ X2
= 8, p <, .005
As family size increases, there is a greater likelihood than
expected of coming from an all-female family. For families
of four and five children, the number of respondents from
all-female families is significantly different from that ex¬
pected, and in the direction hypothesized. If we look at
the sibling sex composition of the family of orientation by
field of specialization of the respondents, we find that more
of those specializing in the social sciences come from all¬
female families. (See Table IV-3.) However, Table IV-4
shows that this was accounted for by the greater proportion
of small families of orientation among the social scientists.

63
TABLE IV-3
SIBLING SEX COMPOSITION OF FAMILY OF ORIENTATION
BY FIELD OF SPECIALIZATION OF RESPONDENTS
(in percent )
COMPOSITION
Psychology
FIELD
Sociology Chemistry
Biology
Mixed
52
52
60
56
All-Female
48
48
40
44
(124)
(138)
(80)
(143)
TABLE
IV-4
PERCENT
DISTRIBUTION OF FAMILY
SIZE
BY FIELD
OF RESPONDENTS
FIELD
NUMBER OF
CHILDREN
1
2
3
4
5
6
7 8+
Psychology
21
39
21
10
5
3
1 1 (124)
Sociology
17
38
20
14
4
2
1 3 (138)
Chemistry
14
36
26
15
3
4
3 * ( 80)
Biology
18
32
20
13
10
3
1 3 (143)
These results suggest that choice of field of specialization
by women from all-female families was based on factors unre¬
lated to the sibling sex structure of the nuclear family.
Most probably, they were channeled into certain fields by
personal interest, exciting teachers, or excellence in these
fields in high school, and other factors mentioned in their
comments. The family of orientation may have fostered a

64
climate in which women were encouraged to go on to higher
education and career attainment, but it did not necessarily
specify participation in particular 'masculine' fields as
true proof of achievement. In fact, daughters' achievement
in the social sciences may have eased the conflict between
sex-role definitions and the need for a child who achieved,
since participation in the social sciences on a professional
level was more acceptable than in the natural sciences.
We next ask, are there any sub-groups within our sample
of achievers which showed a greater relationship between sex
structure of the nuclear family and achievement than we would
have expected by chance? To examine the above possibilities,
we controlled the relationship between sibling sex structure
of families of orientation and family size and looked at the
distribution of our respondents by religion and by ethnicity.
Table IV-5 examines the differences in sibling sex structure
of family of orientation by religious affiliation of mothers
of respondents. From Table IV-5 it appears that the Catholics
were producing less achievers from all-female families than
expected, and that the Jews were producing more. This was
partially due to the effect of family size. The role of fam¬
ily ideology may also have been crucial. Of course, this
is only a suggested interpretation. Jews are known for their

65
commitment to achievement, while Catholics are more influenced
by the traditional sex-role definitions exemplified by Mary
and stressed by the Church.
TABLE IV-5
PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF SIBLING SEX COMPOSITION
OF FAMILY OF ORIENTATION BY
RELIGION OF MOTHER OF RESPONDENT
SEX
COMPOSITION
Protestant
RELIGION
Catholic Jewish
Other
None or
Aqnostic
Mixed
56
60
49
60
42
All-Female
44
40
51
40
58
(N)
(279)
(69)
(105)
(10)
(19)
It is also of
note that
several of
the respondents
who wrote
in "none" or "agnostic" under religion of mother also wrote
in Jewish under ethnicity. What we may have represented
here, then, is a secularization curve. The more secular the
family, the more committed to achievement, and the less com¬
mitted to traditional sex-roles. Thus, the continuum from
religious to secular within religious categories goes:
Catholic, Protestant, Jewish, None or Agnostic (made up of
members of all groups mentioned previously who have been
completely secularized). Table IV-6 shows that even after
controlling for family size the percent of Jewish respondents
from all-female sibling families sized two and four is higher

66
than that for the other groups. The distinction between
Catholics and Protestants is not clear. The category of
none or agnostic was not included here because the numbers
were so small..The percentages for mixed sex sibling fam¬
ilies were not shown in the table.
TABLE IV-6
PERCENT ALL-FEMALE SIBLING FAMILIES OF RESPONDENTS
BY FAMILY SIZE BY RELIGION OF FATHER, COMPARED
WITH HYPOTHETICAL DISTRIBUTION
RELIGION
1
NUMBER OF CHILDREN
6
2
3
4
5
Catholic
100
38
40
29
66
25
(13)*
( 6)
( 4)
( 2)
( 2)
( 1)
Protestant
100
49
29
21
19
0
(48)
(42)
(17)
( 8)
( 3)
J ewi sh
100
54
33
37
25
0
(19)
(28)
( 8)
( 3)
( 1)
Expected percent
per family
size
100
50
25
12.5
6
3
*"N"'s in parentheses refer to
number of respondents
from all-female
sibling
families for
each religious group.
As we
noted
in Chapter III, one
third
of the respondent
reported that both their
parents were members of
some ethnic
group. In order to find out if ethnic affiliation affected
the relationship between sibling sex composition of the fam¬
ily and female achievement, we cross-tabulated sibling sex
composition by size of family with a control for ethnicity.
The results are found in Table IV-7.

67
TABLE IV-7
NUMBER OF SIBLINGS BY SIBLING SEX COMPOSITION
OF RESPONDENTS' FAMILIES CONTROLLING FOR ETHNICITY
OF FATHER AND COMPARED WITH HYPOTHETICAL ALL-FEMALE
SIBLING DISTRIBUTION AND TOTAL PERCENT OF THOSE
WHO CHECKED ANY ETHNIC AFFILIATION WHO ARE
FROM ALL-FEMALE SIBLING FAMILIES
SEX COMPOSITION AND
NUMBER
OF SIBLINGS
ETHNICITY
1
2
3
4
5
Mixed Sex
East and South
Europe
0
25
100
80
67
West and North
Europe
0
54
71
73
57
Jews
0
50
75
67
50
(N)
(24)
(21)
(14)
( 7)
All-Female Siblings
East and South
Europe
100
75
0
20
33
West and North
Europe
100
46
29
27
43
Jews
100
50
25
33
50
(N)
(24)
(24)
( 7)
( 5)
Total Sample
Percent All-Female
100
49
31
23
22
Total Percent All-
Female of Those Who
Checked An EthnicitylOO
50
25
26
42

68
TABLE IV-7 (cont.)
SEX COMPOSITION AND
NUMBER
OF SIBLINGS
ETHNICITY
1
2
3
4
5
Expected Percent
All-Female
100
50
25
12.5
6
In this table, ethnic groups were combined by geographical
areas. Eastern and Southern European ethnicity includes those
who checked Polish or Italian, while Western and Northern
Europe includes those who indicated affiliation with Irish,
English, or German ethnicity. Those who were included in
the "other" category were predominantly of Northern and
Western European descent as well. Therefore, for the calcu¬
lations in Table IV-7, "other" was combined with Western and
Northern Europe. Jews were separated into a third category.
The pattern which emerged in Table IV-7 was a positive link
between ethnicity and female achievement for women from all¬
female sibling families whose ethnic identification was with
Western and Northern Europe, as well as for the Jews, espe¬
cially in families with more than three children. In addi¬
tion, it appeared that for those who checked any ethnic iden¬
tification and who came from families of four or five child¬
ren, there was a greater likelihood of coming from an all¬
female family than for those who checked no ethnic affilia¬
tion.

69
Blau and Duncan (1967:240) in their study of male
achievement in the American occupational structure found
that members of white ethnic minorities from Western and
Northern Europe fared better in occupational success than
the dominant majority. This was not true for Poles or
Italians. They attributed the achievement of the Western
and Northern Europeans to the extra achievement motivation
felt by sons of immigrants, and the lower rates of achieve¬
ment by Eastern and Southern European immigrants' sons to
discrimination. Their finding seemed to parallel our own
concerning the push for achievement on the daughters of
Western and Northern European immigrants who still felt
ethnic ties. Padan-Eisenstark (1972) found that career women
in Israel do not come disproportionately from all-female sib¬
ling families. Using similar logic to our own, she hypothe¬
sized that women from all-female sibling families would be
disproportionately represented in a sample of career women
in Israel. Her findings directly contradict our own. The
Jews were the one group we consistently found to come dispro¬
portionately from all-female sibling families, and all of
Padan-Eisenstark's sample are Jewish.
When we combined the Blau and Duncan findings on sons
of immigrants from Northern and Western Europe with our own

70
findings on ethnic groups and the findings of the Israeli
study, a contextual explanation emerged. Members of minority
groups often have felt under pressure to achieve. Jews in
America, and children of immigrants who came from a culture
where they were the majority to one where they were a minor¬
ity, have felt that pressure. Jews in Israel, on the other
hand, are members of a majority group whose children are
expected to fill all of the occupational slots in the country
and develop no such minority pressure for achievement. But
how can we explain the lack of similar pattern among those
identified with Southern and Eastern European ethnic groups?
If more of the members of these groups were from Catholic
families, then the ideological pull of the traditional sex-
role definitions may have out-weighed the need for achieve¬
ment. If we conceive of female achievement as the end-product
of the resolution of conflict, then it is the relative weights
of the countervailing forces which lead to the emphasis on
sex-role definitions or to the dream of upward mobility.
For the family which placed greater emphasis on sex-role de¬
finitions than on achievement, upward mobility may be fore¬
gone or mobility may be 'achieved' through marriage by a
daughter.

71
In our findings on sibling sex composition of families
of female achievers we noted that the groups with the lowest
birth rates (those of Jewish and white Protestant background)
had the highest proportion of achievers from all-female sib¬
ling families even though the improbably large proportion
of female achievers came from large all-female sibling fami¬
lies. In the absence of early sons in a family of a group
in which two or at most three children is the norm, a deci¬
sion may be made to have more children in the hope of pro¬
ducing a male. This behavior would indicate a strong need
for a son as potential achiever. This strategy failing, the
parents put pressure on one of the girls to achieve. In
other words, a large family size in a white Protestant mid¬
dle class home or in a Jewish middle class home coupled with
the absence of male children indicated or coincided with
the parents' strong need for an achieving child and consequent
stress on their female children to achieve. The two pro¬
ceeding discussions were suggested by our findings, although
not conclusively supported by them. They both pointed to
interesting future lines of research.

72
Family Size
According to Blau and Duncan (1967:298), men from small
families (less than four children) achieve more than those
from larger families. Turner (1962:122) found that boys
from large families "are less likely than those from small
families to have high ambitions, regardless of background."
Turner also noted that "the insignificant coefficient of
-.05 for women fails to support the same conclusion, however.
Why the relationship should not apply to women students as
well as to men our data do not clarify"(1962:122). We have
already shown in Chapter III that our achieving women came
disproportionately from small families. However, let us
look at achievement within the sample. An indicator of
achievement included within the instrument was professorial
rank attained. When we controlled present academic rank by
age and examined family size by rank, we found that women
from smaller families attained higher rank only at the cul¬
mination of their careers. Tables IV-8, IV-9, and IV-10
illustrate this clearly. The first two tables (IV-8, IV-9)
seem to substantiate Turner's finding while the third (IV-10)
follows the Blau and Duncan finding.

73
TABLE IV-8
PRESENT ACADEMIC RANK FOR RESPONDENTS
AGES 23-35 BY FAMILY SIZE
(in percent )
FAMILY SIZE
RANK
Assistant
Professor
Associate and
Full Professor
(N)
1-4 Children
54
46
(261)
5+ Children
61
39
( 28)
X2 = .457 (not
significant)
TABLE IV-9
PRESENT ACADEMIC RANK FOR RESPONDENTS
AGES 36-45 BY FAMILY SIZE
(in percent )
FAMILY SIZE
RANK
Assistant and
Associate Professor Full
Professor
(N)
1-4 Children
49
51
(106)
5+ Children
52
48
( 27)
X2 = .159 (not significant)
TABLE IV-10
PRESENT ACADEMIC RANK FOR RESPONDENTS
AGES 46-70 BY FAMILY SIZE
(in percent )
FAMILY SIZE
RANK
Assistant and
Associate Professor Full
Professor
(N)
1-4 Children
28
72
( 57)
5+ Children
63
37
( 8)
X2 = 3.7, p <
.05 (at 3.84)

74
A second hypothesis advanced by Blau and Duncan (1967:
300) was that only children achieve even more than children
from small families regardless of the birth order of the
latter. When we looked at present academic rank by age by
family size for the only children among the respondents, we
found that there was no greater achievement for only child¬
ren than for respondents with siblings.
TABLE IV-11
PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS WHO ARE
ASSISTANT PROFESSORS BY AGE FOR ONLY CHILDREN
COMPARED TO RESPONDENTS WITH SIBLINGS
(Assistant
Professors)
AGE GROUPS
Only Children
With Siblings
23-35
95
90
36+
5
10
(N)
(36)
(140)
X2 is not significant
PERCENT
ASSOCIATE
CHILDREN
TABLE IV-12
DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS WHO ARE
: AND FULL PROFESSORS BY AGE FOR ONLY
COMPARED TO RESPONDENTS WITH SIBLINGS
(Associate and
Full Professors)
AGE GROUPS
Only Children
With Siblings
23-35
37
43
36+
63
57
(N)
(61)
(257)
X2 not significant

75
Tables IV-11 and IV-12 showed that women who were only child¬
ren did not attain significantly higher ranks than their age
cohorts with siblings.
A third hypothesis advanced by Blau and Duncan (1967:
300) is that men from small families started higher and ad¬
vanced further in their careers than those from large fami¬
lies. Did this hold for women as well? Our indicator of
"starting higher" was the school ranking of the institution
from which the woman received her Ph.D. Table IV-13 shows
the results of the cross-tabulation of number of siblings
with school rank.
TABLE IV-13
PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF NUMBER OF CHILDREN
IN FAMILY OF ORIENTATION BY RANK OF
SCHOOL WHERE ATTAINED PH.D.
NUMBER OF
SCHOOL
RANKING
CHILDREN
Excellent
Very Good
Good Not
Ranked
(N)
1-4 Children
70
12
7
12
(427)
5+ Children
69
10
10
12
( 52)
= .641 (not significant)
For our sample, women from small families did not start out
at higher ranked schools than those from larger families.
We have already shown that women from smaller families did
eventually attain higher rank than those from larger families,

76
parallelling the second part of the Blau and Duncan findings.
In sum, we have seen that family size did affect achieve¬
ment for our women. First of all, most of the respondents
came from families of smaller size than their cohorts in the
population. Second, those from smaller families eventually
attained higher rank than those from larger families. When
the only children were considered separately, they followed
the small family trend. No advantage was found for any par¬
ticular family size with regard to rank of school attended.
Perhaps this is a reflection on the superior quality of the
total sample.
Birth Order and Achievement
Most of the research linking ordinal position and
achievement has tested male subjects. Sometimes, the find¬
ings for males have been generalized to both sexes. (See
Chapter I.) In our theoretical argument, it was agreed that
birth order would affect achievement; however, the automatic
translation of the results for men into those for women was
avoided. In fact, we suggested that birth order might have
a different meaning for men than for women. We suggested
that a large percentage of youngest daughters might achieve,
rather than those who were eldest. We also hypothesized that
birth order may have had different meanings within different

77
contexts—specifically within the all-female versus the
mixed-sex family. Other hypotheses to be tested related to
the advantages of coming from the extreme positions in the
family, rather than being a middle child. The remainder of
this chapter will be concerned with the effect of ordinal
position on females as reflected by our sample of female
achievers.
The general findings on birth order for the total sample
were mentioned in Chapter III. There we noted a large pro¬
portion of first-born and only children, as well as a repli¬
cation of Astin's (1969) finding that there was an unusually
high percentage of children born fourth or later, and that
27 percent were the youngest of their families after the
elimination of the only children from the tabulations.
Table IV-14 shows the disproportionate number of eldest child
ren in the sample after elimination of the only children.
For this table, the expected frequencies within family size
were calculated using a probability model. Thus, the pro¬
bability of being a middle child in a three-child family was
one third. Two-child families were not included in the table
Within the two-child families, 54 percent of the respondents
were oldest and 46 percent youngest.

78
TABLE IV-14
PERCENT DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENTS WHO ARE OLDEST,
MIDDLE AND YOUNGEST CHILDREN BY NUMBER OF SIBLINGS
(WITHOUT ONLY CHILDREN)
POSITION
NUMBER OF SIBLINGS
3 4 5
Oldest
45
39
47
Middle
27
42
33
Youngest
27
19
20
(N)
(102)
(62)
(15)
X2 = 19.52, p <.001 (d.f. = 4)
Let us now consider if birth order affected girls dif-
r
ferentially within the context of different sex structures
of the nuclear family. Did the eldest have a greater advan¬
tage if she came from a mixed-sex or an all-female sibling
family?
TABLE IV-15
BIRTH ORDER OF RESPONDENTS BY SIBLING SEX
COMPOSITION AFTER ELIMINATING ONLY CHILDREN
(in percent )
SEX COMPOSITION Eldest Not Eldest
Mixed-sex
42
58
(261)
50
50
(137)
All-Female

79
It appears from Table IV-15 that it was a greater advantage
to be an eldest daughter in an all-female sibling family
than in a mixed-sex sibling family. However, this could be
accounted for by remembering that the all-female sibling
families were smaller than the mixed-sex sibling families,
thus giving a greater a priori probability of not being
eldest. The expected relationship between being first-born
and achieving held for our women, and sex structure of the
sibling group did not affect it.
We looked at the comparative percentages of youngest
children within the context of all-female and mixed-sex
families of orientation for our sample.
TABLE IV-16
IS RESPONDENT YOUNGEST SIBLING BY SIBLING SEX
COMPOSITION OF FAMILY OF ORIENTATION
(EXCLUDING ONLY CHILDREN)
(in percent )
SEX COMPOSITION
Mixed-Sex
All-Female
Not youngest
64
63
Youngest
36
37
(N)
(264)
(134)
Table IV-16 shows no difference in placement origin for the
respondents on the basis of sex structure of the nuclear
family. Blau and Duncan (1967:307) suggested that children

80
in extreme positions are the most successful. Moreover,
they stated that this relationship held regardless of socio¬
economic status, family size, or the existence of an older
brother. For our total sample, we had the following distri¬
bution by position: 18 percent only children; 36 percent
eldest (excluding only children); 18 percent middle children;
and 27 percent youngest children (excluding only children).
Of course, for the 36 percent who came from two-child fami¬
lies, there was no possibility of being a middle child.
Using school rank as an indicator of achievement, we
tabulated the distribution of ordinal position of the respond¬
ents among the school ranks.
TABLE IV-17
ORDINAL POSITION OF THE RESPONDENT BY
RANK OF SCHOOL WHERE RECEIVED PH.D.
(in percent )
ORDINAL
POSITION
Excellent
SCHOOL
Very Good
RANKING
Good
Not Ranked
(N)
First-born
67.4
14.8
6.4
11.4
(264)
Second-born
72.0
5.4
13.2
9.3
(129)
Third-born
77.6
6.1
12.2
4.1
( 49)
Fourth-born
55.6
7.4
22.2
14.8
( 27)
Fifth-born
40.0
60.0
0
0
( 5)
Sixth-born
82.0
0
9.0
9.0
( ID
From Table IV-17, it did not appear that oldest children or
only children had higher achievement than the middle child¬
ren in our sample. Perhaps this was due to a screening

81
effect discussed by Blau and Duncan (1967:308-9). Male
middle children who had made it past the bachelor degree
were apt to be more successful in graduate school than those
from smaller families. In effect, then, the B.A. was the
biggest hurdle for a middle child to accomplish. Only the
truly superior ones made it, since they often had less emo¬
tional or financial support from their families than first¬
borns did. If this applied to women who chose to achieve
in 'masculine' terms, then our women, who were all past the
doctoral level, were reflecting this phenomenon. There
were less middle children than eldest or youngest in the
sample because less female middle children made it past the
B.A. than those in other positions. However, those that made
it past the bachelor degree went to schools of at least as
high a rank as any other group in the sample. This same
selection pattern is mirrored by the high ranks of institu¬
tions where our respondents received their Ph.D.'s compared
to male doctorates. Fewer women than men made it past the
B.A., but those who did often excelled in graduate school
(see Chapter III).
In sum, among our sample of female achievers there were
a high proportion of first-born and only children, as well
as of youngest children. However, ordinal position did not

82
have different meanings for women from families of different
sibling types. In fact, it had no meaning in terms of
achievement within the sample. Middle children were less
likely to make it through graduate school, but those who did
attain the Ph.D. achieved at least as well as their peers
who were first-born or youngest children.

CHAPTER V
SUMMARY AND CONCLUSIONS
Through this study of female achievement, we set out
to explore a part of the socialization process which gives
impetus to a woman to achieve through a career instead of
or in addition to marriage. Our specific focus was the
effect of the sex composition of the sibling group of the
nuclear family of the respondents and the consequences of
the make-up of that sibling group for the achievement goals
of the parents. The 'push' toward achievement was assumed
to come originally and most powerfully from the parents.
Our analysis of the data, then, was really an analysis of
the countervailing forces at work on the parents and dir¬
ecting the parents' effect on the daughters. Those forces
influencing the parents which emerged during the study were
extent of ideological commitment to traditional sex-role
definitions and belonging to a minority or immigrant group
which made the need for achieving the American dream more
urgent.
Our more specific findings included the following.
First, socio-economic status of the family of orientation
83

84
was related to achievement. The respondents came overwhelm¬
ingly from middle class families. Their parents were highly
educated, middle income couples. Their fathers had presti¬
gious occupations. Second, the women in our sample very
often had diversified models of the female role. Many of
their mothers worked after they had children—and they
worked out of choice at occupations of higher status than
their age cohorts. Not only did their mothers work for
salary, but also as volunteers in community organizations.
Often they were active members or leaders of these community
groups while having full-time jobs. Third, our respondents
came from urban environments. Fourth, at least one third
of them were consciously part of ethnic groups. Fifth, they
came from stable homes where both parents were present while
they were growing up. More than 95 percent of those who
mentioned relationships with parents and the parental influ¬
ence on their pursuit of an academic career in their comments
at the end of the questionnaire felt that their parents were
a positive influence on their decision.
The analysis of the hypotheses concerning the relation¬
ships between sex structure of the sibling group in the nu¬
clear family of the respondents, family size, and ordinal
position, and female achievement yielded the following results.

85
For the sample as a whole, there were no significant differ¬
ences in sex composition of sibling groups for female
achievers. However, when the respondents were compared by-
ethnicity of parents and by religious groupings, dispropor¬
tionate percentages of all-female sibling families emerged
for certain groups. Thus, among Jews there were a dispropor¬
tionate number of all-female sibling families for three and
four child families. For those who were affiliated with
ethnic groups, those who came from Western and Northern Eur¬
ope came disproportionately from all-female sibling families
for families of size three, four and five. The finding pre¬
viously noted for "religious" Jews also held true for "ethnic"
Jews. We have already discussed the possible linkage of the
findings for Jews and for children of immigrants from North¬
ern and Western Europe in Chapter IV. We speculated that
when couples from groups with low fertility rates continue
to have children in order to have a son, and don't succeed,
this leads to a push toward achievement for one of the
daughters. We found that ,as in the case of men, family size
had an effect on achievement. Our women came disproportion¬
ately from small families, compared with their age cohorts
in the census. While no advantage was found for any parti¬
cular family size in terms of rank of school attended for
the doctoral degree, eventual achievement of higher profes-

86
sional rank was related to small family size. This was un¬
like the finding for birth order where those who were in
the extreme positions were most likely to have attained a
doctoral degree, but, once possessing the degree, their at¬
tainment within their fields was unrelated to ordinal posi¬
tion.
Throughout the analysis, comparisons within the sample
were made by sub-field. While these comparisons were inter¬
esting, especially with regard to the demographic data, the
primary finding resulting from their use was that choice of
field was not related to structural factors in the nuclear
family, but to other, later forces in the respondents' lives.
Finally, there emerged from our data a composite portrait
of the life style of our respondents today. The two thirds
that were married most often had only one marriage. Their
husbands were as educated as they and shared their interest
and involvement in the academic community. They have mar¬
ried later and had fewer children than their age cohorts
in the census, but they seem to be successfully combining
family life, motherhood, and academic careers. Their hus¬
bands most often came from homes where their mothers worked
while raising children. Together, these couples are pro¬
viding the same kind of diversified female sex-role models

87
for their children of both sexes that their mothers often
provided for them.
Future research on the effect of variant sibling sex
compositions of nuclear families can be broadened in several
ways. First, in order to perform a more direct test of the
links between sibling sex structure of the nuclear family
parental ideology, and female achievement, it would be
useful to do a study of parent-daughter combinations. Such
a study would include actual measures of ideological com¬
mitment to traditional definitions of sex-role by the
parents. A second facit of a direct test of our hypothesis
would be the introduction of a control group of non¬
achieving women, rather than the use of the census cohort
of the respondents as a pseudo control group. A third way
of enriching future studies of female achievement is to
study women who have been successful in areas other than
academia. Such women would include business executives,
artists, professionals, and politicians. One cannot gen¬
eralize results of a study of academic women to success¬
ful women in all fields of endeavor. Fourth, the meaning
of identification with an ethnic group, a minority group,
or an immigrant group should be explored further. Finally,
a parallel study should be carried out of all-male sibling

88
families to see if parents will "permit" one son to deviate
from accepted "masculine" occupations if there is another
brother to be the achiever. In other words, are a dispro¬
portionate number of male poets, actors, elementary school
teachers, dancers, and the like from all-male sibling
families?
We shall close this summary and conclusions with
thoughts from our respondents which illuminate some of
the findings of this study. They do not speak in per¬
centages, but their message is loud and clear.
On Female Role Models:
The typical western or midwestern atmosphere in which
I grew up is much more conducive to female education
and achievement. Both sides of my family were in Ohio
or Michigan by about 1850. Both my grandmothers
graduated from small Ohio or Michigan colleges about
1900. My aunts were taking master's degrees in the
1920's. I have thought about these matters quite a
bit. I have lived 20 years in New Jersey and have
a 12 year old daughter, (from a chemist)
The "liberation" in our family occurred in my mother's
generation. She came out of non-English speaking
ghetto background and somehow became a professional.
I was proud of my mother's accomplishments and always
knew I would use my capacities to their maximum. I
was supported and pushed (sometimes too vigorously)
by my mother and her friends. Both my daughters are
in college now in pre-professional courses. Interest¬
ingly, my younger sister had exactly the opposite
reaction, (from a biologist)

89
On The Power of Parents:
I never really felt that I had much choice. The only
crucial decision which my family and teachers per¬
mitted me to make was whether to go into music or
science, (from a chemist)
Probably the most important factor in my background
was the expectation of my parents that I would go to
college and would do something "important" with my
life, (from a sociologist)
My mother had no opportunity to fulfill her own
ambitions. She was an ardent feminist. Though ful¬
filling the traditional role, she was not happy in
it. For her daughters it was going to be different.
Every achievement at school was doubly rewarded at
home, (from a sociologist)
I was strongly encouraged (even required) by my parents
to pursue a high status, professional career, (from
a sociologist)
Probably being oldest and the fact that my father did
not have a son led to my wanting academic achievement,
(from a psychologist)
On The Effect of Female Role Models on Men:
Minnie Snyder, my husband's grandmother, was an avowed
feminist. She chained herself to the White House fence
to help get the vote for women. This was a legend in
my husband's family. Perhaps his high level of expect¬
ations for me and his willingness to support my educ¬
ation and career are influenced by this part of his
family history, (from a chemist)
On Lack of Pressure Toward Traditional Roles:
My parents never pressured me to date a lot when I was
younger nor to marry , and I had seen many single
women living rewarding lives ... On the other hand,
I had grown up in a family and had very positive
feelings about marriage as exemplified by my parents.

90
I knew that if I married my husband would have to
be a professor, physician, or clergyman ... (from
a biologist)
I was trained in typical sex-role functions but
attitudinally my parents stressed individual
achievement over sex-role placement. I was not
"pushed" into dating, and was highly rewarded and
praised for academic achievements, (from a sociologist)
Although my father did not suggest I go further than
a B.A., he never urged me to marry and settle down,
(from a sociologist)
Finally, to keep us humble, a comment on the efficacy
of sociology from a chemist.
So it all goes back to people, and their influence.
Given the good luch of "good genes" from able and
personally fine parents, the people had far more to
do with this than any sociological factors!
We have seen that "the people", especially the parents of
our respondents and their aspirations for their children,
were part of the sociological factors leading the respon¬
dents to academic careers.

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APPENDIX

97
Codebook and Marginals
Card I
Column 1 - Designates card number - code 1
Column 2 - Designates field of specialization of respondent
1 psychology N = 124
2 sociology N = 138
3 chemistry N = 80
4 biology N = 143
N = 485
Columns 3-5 - Three consecutive digits which complete the
identification number of the respondents.
Column 6 - Month questionnaire was received
3
March
94%
(457)
4
April
5%
( 25)
5
May
1%
( 3)
(485)
Column 7 - Date of month questionnaire was received
Actual date was coded as two-digit number.

98
Column 9 - What is
your present
academic rank?
1 Instructor
1%
( 3)
2 Assistant
Professor
36%
(174)
3 Associate
Professor
36%
(176)
4 Professor
27%
(132)
(485)
Columns 10-11 - In what year did you complete
degree? (Last two digits of year were coded.)
collapsed by decades as follows.
1920-29
1%
( 4)
1930-39
3%
( 16)
1940-49
9%
( 46)
1950-59
26%
(127)
1960-69
55%
(291)
1970-72
5%
( 25)
(485)
Columns 10-11
from the year
- An approximate age measure was
of completion of the Ph.D.
1 1926-29 =
66-70
years
old
1%
( 4)
2 1930-39 =
56-65
years
old
3%
( 16)
3 1940-49 =
46-55
years
old
10%
( 46)
4 1950-59 =
36-45
years
old
26%
(127)
5 1960-69 =
26-35
years
old
54%
(291)
6 1970-72 =
23-25
years
old
5%
( 25)
(485)

99
Column 12 - From what school did you receive your doctoral
degree?
Schools were assigned ranks of
1
Excellent
69%
(333)
2
Very good
11%
(
54)
3
Good
10%
(
47)
4
Not ranked
10%
(
48)
(485)
These ranks were computed through the use of the school
rankings found in A Rating of Graduate Programs, Kenneth
D. Roose and Charles J. Anderson, eds., American Council
on Education, 1970.
Psychology - Social Sciences (p. 66) - Leading Institutions
by Rated Quality of Graduate Faculty
Rank = 1; Stanford, Michigan, California-Berkeley, Harvard,
Illinois, Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Yale, Cali-
fornia-Los Angeles, Texas, Brown, M.I.T., Colorado, Indiana,
Chicago, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Penn State, Cornell,
Iowa (Iowa City), Michigan State, Rochester, Duke, North
Carolina, Oregon, Columbia, Princeton, Washington (Seattle),
Carnegie-Mellon, N.Y.U., Ohio State.
Rank = 2: Brandéis, Buffalo, Cal. Tech., Clark, Connecti¬
cut, Florida, Florida State, Kansas, Massachusetts, New
Mexico, Pittsburgh, Purdue, Rutgers, Southern California,
Syracuse, Vanderbilt.
Rank = 3: Arizona, Arizona State, Boston U., Bryn Mawr,
Case Western Reserve, Cincinnati, Claremont, Emory, George
Peabody, Georgia, Iowa State (Ames), Kansas State, Mary¬
land, Miami (Florida), Missouri, Nebraska, New School,
Ohio U., Southern Illinois, Tennessee, Tufts, Tulane, Utah,
Virginia, Washington (St. Louis), Washington State, Wayne
State, Yeshiva.

100
Sociology - Social Sciences (p. 68) - Leading Institutions
by Rated Quality of Graduate Faculty
Rank = 1: California-Berkeley, Harvard, Chicago, Columbia,
Michigan, Wisconsin, North Carolina, California-Los Angeles,
Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Northwestern, Princeton, Washington
(Seattle), Yale, Minnesota, Stanford, Michigan State, Texas,
Indiana, Brandéis, Pennsylvania.
Rank = 2; Brown, Duke, Illinois, M.I.T., N.Y.U., Oregon,
Southern California, Vanderbilt, Washington (St. Louis).
Rank = 3: Buffalo, Case Western Reserve, Colorado, Florida
State, Iowa (Iowa City), Massachusetts, Missouri, New
School, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Penn State, Pittsburgh,
Purdue, Syracuse, Tulane, Washington State.
Chemistry - Physical Sciences (p. 92) - Rankings for chem¬
istry and biochemistry were combined to give one ranking
by Rated Quality of Graduate Faculty
Rank = 1 (ranked 1 on both lists): Harvard, Cal. Tech.,
California-Berkeley, Stanford, M.I.T., Illinois, California-
Los Angeles, Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Wisconsin, Yale,
Princeton, Purdue, California-San Diego, Indiana, Michigan,
Minnesota, Rockefeller, Johns Hopkins, Michigan State,
Washington (Seattle), Brandéis, Case Western Reserve,
Oregon.
Rank = 2 (ranked 1 on one list and other tank on other list)
Northwestern, Iowa State (Ames), Duke, N.Y.U., Pennsylvania,
Washington (St. Louis), California-Davis, Vanderbilt, Ohio
State, Texas, Florida State, Penn State, Rice, Colorado,
Brown, Florida, Rochester.
Rank = 3 (ranked on at least one list or on two lists with
no #1 rank): Utah, Yeshiva, Wayne State, Carnegie-Mellon,
Notre Dame, Arizona State, Arizona, Delaware, Brooklyn
Polytech., Georgia Tech., Buffalo, California-Riverside,
Houston, Iowa (Iowa City), Illinois Inst. Tech., North
Carolina, Oregon State, Kansas State, Rutgers, Maryland,
St. Louis U., Nebraska, Tufts, New Hampshire, Utah, R.P.I.,
Georgia, Tennessee, Louisiana State, Texas A&M, U. Mass.,
Tulane, Virginia, Virginia Polytech., Baylor, Boston U.,

101
California-San Francisco, Cincinnati, Connecticut, Emory,
Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Miami (Florida), Ohio State,
Oklahoma State, Southern California, Syracuse, Washington
State, Pittsburgh.
Biology - Biological Sciences (p. 88) - Leading Institutions
by Rated Quality of Graduate Faculty - These rankings were
condenses from five rankings by sub-specialties of biology
Rank - 1 (if combined score totaled 4-7): California-
Berkeley, Harvard, Stanford, Yale, Chicago, Princeton,
Wisconsin, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Michigan, Washington
(Seattle), California-Los Angeles, Indiana, Duke, Illinois,
Texas, Purdue, California-Davis, Michigan State, Pennsyl¬
vania, Washington (St. Louis), Case Western Reserve, Minne¬
sota, North Carolina, Oregon, Columbia, Iowa (Iowa City),
Kansas, Rochester, Iowa State, Massachusetts, Rutgers.
Rank = 2 (if combined score totaled 8-11): Northwestern,
Brown, Rice, California-Riverside, Colorado, Connecticut,
Florida, Florida State, Georgia, Missouri, N.Y.U., North
Carolina State, Ohio State, Oregon State, Penn State,
Southern California, Syracuse, Virginia, Washington State,
Cal. Tech., M.I.T., Brandéis, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Pitts¬
burgh, Utah.
Rank = 3 (if combined score totaled 12-15): Buffalo,
Miami (Florida), Tulane, California-San Francisco, Yeshiva,
Alabama, Kentucky, Loyola, New Mexico, West Virginia,
Baylor, Bryn Mawr, Mississippi, Tufts, Tennessee, Arizona,
Boston U., Colorado State, Emory, Hawaii, Kansas State,
Louisiana State, Nebraska, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, Oklahoma
State, Southern Illinois, Texas A&M, Utah State, Virginia
Polytech., Wayne State.
Column 13 - In what city and state did you live when you
were in high school? (If you lived in a rural area, state
the closest city and how far you were from it.)
Size of city where attended high school
1 over 1,000,000 32% (153)
2
500,000 - 1,000,000 7% ( 33)

3 150,000 - 500,000
4 50,000 - 150,000
5 5,000 - 50,000
6 under 5,000*
- 102 -
12% ( 56)
12% ( 58)
22% (107)
15% ( 71)
(478)
*or specified farm or not in Atlas
Sizes of areas or cities were checked individually in the
Rand McNally Standard World Atlas, 1953 (a year when many
of the respondents were in high school).
Column 14 - In what city and state did you live when you
were in high school?
Region of country where attended high school (code from
Census Region Code)
1
New England
8%
(
37)
2
Middle Atlantic
34%
(162)
3
East North Central
22%
(107)
4
West North Central
9%
(
44)
5
South Atlantic
7%
(
32)
6
East South Central
3%
(
12)
7
West South Central
5%
(
24)
8
Mountain
3%
(
10)
9
Pacific
9%
(
45)
(479)
Each state was looked up in the Census Region Code and
placed in the proper category. Those who attended high
school in a foreign country were eliminated from the
sample.

103
Column 15 - How many children were ever born into your
family? (Coded number which was circled up to 8 children,
if more than 8 children code 9.)
1
18%
(
87)
2
36%
(176)
3
21%
(102)
4
13%
(
62)
5
6%
(
28)
6
3%
(
14)
7
1%
(
7)
8
1%
(
6)
9+
1%
(
3)
(485)
Column 16 - Which number are you? (Correct number was
circled, counting the eldest as number 1; if respondent
was after number 8, code 9.)
1
54%
(264)
2
27%
(129)
3
10%
(
49)
4
6%
(
27)
5
1%
(
5)
6
1%
(
5)
7
1%
(
4)
8
*
(
1)
9
*
(
1)
(485)

104
Columns 17-25 - Data on the first sibling
Column 17 - Sex of first sibling
1
female
75%
(362)
2
male
25%
(123)
(485)
Columns 18-19 - Year of birth of first sibling (last two
numbers of year were coded, if born in 1900 code 99)—
collapsed by decades.
1890-99
3%
( 14)
1900-09
10%
( 49)
1910-19
20%
(100)
1920-29
29%
(137)
1930-39
30%
(146)
1940-49
8%
( 38)
(485)
Columns 20-21 - Year of death of first sibling (last two
numbers of year were coded, if died in 1900 code 99)—
collapsed by decades.
1900-09
4%
(
2)
1910-19
11%
(
5)
1920-29
7%
(
3)
1930-39
18%
( 10)
1940-49
14%
(
7)
1950-59
8%
(
4)
1960-69
28%
( 13)

1970-72
8% ( 4)
( 47)
Column 22 - Highest academic level reached by first sibling
1
elementary school
1%
(
3)
2
some high school
1%
(
6)
3
graduated high school
10%
( 45)
4
some college or profes¬
sional (technical) school
or art training
6%
( 28)
5
graduated college
12%
( 55)
6
some graduate school
*
(
2)
7
completed M.A.
8%
( 37)
8
Ph.D. or professional
degree
60%
(292)
(468)
Columns 23-25 - Principal occupation of first sibling -
coded using the census occupation code with a few addi¬
tions. This was then collapsed into categories which
follow. This same procedure was followed for each codi¬
fication of occupation which follows.
Additions to census occupation code:
196 model
200 president of a corporation, executive of a large
company
245 redefined as business, especially own small business
997 student
998 housewife

106
Collapsed categories with marginals for first sibling
1
Professionals
68%
(311)
2
Executives
1%
(
4)
3
Semi-professionals
7%
(
33)
4
Managerial and
proprieterial
6%
(
28)
5
Technical
1%
(
3)
6
Sales
1%
(
4)
7
Clerical
2%
(
ID
8
Craftsmen
4%
(
17)
9
Operatives
*
(
2)
10
Students
*
(
2)
11
Housewives
10%
(
46)
(461)
Columns 26-34 - Data on Second Sibling
Column 26 - Sex of second sibling
1 female 65% (259)
2 male 35% (139)
(398)

107
Columns 27-28
- Year
by decades
1890-99
2%
1900-09
6%
1910-19
18%
1920-29
30%
1930-39
2 5%
1940-49
17%
1950-59
*
Columns 29-30
- Year
by decades
1900-09
4%
1910-19
8%
1920-29
16%
1930-39
25%
1940-49
14%
1950-59
4%
1960-69
2 5%
1970-72
4%
of birth of second
( 7)
( 24)
( 68)
(137)
(106)
( 64)
( 2)
(388)
of death of second
( 1)
( 2)
( 4)
( 7)
( 5)
( 1)
( 7)
( 1)
sibling - collapsed
sibling - collapsed
( 28)

108
Column 31 - Highest academic level reached by second sibling
1
elementary school
*
(
1)
2
some high school
2%
(
6)
3
high school diploma
14%
(
53)
4
some college, profes¬
sional, technical or
art school
8%
(
30)
5
graduated college
21%
(
81)
6
some graduate school
*
(
1)
7
completed M.A.
15%
(
56)
8
t
Ph.D. or professional
degree
40%
(155)
9
retarded
1%
(
2)
(385)
Columns 32-34 - Highest occupational level achieved -
collapsed census code
1 Professionals
2 Executives
3 Managerial and
proprieterial
4 Semi-professionals
5 Technical
6 Sales
7 Clerical
52%
(190)
3%
(
10)
10%
(
35)
14%
(
51)
2%
(
7)
1%
(
5)
4%
(
13)
1%
(
4)
8Operatives

109
9
Service
*
(
1)
10
Student
1%
(
4)
11
Housewife
12%
(
44)
(369)
Columns 35-43 - Data on Third Sibling
Column 35 - Sex of third sibling
1
female
65%
(144)
2
male
35%
( 78)
(222)
Columns 36-37 - Year of birth of third sibling
by decades
1890-99
3%
( 7)
1900-09
5%
( 10)
1910-19
16%
( 36)
1920-29
26%
( 56)
1930-39
30%
( 64)
1940-49
17%
( 37)
1950-59
3%
( 7)
collapsed
(217)

110
Columns 38-39 - Year of death of third sibling - collapsed
by decades
1910-19
11%
(
2)
1920-29
11%
(
2)
1930-39
33%
(
6)
1940-49
17%
(
3)
1950-59
11%
(
2)
1960-69
17%
(
3)
( 18)
Column 40 - Highest academic
some high school
high school diploma
some college, technical,
business or art school
graduated college
completed M.A.
completed Ph.D. or profes¬
sional degree
retarded
level reached by third sibling
3% ( 6)
18% ( 38)
10% ( 21)
25% ( 53)
12% ( 25)
31% ( 66)
1% ( 2)
(211)

Ill
Columns 41-43 - Principal occupation of third siblina
collapsed census code
Professionals
39%
( 81)
Executives
2%
( 3)
Semi-professionals
16%
( 32)
Managerial and proprieterial
9%
( 19)
Sales
2%
( 5)
Clerical
5%
( 10)
Craftsmen
2%
( 4)
Operatives
2%
( 3)
Laborers
i
1%
( 1)
Service
1%
( 1)
Student
4%
( 8)
Housewife
20%
( 39)
(206)
Columns 44-52 - Data on Fourth Sibling
Column 44 - Sex of fourth sibling
1
female
59%
( 70)
2
male
41%
( 49)
(119)

112
Columns 45-46 - Birth year of
by decades
1890-99
1%
( 1)
1900-09
7%
( 8)
1910-19
12%
( 14)
1920-29
28%
( 32)
1930-39
24%
( 27)
1940-49
25%
( 29)
1950-59
2%
( 2)
(113)
Columns 47-48
by decades
- Year
deceased
1900-09
8%
( 1)
1910-19
8%
( 1)
1920-29
8%
( 1)
1930-39
23%
( 3)
1940-49
15%
( 2)
1950-59
23%
( 3)
1960-69
15%
( 2)
fourth sibling - collapsed
fourth sibling - collapsed
( 13)

113
Column 49 - Highest academic level reached by fourth sibling
some high school
5%
(
5)
high school diploma
8%
(
9)
some college, technical,
business or art school
8%
(
9)
completed college
34%
(
37)
some graduate school
1%
(
1)
completed M.A.
14%
(
15)
completed Ph.D. or profes¬
sional degree
31%
(
34)
(HO)
Columns 50-52 - Principal
collapsed census code
occupation
of
Professionals
38%
(
41)
Executives
2%
(
2)
Semi-professionals
20%
(
22)
Managers and Proprietors
8%
(
9)
Technical
2%
(
2)
Sales
1%
(
1)
Clerical
2%
(
2)
Craftsmen
5%
(
5)
Operatives
1%
(
1)
1% ( 1)
Laborers

114
Student
7%
( 8)
Housewife
13%
( 14)
(108)
Columns 53-61 - Data on Fifth Siblings
Column 53 - Sex of fifth siblings
1
female
51%
(28)
2
male
49%
(27)
(55)
Columns 54-55 - Year of birth of fifth siblings - collapsed
by decades
1890-99
2%
( 1)
1900-09
8%
( 4)
1910-19
17%
( 9)
1920-29
21%
(ID
1930-39
23%
(12)
1940-49
27%
(14)
1950-59
2%
( 1)
(52)
Columns 56-57 - Year of death of fifth siblings
1881
20%
( 1)
1926
20%
( 1)
1934
20% ( 1)

115
1943 20% ( 1)
1946 20% ( 1)
T5)
Column 58 - Hiqhest academic
level reached by fifth siblings
elementary school
2% ( 1)
some high school
4% ( 2)
high school diploma
20% (10)
some college, technical,
business or art school
18% ( 9)
graduated college
22% (11)
some graduate school
0
completed M.A.
10% ( 5)
completed Ph.D. or profes¬
sional degree
24% (12)
retarded
2% ( 1)
(51)
Columns 59-61 - Principal occupation of fifth siblings -
collapsed census code
Professionals
38% (18)
Semi-professionals
8% ( 4)
Managers and Proprietors
6% ( 3)
Clerical
2% ( 1)
Craftsmen
8% ( 4)
Craftsmen
8%

116
Operatives
Students
Housewives
Columns 62-70 - Data on Sixth Siblings
Column 62 - Sex of sixth siblings
female
57%
(16)
male
43%
(12)
(30)
Year of birth sixth siblings - collapsed
16% ( 4)
12% ( 3)
28% ( 7)
20% ( 5)
16% ( 4)
8% ( 2)
(25)
Columns 65-66 - Year of death of sixth siblings
1930 50% ( 1)
50% ( 1)
( 2)
Columns 63-64 -
by decades
1900-09
1910-19
1920-29
1930-39
1940-49
1950-59
2% ( 1)
6% ( 3)
29% (14)
(48)
1939

117
Column 67 - Hiqhest academic
level
reached by sixth siblings
graduated high school
16%
(
4)
some college, technical,
business or art school
12%
(
3)
graduated college
32%
(
8)
some graduate school
4%
(
1)
completed M.A.
8%
(
2)
completed Ph.D. or profes¬
sional degree
24%
(
6)
retarded
4%
(
1)
(25)
j
Columns 68-70 - Principal occupation
condensed census code
of sixth siblings -
Professionals
20%
(
7)
Semi-professionals
17%
(
4)
Managerial and Proprieterial
8%
(
2)
Craftsmen
13%
(
3)
Students
13%
(
3)
Housewife
21%
(
5)
(24)
Columns 71-79 - Data on Seventh Siblings
Column 71 - Sex of seventh siblings
1
female
7 3%
(ID
2
male
27%
( 4)
(15)

118
Columns 72-73 - Birth years of seventh siblings - collapsed
by decades
1910-19
36%
( 5)
1920-29
7%
( 1)
1930-39
14%
( 2)
1940-49
28%
( 4)
1950-59
14%
( 2)
(14)
Columns 74-75 - Years of death of seventh isblings
1922
25%
(
1)
1934
25%
(
1)
1943
25%
(
1)
1962
25%
(
1)
( 4)
Column 76 - Highest academic level reached by seventh
siblings
some high school
8%
(
1)
completed high school
42%
(
5)
graduated college
17%
(
2)
completed M.A.
8%
(
1)
completed Ph.D. or profes¬
sional degree
25%
(
3)
(12)

119
Columns 77-79 - Principal occupation of seventh siblings -
condensed census code
Professionals
31%
( 4)
Semi-professionals
15%
( 2)
Managerial and Proprieterial
8%
( 1)
Craftsmen
8%
( 1)
Students
31%
( 4)
Housewives
8%
( 1)
(13)
Column 80 - blank
Card II
Column 1 - Designates card number - code 2
Column 2 - Designates field of specialization of respondent
as on card I
Columns 3-5 - Three consecutive digits which complete the
identification number of the respondents.
Columns 6-14 - Data on Eighth Siblings
Column 6 - Sex on eighth siblings
1 female 29% ( 2)
71% ( 5)
( 7)
2 male

120
Columns 7-8
by decades
- Birth
years
of eighth
siblings
1910-19
17%
( 1)
1930-39
17%
( 1)
1940-49
33%
( 2)
1950-59
33%
( 2)
( 6)
Columns 9-10
- Death
years
of eighth
siblings
00
Column 11 - Highest academic
siblings
level
reached by
eighth
some high school
17%
(
1)
graduated high school
50%
(
3)
some college, technical,
business or art school
17%
(
1)
graduated college
17%
(
1)
(
6)
Columns 12-14 - Principal occupation
condenses census code
of eighth
sibling
Professionals
14%
(
1)
Managerial and Proprieterial
14%
(
1)
Clerical
14%
(
1)
Laborers
14%
(
1)
( 3)
TV
Students
43%

121
Column 15 - Is the respondent the youngest sibling?
Not youngest
55%
(265)
Youngest
45%
(220)
(485)
Column 16 - Is this ;
an all female
family?
Has male sibling
54%
(261)
Only or all female
43%
(209)
Had male sibling who
young
died
3%
( 12)
Has one male sibling
retarded
who is
*
( 3)
(485)
Column 17 - What was
mother when you were
the religious
growing up?
preference
of your
Protestant
58%
(279)
Catholic
14%
( 69)
J ewi sh
22%
(105)
Other
2%
( 10)
None or Agnostic written in 4%
( 19)
(482)
Column 18 - What was
father when you were
the religious
growing up?
preference
of your
Protestant
57%
(272)
Catholic
12%
( 57)

122
Jewish
22%
(103)
Other
2%
( 10)
None or Agnostic written in
7%
( 34)
(476)
Column 19 - Check
the race of
your
mother
1 Black
1%
( 5)
2 White
99%
(479)
3 Oriental
•k
( 1)
4 Other
0
(485)
Column 20 - Check
the race of
your
father
1 Black
1%
( 6)
2 White
98%
(477)
3 Oriental
*
( 2)
4 Other
0
(485)
Column 21 - When you were growing up, did you ever live
apart from one or both of your parents?
My father was absent
during part of my youth
16%
( 77)
My mother was absent
during part of my youth
2%
( ID

123
Both parents were
during part of my
absent
youth
6%
( 28)
Not applicable
76%
(369)
(485)
Column 22 - If you were separated from one or both of your
parents while growing up, was this due to:
1
divorce
6%
(
28)
2
death of one parent
10%
(
47)
3
separation of parents
1%
(
6)
4
death of both parents
1%
(
4)
5
t
other
5%
(
22)
6
illness of one parent
*
(
2)
7
illness of both parents
*
(
1)
8
war or career Army
3%
(
12)
9
not applicable
75%
(363)
(485)
Column 23 - Did your mother consider herself part of any
of the following ethnic groups?
Italian
1%
(
6)
Irish
3%
( 15)
Polish
1%
(
5)
German
9%
( 41)
Puerto Rican
0

124
Other
9%
(
42)
Jewish written in
8%
(
37)
English written in
1%
(
5)
Not applicable
69%
(334)
(485)
Column 24 - Did your father consider himself part of any
of the following ethnic groups?
Italian
Irish
Polish
German
Puerto Rican
Other
Jewish written in
English written in
Not applicable
2% ( 8)
3% ( 16)
2% ( 11)
7% (33)
0
8% ( 37)
8% ( 38)
1% ( 6)
69% (336)
(485)
Column 25 - How much schooling did your mother have?
1
Elementary school
17%
(
83)
2
Some high school
14%
(
67)
3
Completed high school
21%
(101)
4
Some college
14%
(
68)
5
Completed junior college
3%
(
12)

125
6
Technical, business or
art school
7%
(
36)
7
Completed college
16%
(
75)
8
Completed graduate degree
7%
(
36)
0
Not applicable or no
answer
1%
(
7)
(485)
Column 26 - How much schooling did your father have?
1
Elementary school
18%
(
85)
2
Some high school
14%
(
68)
3
Completed high school
14%
(
69)
4
Some college
12%
(
57)
5
Completed junior college
1%
(
3)
6
Technical or business
school
5%
(
26)
7
Completed college
13%
(
64)
8
Completed graduate degree
21%
(104)
0
No answer
2%
(
9)
(485)
Columns 27-29 - What was your father's occupation while
you were growing up? Condensed census occupation code.
Professionals
23%
(113)
Executives
5%
( 24)
Semi-professionals
8% ( 39)

126
Managerial and Proprieterial
29%
(142)
Technical
1%
(
3)
Sales
8%
(
39)
Clerical
3%
(
16)
Craftsmen
14%
(
69)
Operatives
4%
(
19)
Laborers
1%
(
6)
Service
1%
(
3)
No answer
3%
(
14)
(485)
Column 30 - When you graduated high school would you say
that your father's income was:
1 less than that of a high
school teacher at that
time 21% (94)
2 about the same as a high
school teacher at that
time 18% ( 81)
3 more than that of a high
school teacher at that
time 49% (224)
4 I don't know 13% ( 60)
(459)

Column 31 - Did your mother ever work outside the home
after marriage?
1
No, never
43%
(203)
2
Yes, part
time
20%
( 89)
3
Yes, full
time
37%
(179)
(478)
Column 32 - Did your mother ever work outside the home
while you were growing up?
1
No, never
54%
(255)
2
Yes, part
time
18%
( 87)
3
Yes, full
time
28%
(135)
(477)
Columns 33-35 - What type of work did your mother do if
she was employed at all after marriage? Condensed census
occupation code.
Professional
4%
(
ID
Executive
1%
(
2)
Semi-professional
34%
(
96)
Managerial and Proprieterial
29%
(142)
Technical
1%
(
3)
Sales
8%
(
39)
Clerical
3%
(
16)
Craftsmen
15%
(
69)
Operatives
4%
(
19)

128
Laborers
1%
( 6)
Service
1%
( 3)
(471)
Column 36 - Was your mother ever involved in community
activities as an active participant or leader? (church
groups, welfare leagues, political action)
1 My mother was not involved
in any such activities.
38%
(179)
My mother was a member of
groups but not an active
participant.
20%
( 94)
My mother was active in
community activities.
25%
(120)
My mother was a leader in
community activities.
17%
( 82)
(475)
Column 37 - What is your current marital status?
1
never married (single)
32%
(154)
2
currently married
55%
(265)
3
divorced
8%
( 36)
4
separated
2%
( 9)
5
widowed
4%
( 17)
(481)

129
Column 38-39 - How long have you been in your current
marital status? Coded number of years (singles didn't
answer).
1- 9 years
36%
(117)
10-19 years
32%
(104)
20-29 years
21%
( 69)
30-39 years
10%
( 32)
40-49 years
2%
( 5)
(327)
Column 40 - Circle the number
had. Code actual number. (Si
of children you have ever
.ngles didn't answer.)
One child
2 5%
( 61)
Two children
43%
(103)
Three children
22%
( 53)
Four children
7%
( 16)
Five children
2%
( 5)
Six children
1%
( 2)
(240)
Column 41 - How many marriaqes
didn't answer.)
have
you had?
(Singles
One
84%
(272)
Two
15%
( 49)
Three
*
( 1)

Four
*
(
1)
Five
★
(
1)
(324)
Columns 42-43
- What was the year
of
your
by decades.
1920-29
2%
(
5)
1930-39
8%
(
28)
1940-49
28%
(
90)
1950-59
34%
(HO)
1960-69
25%
(
80)
1970-72
3%
(
10)
(323)
first marriage?
Column 44 - How much schooling did your husband complete?
(If you are currently separated, widowed or divorced
answer for last husband.)
1
Elementary school
0
2
Some high school
1%
(
2)
3
Completed high school
1%
(
3)
4
Some college
4%
(
12)
5
Completed junior college
0
6
Technical or business
school
*
(
1)
7
Completed college
10%
(
33)
8
Completed graduate degree
85%
(279)
(330)

131
Columns 45-47 - What is the principal occupation of your
husband? (If you are currently separated, widowed or di¬
vorced answer for most recent spouse.) Condensed census
occupation code.
Professional
80%
(259)
Executive
2%
(
6)
Semi-professional
10%
(
32)
Managerial and Proprieterial
4%
(
12)
Technical
*
(
1)
Sales
1%
(
4)
Clerical
*
(
1)
Craftsmen
1%
(
4)
Students
2%
(
6)
(325)
Column 48 - To the best of your knowledge did your husband's
mother ever work outside the home after she had children?
(If you are currently separated, widowed or divorced answer
for most recent spouse.)
1
No, never
54%
(170)
2
Yes, part
time
20%
( 64)
3
Yes, full
time
26%
( 83)
(317)
Columns 49-56 - Code developed for comments. Please use
the rest of this sheet to comment on any factors, important
people or significant incidents which helped you to decide
to obtain the Ph.D. degree and to pursue an academic career.

132
Column 49 - Did the respondent comment?
1
Made a comment on self
77%
(375)
2
Commented only on ques¬
tionnaire
2%
( 9)
3
No comment
20%
( 99)
(485)
Column 50 - Did comment mention mother's role in obtaining
Ph.D.?
1
Mother encouraged
90%
(129)
2
Mother discouraged
5%
(
7)
3
!
Rebelled against mother's
role
4%
(
5)
4
Mother worked and wanted
to be like her
1%
(
2)
(143)
Column 51 - Did comment mention father's role in obtaining
Ph.D.?
Encouraged
95%
(126)
Discouraged
5%
( 7)
(153)
Column 52 - Was any teacher mentioned as important in ob¬
taining Ph.D.?
1 high school teachers
encouraged
20%
( 27)
2 college teachers en¬
couraged
36%
( 48)

133
3
grad school teachers en¬
couraged
20%
( 27)
4
college and grad school
teachers encouraged
13%
( 18)
5
teachers discouraged
2%
( 3)
6
high school and college
teachers encouraged
9%
( 12)
(135)
Column 53 - Other people and influences mentioned in ob¬
taining Ph.D.
1
husband encouraged
54%
( 70)
2
husband discouraged
4%
( 5)
3
sibling encouraged
5%
( 6)
4
other relative encouraged
13%
( 17)
5
boss or colleague en¬
couraged
12%
( 16)
6
negative challenge from
male 'put down'
2%
( 2)
7
friends of self or family
encouraged
9%
( ID
8
Jewish background en¬
couraged
2%
( 3)
(130)
Column 54 - Financial aid helped attain Ph.D.
1 Financial aid by parents 7% ( 5)
2 Fellowships, grants and
G.I. Bill
11% ( 52)

134
3
Husband's financial aid
5%
(
3)
4
Help in child care from
someone
11%
(
8)
( 68)
Column 55 - Intellectual motivation to obtain Ph.D. mentioned
1
Learning greatest pleasure
11%
( 17)
2
To achieve self-fulfillment
11%
( 18)
3
Enjoy my field
17%
( 27)
4
Ph.D. necessity in my field
24%
( 39)
5
Intellectual challenge -
wanted academic career
12%
( 19)
6
Excelled in school
14%
( 23)
7
Wanted to teach in college
12%
( 19)
(162)
Column 56 - Miscellaneous motivations for obtaining Ph.D.
mentioned
1
2
3
4
Bored with work, or work with
B.A. unattractive, or wanted
to do own creative work
For support after widowed or
divorced
To escape ghetto or poverty
"Ugly" syndrome or solitary
type
26%
(
26)
13%
(
13)
3%
(
3)
8%
(
8)
1%
(
1)
5 To fit into husband's world

135
6 Drifted into it - accident,
coincidence
12%
( 12)
Hate girls restrictions,
hate keeping house
12%
( 12)
Children grown - new
interest
4%
( 4)
Financial reward and
dence
indepen-
23%
( 23)
(102)

136
Cover Letter*
March 1, 1972
Dear Professor
As I am sure you know, relatively few women in the
United States have achieved the doctoral degree and gone
on to academic careers. Very little is known about the
positive forces which impel these women to succeed in the
ácademic world. Here, at the University of Florida, we
are trying to analyze this process. As one of the few
women who have 'made it' in your field, you can help us
understand this achievement.
Enclosed, you will find a short questionnaire which
we hope will give us some insight into female achievement.
Please help us by promptly filling it out and returning it
in the enclosed, stamped envelope. Only a high return rate
will allow us to do a meaningful analysis of the data. We
are counting on your cooperation. Naturally, all of the
data will be analyzed using identifying numbers, and anony¬
mity will be preserved.
Thank you for your help.
*This letter was sent out on University of Florida,
Department of Sociology stationery.

137
Sincerely,
Reía G. Monson
P.Si Please feel free to make any comments you think would
be helpful at the end of the questionnaire.

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH
Reía Geffen Monson received the degree of Bachelor of
Science from Columbia University School of General Studies
and that of Bachelor of Religious Education from the Teachers
Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary of America in
1965. She received the Master of Arts in sociology from the
Graduate Faculties of Columbia University in 1967. Her
Master's Essay was a study of a voluntary association entitled
t
"Goal Displacement in a Small Voluntary Association." She
worked as a research assistant at the Bureau of Applied Social
Research at Columbia from 1965-67. While pursuing the doc¬
toral degree at the University of Florida, Mrs. Monson was
a recipient of a University Fellowship. She was also an In¬
structor of Sociology. Mrs. Monson is currently employed
as a Research Analyst at the Center for Research on the Acts
of Man in Philadelphia. She has been married since 1964 to
Rabbi Michael A. Monson and has one son—Uri Zvi, aged 3.
138

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
v Benjamin Gorman, Chairman
Associate Professor of Sociology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Gerald Leslie
Professor of Sociology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
(//vi A¡J~
George Warheit
Associate Professor of Sociology
I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Ted Landsman
Professor of Education

I certify that I have read this study and that in my
opinion it conforms to acceptable standards of scholarly
presentation and is fully adequate, in scope and quality,
as a dissertation for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Associate Professor of Sociology
This dissertation was submitted to the Department of Socio¬
logy in the College of Arts and Sciences and to the Graduate
Council, and was accepted as partial fulfillment of the re¬
quirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
December, 1972
Dean, Graduate School

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 07332 067 2



UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA
3 1262 07332 067 2