Friday, December 25, 2009

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


At 12/25/2009 11:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What this is missing is three issues that cannot be corrected by preferences:

1. Females go to college for something other than just an eductation: in many cases, to find a spouse. Men, for the most part do not.

2. Wages for engineering, software development, and sciences have been declining over time. So, if you are making a decision to take hard courses for some of the few areas which have demand but at lower wages, and you are not in college for the fun of it, there may be a reduction of males.

3. There have been a proliferation of "identity" courses for women: women's studies, women's literature, so that one does not have to take hard courses to graduate.

This suggests, rather than favoring men, we need to create jobs that pay for skills--and, if you are paid, men will come.

At 12/25/2009 11:41 AM, Blogger W.E. Heasley said...

Mr. Perry:

Re: Off topic.

All your comparisons before Christmas of portable stereos, VCR’s, etc. missed an important comparison between the past and present: man hours needed to assemble Christmas Gifts.

In the past the instructions were insane and many parts were missing. Today the instructions are written by Technical Writers and the parts are quality check to be sure the parts are included (in some case spare parts).

At 12/25/2009 12:25 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

An interesting and thought provoking post and it brings to mind another reason men might not feel the urge to attend college: What is the damned point?

At one time education meant immersion into a world of reason and logic, of critical thinking and training in the ways of decision making and of skills unknown to uneducated men. Activities that went far beyond anything to be found in a hometown that included the bonds formed by young men experiencing an awakening adulthood.

Is that what college is providing today? Classical liberal education, that taught one how to think, is foreign and hostile to college life. Underwater Basketweaving at $30,000 a year does not make sense to anyone but the Ivory Tower Oh-So-Smarts. Diesel Engine Maintenance at $300 a semester does.

Why would a man, even a young and feminized one, subject himself to the tormenting indoctronation from what is largely a neutered and angry platoon of teaching assistants? The agenda is far from instruction and leadership. Anybody want to spend four years and hundreds of thousands of dollars to learn to be a sissy?

That's what I thought.

Dan Patterson

At 12/25/2009 4:34 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

If you want a true classical liberal education there is St. Johns College in Annapolis,MD and Santa Fe, NM, it is essentially four years of reading great books. This is the classical education of the 18th century. This is essentially the education of Jefferson, Adams, Madison and the like.
Actually the shift in the healing professions makes sense, as it will avoid the cowboy effect of males and mean more teamwork. With med school at 50-50 it will change medicine. Women are more likley to have a good bedside manner than men.

At 12/25/2009 11:40 PM, Anonymous Minute said...

But women flood into majors which are essentially worthless upon graduation and they seldom get jobs associated with their majors. When they do, they often underachieve.

A college education is wasted on the majority of graduates, men and women included.

At 12/26/2009 10:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We don't have to worry about college. The problem starts in primary school where the lesson plans do not allow for the energy of young men. They simply cannot sit still for 6 hours working at their desks. Until this gets fixed at the primary school, we will continue to see the decline of the male in the United States.

At 12/28/2009 12:27 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous, I can assure you that women today do not attend college/university to find a husband (perhaps you are thinking of the 50's?). They are not studying for the fun of it or because they can take easy classes to graduate. The decline of male attendance does not devalue the achievement of young women today.

At 12/28/2009 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lyle, don't know where you get your ideas from. Women doctors more effective and "team-oriented" than men? How so?
In fact, the medical profession is being torn to shreds by the massive invasion of women. Not because they are less skilled (an allegation yet to be tested), but because medicine is a vocation, not a job, and women are not willing to invest their lives in it. They open and close their offices like bank branches. They decline to work 5 days a week, to say nothing of 7. They schedule their "medical vocation" around their private lives. So the medical consumer gets less and less.
On the wider question, two things. First, it's the public schools, bastions of hostility and indifference to boys, that are destroying the literacy and ambition of young males. This results in the fall-away from college degrees. Secondly, Dan is correct. The humanities at college level is a cesspool of male-hating verities to which all candidates must pay tribute. Feminists hire their girlfriends; they shield their shallow curricula from view and review. Scholarship is on life-support; not only are there self-publishing clans run by feminists, but nobody examines culture scientifically any more. Science itself is denounced as a chimera, a male construct. As for History, which used to enquire into a civilization's roots, today, it just cherry-picks the fragments, the better to align them with current social engineering.


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