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Beyond the Boss and the Boys: Women and the Division of Labor in Drosophila Genetics in the United States, 1934-1970

Michael R. Dietrich and Brandi H. Tambasco
Journal of the History of Biology
Vol. 40, No. 3 (Sep., 2007), pp. 509-528
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/29737499
Page Count: 20
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Beyond the Boss and the Boys: Women and the Division of Labor in Drosophila Genetics in the United States, 1934-1970
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Abstract

The vast network of Drosophila geneticists spawned by Thomas Hunt Morgan's fly room in the early 20th century has justifiably received a significant amount of scholarly attention. However, most accounts of the history of Drosophila genetics focus heavily on the "boss and the boys," rather than the many other laboratory groups which also included large numbers of women. Using demographic information extracted from the Drosophila Information Service directories from 1934 to 1970, we offer a profile of the gendered division of labor within Drosophila genetics in the United States during the middle decades of the 20th century. Our analysis of the gendered division of labor supports a reconsideration of laboratory practices as different forms of work.

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