If You Thought the "Degree Gap" Was High Here...
College admissions directors curious about the experience of touching a third rail can review what happened when the president of the University of Alberta suggested that Canadian males, including white males, needed a helping hand. She got fried ... by her own students.
Last month, President Indira Samarasekera pointed to the preponderance of women in higher education in Canada (see chart above) and suggested that perhaps males could need some extra attention. "We’ll wake up in 20 years and we will not have the benefit of enough male talent," said Samarasekera, a metallurgical engineer originally from Sri Lanka. “I’m going to be an advocate for young white men, because I can be,” she added, pointing to her Nixon-to-China status as a minority woman advocating for men.
Currently, the University of Alberta grants no admissions preferences to men – unlike scores, perhaps even hundreds, of colleges in the United States that for years have been turning down women for less qualified men. The preferences many colleges give to men are far less formal and less debated than those that help minority applicants, or women applying to some programs. But many, many admissions offices routinely look at male applicants’ test scores and grades with lower expectations than they have when viewing those of female applicants.
What happened to President Samarasekera is just a taste of what’s in store for these colleges when thousands of female high school students and their parents discover that the college of their dreams is a farther reach for them than for the slacker boy next door.
And they will find out, because in roughly six months the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights will release its findings on the breadth of the preferences practice. Among higher education insiders, there’s not much mystery to the investigation: favoring men is an open secret at private, four-year colleges, where there’s no legal penalty for helping men. Actually, it’s even done by some public colleges willing to roll the dice in the hope they won’t get sued.
How, you ask, has this remained a secret so long? Because all the interested parties have signed off on the conspiracy.
Feminist groups studiously ignore the issue of women dominating college campuses; it drains credibility from their claim as a disadvantaged group in need of redress. The day after the recent commission announcement it was investigating bias against women, groups such as National Organization for Women and the American Association of University Women were silent on the news -- despite this being an issue presumably dear to their hearts.
Read more here of the Inside Higher Ed commentary by Richard Whitmire, author of a new book, Why Boys Fail: Saving Our Sons from an Educational System That's Leaving Them Behind, and blogger at Why Boys Fail.
See related Washington Post story "Sex Bias Probe in Colleges' Selections."
MP: The chart above shows the number of female college graduates (bachelor's degrees) per 100 male graduates in both Canada (data here) and the U.S. (data here) from 2003-2007. For the most recent year of actual data (2007), there were 163 female college graduates in Canada for every 100 male graduates, as women received almost 62% of all bachelor's degrees. In the U.S. women received almost 58% of all bachelor's degrees in 2007, and therefore earned 137.4 degrees for every 100 males.
HT: Nick Schulz