Date: Sat, 18 May 2002 14:10:06 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: AASWOMEN for May 17, 2002

AAS Committee on the Status of Women
Weekly issue of 05/17/02, eds. Meg Urry & Patricia Knezek

This week's issues:

1. Practical advice on family planning
2. The Tending Instinct, by Shelley Taylor 
3. Editorial in this week's Science (May 17)
4. Tenure Track Position in Physics Education at UTEP
1. Practical advice on family planning
From: Frances Verter

There is one piece of info missing from all the statistics and personal 
anecdotes: How should an individual woman make a personal decision?

Suppose you want to postpone child-bearing.  But all the scare stories and 
statistics are making you wonder if you will be able to have a child later... 
Is there any way to assess your personal fertility?

Yes there is: Talk to your OB/Gyn or see a fertility doctor and ask to test 
your ovarian function.  You can get your FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone) 
level checked by blood test or you can take the "Clomid Challenge". It sounds
like a triathalon, but its a series of blood tests drawn over a series of 
days while you are taking the drug Clomiphene Citrate to stimulate your 

If these tests are normal or above-average, then it is probably OK to defer 
child-bearing a few more years (then retest; or retest sooner if you hit age 
40). There is still no guarantee that your partner doesn't have low-motility 
sperm or something else, but at least you know the status of your ovaries.

If anything is abnormal in your Clomid Challenge, you should get more tests 
to find out why and seriously reconsider your family planning schedule.

I hope this is concrete advice that helps somebody.

However, I want to stress that fertility is only the beginning of the process 
of raising children as an older mother.  One thing I have noticed is that 
many of the professional women who are postponing childbearing until near age 
40 are themselves the child of a conventional younger mother. How many of you 
are, like me, the 2nd generation of delayed childbearing? My mother is almost 
82 and my youngest child is almost 2.

In the second generation, the result of delayed childbearing is grandchildren 
who will never have much interaction with their grandparents. My father didn't 
live to see any of my children.  My mother is too frail to babysit my kids for 
even a short time, and I don't expect her to live long enough to see my 
younger kids hit puberty. In fact, I can't be sure I will live long enough 
to know any of my blood grandchildren. (I hope to have step-grandkids 
within the next few years.) In my mind, the loss of these inter-generational 
connections is very sad.  Despite my above-average fertility (I had two babies 
in my 40's) I regret not having started a family at a younger age.

2. The Tending Instinct, by Shelley Taylor 
From: C. Megan Urry

A new book, The Tending Instinct, by Shelley Taylor (published by Holt)
discusses the role of nurturance in the evolution of human nature. Instead 
of the well-known "fight or flight" instinct, it talks about the "tend and
befriend" tendency of many human beings. The book addresses, among other 
issues, women's coping with stress, the importance of women's friendships, 
and tending in marriage. A description of the book appears at (enter The Tending Instinct as title 
and click "search"). It should be of interest to readers of AASWOMEN.

3. Editorial in this week's Science (May 17)
From: Patricia Knezek

This week's Science (May 17) has an editorial on women in physics, which was
co-authored by Meg Urry.  It is called "Physics, for Women, the Last 
Frontier".   It was inspired by the IUPAP conference in Paris at the 
beginning of this year on Women in Physics.

4. Tenure Track Position in Physics Education at UTEP

>From WIPHYS posting of 05/13/02:

The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) invites applications for
a tenure-track position at the assistant professor level in Physics
Education to hold an appointment with joint responsibilities in the
program of University Studies and the Department of Physics. 
UTEP is a comprehensive, urban university that is strengthening its
commitment to undergraduate education; increase student
retention, and pre-service science education. Responsibilities,
which include a teaching load of eighteen semester credit hours per
academic year plus research, will be divided between the program
of University Studies
( and 
the Department of Physics ( For
University Studies, the successful candidate will teach three
sections of UNIV 1301: Seminar in Critical Inquiry to first-year
students; assist in the seminar's ongoing design and development;
and serve as an advocate for UNIV 1301 in the Physics
Department; and for the Department of Physics, will teach
physical science courses for education majors, and will conduct a
funded research program with student supervision.

Ph.D. in physics is required with a specialization in physics
education and an excellent teaching record. Candidates with
experience with first-year students, pre-service education majors,
University Seminar courses, cooperative and active learning
strategies, interdisciplinary work, learning communities, curriculum
development, K-12 science teaching methodology, a strong
commitment to teaching undergraduates, and an interest in the
transition needs of entering students will be favored. Experience
with team teaching is a plus since the seminar is delivered in a
small-class format by the faculty member and a peer instructor,
supported by a university librarian. Fluency in Spanish is an asset.
Please submit curriculum vita, a description of teaching and
research experience, and three letters of reference to Dr. Clarence
Cooper, Department of Physics, UTEP, El Paso, Texas, 79968-0515. E-mail 
applications are welcome at 
Application review begins 5-1-2002, and will continue until the
position is filled. The University does not discriminate on the basis
of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, age, sexual orientation,
or disability in employment or the provision of services.