Friday, May 14, 2010

Gender Imbalance in Education

There is a shocking gender imbalance in the nation's higher education system, raising huge questions of equity and discrimination.

Yes, you are right. Women are enrolling and graduating at rates totally in excess of their share of the population. They are outrageously and inequitably overrepresented in college enrollments and graduations.

Dr. Mark J. Perry of the University of Michigan is the guy keeping track of these numbers. Here is how the imbalance is expected to work out in the Class of 2010, showing the number of women graduating per 100 men. (Perry's numbers from here).


You can see what is going on. Women are outgraduating men in all areas that don't lead directly to a job.

But, of course, all the programs to encourage women and discourage men are still in place. It just shows the utter incompetence of the poltical system to do anything except hit people over the head. Back in 1970 the men/women university graduation rate of all degrees was 60/40. By 2017 it will be 40/60.

OK let's take another look at the numbers. This time it is enrollment in graduate school by gender (numbers from here).

Health Science100398
Physical Science10049
Public Admin.100292

You can see the comical nature of the current push to advance women in engineering and science, the so-called STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) effort that hit the radar during the defenestration of Harvard President Larry Summers. I guess the sisters won't be happy until women are outgraduating men in all disciplines!

But the numbers speak for themselves. Women predominate in the areas that are stereotypically interesting to women: teaching children, caring for peoples' health, organizing people. They are underrepresented in areas that are not so interesting to women: areas dealing with things rather than people.

You really wonder about the sanity (let alone the wisdom) of pushing so hard against nature.

No comments:

Post a Comment