Ed. Note: The following article, originally a speech delivered to the Mary Elizabeth Garrett Symposium of the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, provides a glimpse into the research that is going on at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women. We would welcome similar reports from other women ·s studies research centers for an ongoing series in the Women's Studies Newsletter.
In an effort to establish themselves professionally, while preserving their identities as women, many women today are trying to do everything: to become "superwomen." Men are supporting women in this effort, not in the expectation that women will make men unnecessary, but in order to assure themselves that women can still be women while also being professionals. Two studies done at the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women bear on the "superwoman" phenomenon. One is a study of how women manage child care and household tasks while they are employed-women, that is, without extra income to purchase services freely. The other is a study of how collegeeducated women weigh the costs and benefits of having a child either early or late in their career development.