Why are women still relatively scarce in the international studies profession? Although women have entered careers in international studies in increasing numbers, they represent increasingly smaller percentages as they move from PhD student to full professor. Our survey investigates why this is so, focusing on the assistant professor years, which are crucial to succeeding in the profession. We found that there are significant differences in publication rates, as well as differences in research focus (traditional subjects vs. newer subfields) and methodologies (quantitative vs. qualitative). Further, women and men have different perceptions of official and unwritten expectations for research, and policies regarding faculty with children may affect how successful women are in moving up the ladder. Taken together, these findings suggest reasons for the continued “leakiness” of the career pipeline for women and some potential solutions.
Building on recent work in evolutionary psychology, we predict substantial gender-related differences in demand for scandalous political news. We argue that individuals’ self-images can alter their motivation to seek information about potential sexual competitors and mates, even when those figures are “virtual”—appearing in mass media. Individuals perceiving themselves as attractive will seek negative news about attractive same-gender individuals, whereas individuals perceiving themselves as unattractive will seek negative information about the opposite gender. We test our hypotheses in three ways. First, we investigate partially disaggregated national opinion data regarding news attention. Second, we conduct an experiment in which we asked participants to choose the two most interesting stories from a menu of headlines. We varied the gender and party affiliation of the individual featured in the story. Each participant saw a headline promoting a DUI arrest of an attractive male or female “rising star” from one of the two parties. Finally, we repeat the experiment with a national sample, this time also varying the valence of the tabloid story. We find strong correlations between respondents’ self-image and their likelihood of seeking and distributing positive or negative information about “virtual” competitors and mates.