Percent of All U.S. Graduate Social Work Degrees Awarded to Women, 1960-2014
Source: Council on Social Work Education
Percent of All U.S. Births to Unmarried Women, 1960-2013
Source: National Center for Health Statistics
- Is there a connection, a relationship, even a direct cause-and-effect link between these two graphs?
- If so, how does the connection work?
- If not, what else is going on?
- What is social work leadership doing about its growing lack of gender diversity?
- If nothing, why? Are there forces at work in social work that are happy with the relative absence of male influence?
- For a profession that so frequently espouses the benefits of diversity and inclusiveness, isn’t it anomalous that gender diversity seems so little appreciated?
- Is single motherhood always a problem? Is it really a matter we need to be concerned about?
- Are local and state governments negatively impacted by the rise of single motherhood?
- Are local and state governments getting good value from the millions of dollars they expend on social work?
- Is it really true that “men don’t care”? Or do men tend to care in a way different from the way women tend to care? Is one style of caring better than the other? Is one style of caring sufficient?
- Is the problem that men avoid social work because of low salaries? If so, why is it that women feel entitled to take jobs that provide meaning and satisfaction even though they pay little, and men don’t? Isn’t men’s felt need to make money — lots of money — one of the primary causes of men getting into trouble? Why isn’t social work taking the lead on addressing that form of sexism?
- If social work had more men, would it be more effective? If it were more effective, would salaries rise? Would government official feel better about spending money on social work?
- Who really benefits from social work services as currently designed and provided? The people who receive them? Or the people who draw a salary for delivering them?
- Would it be okay if the head of a national police association proclaimed his/her organization to be a “white group” or a “Republican group”? Was it okay for Betsy Clark, when she was president of NASW, to identify her organization as a “women’s group”?
- How is social work involved in what poverty researcher Kathryn Edin called “fractious relationships” that often plague impoverished parents?
- What would be good strategies for attracting men into social work? Is money the only thing that men seek in an occupation? Do men perceive that social work would be a hostile environment for them? Is there any real basis for them to think that way?
- What can state and local government officials do to encourage social work to examine its shortcomings, especially with regard to gender diversity and inclusiveness?
- Why does the Council on Social Work Education sponsor an annual Feminist Manuscript Award?
- Is there a truly progressive — not just trendy — philanthropy that would fund a major social work effort to market its career opportunities to men?
- Why is it that DOJ has seen the need to scrutinize law enforcement for implicit bias and lack of diversity on the race dimension but DHHS has not found the need to examine social services for the same problems on the gender front?
- How does the four-year, $188 million dollar, federal Social Work Reinvestment Act need to be amended before it deserves to pass?
- Does the disconnection of fathers from their children have any effect on their willingness to participate in the workforce?
- Is it possible to be pro-father and also supportive of parenting by lesbian couples?
- Is the $100 Billion estimate calculated by two University of Virginia researchers as the annual public cost of father absence too high? Too low? What does it include? What does it exclude?
- Why does the Social Work Policy Institute claim on its website that “95 percent of victims of intimate partner violence are women” when most representative-sample research finds the figure to be about 50 percent? What purpose could that serve?
- What agencies are doing a good job of working with men? What are they doing? How do they do it? What benefits are they seeing?
- Among social work’s many fields and specialties, are some more male-friendly than others? If so, which are the best? Which are the worst?