Sunday, July 09, 2006

At Colleges, Women Are Leaving Men in the Dust

Liza writes:
This is a long, reasonably balanced article on the whole college gender gap question, which I do not believe is the crisis that some right-wingers think it is.
It is not a crisis, but it is yet another example how feminist conventional wisdom is wrong. Feminists are always whining that girls need Title IX and other laws to get opportunities in college. In fact, colleges are already tilted towards girls over boys.

Liza writes:
Here's one solution to the college gender gap. Why didn't they think of that before?
At a time when the image of major college football has been sullied by academic, recruiting and sexual violence scandals ? and as some prominent colleges eliminate football to cope with federal gender equity regulations for athletics ? many smaller institutions have embraced the sport. ...

In the last 10 years, nearly 50 colleges and universities have instituted or re-instituted football, with more than 80 percent in the small college ranks. In the same period, about 25 institutions have dropped football, the majority being scholarship-driven teams from the National Collegiate Athletic Association's top tier, Division I. ...

Dr. James A. Davis, now in his 25th year as Shenandoah's president, said: "I said no to football for 15 years, but I was wrong. Football is the best draw of qualified male applicants that there is anywhere. I am shocked more schools aren't adding football." ...

Sometimes, the allure is more primal.

"Heck, guys who play football just like to hit somebody, and the guys not playing like to watch the guys who are hitting each other," said Trey Kern,
Federal Title IX regulations make it difficult for a college to have a football team, because it creates a presumption of sex discrimination.

Meanwhile, here is some New Jersey news:
Only in America in 2006 would a game of tag be considered dangerous. In the name of safety, a number of schools are prohibiting their students at recess from playing traditional games like tag or soccer, claiming that too many children were getting hurt by aggressive play.
Liza writes:
Only about 18% of U.S. 24-year-olds have a 4-year college degree. For the entire adult population, the figure is about 27%. (A surprising number get the degree past age 24.) You all are accustomed to interacting mostly with college-educated people, but they are and have always been a sliver of society - probably, when you get down to it, mostly the people who score above the 75th or 80th percentile on aptitude tests.

Many more people start out in college but never finish. Close to half the college-age population gives it a shot. They don't finish for many reasons, including lack of aptitude, lack of money, lack of self-discipline, the appeal of immediate wages, etc. There is a wide range of quality in colleges. I dareway some don't impart much of an education anyway.

I agree that Title IX interpretations haven't helped, but that's only a small part of the story. Male high school graduates have other reasonably attractive and manly options like construction and the military. A remarkable percentage of young black males are in jail (something like 20%). The male-female disparity in college enrollment is really skewed by the very wide disparity among blacks.

Schoolteaching has always been a female-dominated occupation. Girls have been reading more than boys for a century and across many countries. (The latter point really comes down to: girls like to read novels. Big deal.) Boys are still doing a lot better on math/science tests, and outnumber girls 4-1 in engineering schools. Male enrollment in college as a percent of male college-age population hasn't declined at all.

At the elite colleges, which are more "competitive" to use John's terminology, there is no significant gender gap. The elite colleges that have engineering and/or business schools tend to be majority male. I know Princeton and Notre Dame are. And the faculties at most universities are male-dominated.

BS postmodern litcrit and women's studies courses understandably don't appeal to men, but it's easy to avoid those courses.

So I'm not seeing some feminist conspiracy here, except for a slight negative impact of Title IX. It's just that many more young women are devoting the time and money to attending college, whereas in previous generations they or their parents didn't think a college education was as important for them as for their others.
Andy writes:
Big media story this week is how women are now huge majorities at college. But, of course, the media won't discuss the real causes and the effects.

Cause? Women, mostly feminists, outnumber men by 4:1 or more as secondary school teachers. Colleges have been trending in the same direction. At quite a few colleges nearly all the key positions are held by feminists. Feminists forced out the president of Harvard over a mere suggestion. Women's studies dominate college campuses today. There are signs that even math, science and engineering programs aren't what they used to be.

Title IX is also a big cause of the imbalance. Eliminate wrestling, men's track and swimming, cut all the male walk-ons on all teams, toss out some big football programs, and pretty soon college is unattractive to a lot of males. Title IX then imposes a vicious cycle that is the opposite of supply meeting demand: Title IX requires cutting more male sports teams the lower the percentage of males at the school drops, causing the percentage to drop further.

How about the effects of this shift: lots of uneducated males and colleges that care more about political correctness than achievement. The result is not good for women either, unless they enjoy working for their unemployed spouse. Not too many women want that.
I do think that feminist policies have made college less appealing for boys.

No comments: