Thursday, October 2, 2014

Are women being oppressed in our colleges and universities?

A bit of data (2013) on Graduate School Education from the Council of Graduate Schools. I will leave you to draw your own conclusions after you look the following over.

Here is the data on Doctoral Degrees awarded by field and gender in 2013:

These are the fields that are very closely represented by both men and women: Arts and Humanities - 47.7% male – 52.3% female, Biological, Agricultural Sciences – 48.7% male – 51.3% female, and Business – 55% male – 45% female.

The following are the fields that are not closely represented: Education – 32.3% male – 67.7% female, Health Sciences – 28.3% male – 71.7% female, Public Administration – 35.8% male – 64.2% female, Social and Behavioral Sciences – 38.2% male – 61.8% female.

How about what we call the 'Hard' sciences STEM [Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math? Engineering – 76.9% male – 23.1% female, Mathematics and Computer Sciences – 74.2% male – 25.8% female, Physical Sciences – 65.3% male – 34.7% female.

By the way, the total awarded Doctoral Degrees in all fields are 47.8% male and 52.2% female.

Master's Degrees are about the same except that the total awarded degrees are 40.8% male and 59.2% female. The big difference is Health Sciences, 19.5% male and 80.5% female, Education, 23.4% male and 76.6% female, and Public Administration, 22.5% male and 77.5% female. In the STEM majors the numbers are about the same as for Doctoral Degrees awarded.

Just a few other bits of information about men and women in graduate schools across the U.S. For the fifth year in a row, women have earned a majority of doctoral degrees. According to the Department of Education, 2009 marked the year when men officially became the “second sex” in higher education by earning a minority of college degrees (this at all college levels from associate's degrees to doctoral degrees). Also, in 2013, there were 137.5 women enrolled in graduate school for every 100 men. From this we see that men are underrepresented in graduate school enrollment overall, men received fewer masters and doctoral degrees than women, and men were underrepresented in 7 of 11 graduate fields of study (master's and doctoral level).

I have seen no calls for government studies, or increased government funding to address this significant gender disparity. There was, in 2009, an executive order that created the “White House Council on Women and Girls” but I have heard no talk about an executive order for a “White House Council on Men and Boys”.

Now Walter Williams did ask, and I am paraphrasing here, if the folks that value diversity see any female under representation as a problem or as proof of some type of gender discrimination what do these same folks plan to do about the over representation of women in higher education? Is this not the same injustice but just from the other side?

Regards, and thanks to Mark Perry for pointing me to this thought,


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