November 1993

Sex Differences in Rank Attainment and Research Activities Among Academic Psychiatrists

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Psychobiology Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr Leibenluft), the Policy Development and Research Department, Health Insurance Association of America, Washington, DC (Dr Dial), the Department of Psychiatry, Loma Linda (Calif) University School of Medicine (Dr Haviland), and the Office of Research, American Psychiatric Association, Washington (Dr Pincus).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1993;50(11):896-904. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1993.01820230066006

Data from a survey distributed to all full-time faculty in academic departments of psychiatry were used to examine possible sex differences in research activities and rank attainment among psychiatrists. A total of 1923 psychiatrists responded, 1564 men (81.3%) and 359 women (18.7%). Continuous dependent variables were analyzed by using analyses of covariance with the year graduated from medical school as a covariate. For categorical dependent variables, the sample was divided into four 10-year cohorts based on the year graduated from medical school, and differences between men and women were analyzed with X2 tests. Over the entire sample, men were more likely than women to have had research training, to have ever been principal investigators on peer-reviewed grants, to mentor research trainees, to be currently involved in research activities, and to meet defined criteria as a "researcher." Many gender differences remained significant after controlling for seniority and research training. In every cohort, the men had attained higher academic rank than the women. In general, differences in research activity and productivity were most marked in the youngest cohort. To ensure a rich talent pool for psychiatric research, efforts must be made to recruit and support researchers from among the in- creased number of women in psychiatry.