Tuesday, June 25, 2002

Where Are All the Men?

A Washington Post article today:

At colleges and universities across the United States, the proportion of bachelor's degrees awarded to women reached a post-war high this year at an estimated 57 percent. The gender gap is even greater among Hispanics -- only 40 percent of that ethnic group's college graduates are male -- and African Americans, who are now seeing two women earn bachelor's degrees for every man.

So, according to the Washington Post, who are the victims here?

Answer: the women, because they are going to have a hard time finding educated husbands. (This aspect of the situation was mentioned three or four times in this article!)

Who are the villians? Answer: the men, because they are lazy and don't want to achieve.

Academics claim to want to study the issue, but they are never going to come up with the real answer. No one wants to consider some of the most important possible causes of the imbalance. Some of the more problematic possiblities include:

  • That the American K through 12 public school environment, highly feminized and implacably hostile to the ways of boys, who are drugged and shunted to special ed and alternative programs in very high numbers, is so toxic to boys that all many of them want to do when they get out of high school is get away from the academics.
  • That college is increasingly a poor value for those who simply want to get prepared to make a living, college is to some extent becoming a warehouse for young people who haven't decided what they want to do with their lives.
  • That affirmative action and other programs inappropriatly favor women, who have not been in the minority in colleges for 30 years.
  • That changes in society have left young men with no direction or purpose in life.

The trend, which began in the mid-1980s, has sparked concern among everyone from business leaders to demographers, who applaud the growing academic success of women but maintain that the lopsided graduation rate may foretell significant problems.

"This is new. We have thrown the gender switch," said Christina Hoff Sommers, a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute and author of "The War Against Boys." "What does it mean in the long run that we have females who are significantly more literate, significantly more educated than their male counterparts? It is likely to create a lot of social problems. This does not bode well for anyone."