Sunday, April 11, 2010

The Increasing College Degree Gap; Will College Women's Centers Address *This* Gender Issue?

The Department of Education recently updated its dataset on college degrees by gender, with actual data through the 2007-2008 academic year, and projected data through the 2018-2019 academic year).

The chart above shows the reversal between the 1966-1967 academic year and the 2018-2019 year for the percentage of all college degrees by gender: from 61% of all college degrees in 1966-1967 awarded to men, to a projected 61% of all college degrees in 2018-2019 awarded to women. The last year of gender parity for college degrees was 1981, and in almost every year since then, women have increased their share of all college degrees.

The chart below shows more detailed degree data by gender for this year's Class of 2010 and the Class of 2019 (both are estimates):

The only degree category where men are currently slightly overrepresented (50.6%) is for "First-Professional Degrees," which includes M.D., D.D.S., and law degrees. The Department of Education estimates that by 2014-2015 there will be more women than men earning those degrees, and by 2018-2019 women will earn 51% of those degrees (see chart above).

There are hundreds, if not thousands, of University and College Women's Centers across the country, here is a
partial list. A Google search of "College Women's Centers" finds almost 6,000 links on the Web. A Google search of "College Men's Centers" finds almost no links on the Internet (a few hundred, now inlcuding this post), and asks the question: Did you mean: "College Women's Centers"?

The first search points to a book titled "University and College Women's Centers: A Journey toward Equity":

"This handbook provides insights from women's center directors at institutions across the country on how best to build a women's center that can improve the quality of women's experiences in college. The best centers aid universities and colleges in responding to particularly difficult challenges in higher education related to gender."


1. Now that women completely dominate higher education at almost every degree level and men have clearly become the "second sex" in U.S. higher education, isn't there a greater need for thousands of "Men's Centers" on college campuses than "Women's Centers" to help address the challenges males face completing college and help improve the quality of men's experiences in college?

2. Didn't the "journey toward equity" that is mentioned in the book title above end back in 1981 when women started earning a greater share of college degrees than men?

3. If the best college Women's Centers "respond to particularly difficult challenges in higher education related to gender," will they now turn their attention to the apparent difficult challenges men are having completing college degrees at the same rate as women?


At 4/11/2010 7:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Out of curiosity, what would breaking out the statistics for college degrees in an Education major show?

Or post degree employment in government institutions or institutions funded by government?

Thanks, Don

At 4/11/2010 7:50 PM, Anonymous gettingrational said...

From an article entitled "The Compelling Imperative of and for Womenm's Colleges:

"In a recent Girls Inc. survey of 2,000 girls and boys in grades 3 through 12,

75% agreed that girls are under pressure to dress the right way;

63% agreed that girls are under pressure to please everyone; and

59% agreed that girls are told not to brag about things they do well.

How these influences shape the decisions that young women make about their futures should come as no surprise – including decisions about college, in which taking the female perspective into consideration is woefully absent."

My gooodness what oppression a young lady faces whereas young men must obviously thrive educationally -- according to

At 4/12/2010 6:59 AM, Blogger Peg C. said...

I'm a firm believe that, as women take over the institutions of higher learning and the earning of degrees, the less status and meaning those institutions and degrees will have. This is the pattern for everything where females dominate. (Yes, I attended college.)

Chickification is never a good thing.

At 4/12/2010 7:13 AM, Anonymous DoDoGuRu said...

RE Question 3

That's a horrid idea. If "women's centers" began focusing their energies on the question of why men aren't going to college as much, their answer would be "patriarchy!!" They would assume men needed to be more like women in college, create all sorts of programs and literature to be given to college men about how their own gender oppresses them, and so further undermine male interest in participating.

At 4/12/2010 7:20 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wonder how these statistics would break out by field of study. I suspect that the majority of degrees being granted to women are for the humanities, education, etc. and that men still dominate engineering and the "hard" sciences.

At 4/12/2010 7:33 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would put forth that the ratio is much higher. Many young men today are feminized to just shy of wearing bloomers.

At 4/12/2010 8:25 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Save the Males! (I wish I were kidding!)

At 4/12/2010 8:35 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

And yet men still command higher pay. Evidence of pay discrimination against women, according to many, but perhaps it's more an indication of dilution of quality - if women are hired proportionate to college representation.
Alternatively, what does the gap look like when counting only useful degrees, like science, engineering, business etc? Or when only counting English, oppressed group, art history etc.

At 4/12/2010 8:45 AM, Blogger Larkin said...

The pay discrimination argument relies on two fallacies. The first being the "apex fallacy": that men make more at the high end, and that this difference translates into power throughout the structure. The second being that the reason men are getting more is somehow tied to the amazing jobs they must have (which translates into women getting a ton of graduate degrees in search of this pot of gold).

In reality, men are being paid more not in the high range, but in the mid-low range because they're occupying high-paying jobs that women just don't want (plumbers, construction workers, truckers, miners, sanitation workers, etc). Men make a lot of money because of hazard pay (and they lose more life and limb because of it).

At 4/12/2010 9:10 AM, Blogger miriam sawyer said...

As women increase their percentage of college atendance, college degrees will be increasingly seen as worthless. Law degrees are going the same route.

At 4/12/2010 9:18 AM, Blogger ajmojo said...

It is easier to go to school when your hard working husband is footing the bill.

At 4/12/2010 10:41 AM, Blogger Claude Hopper said...

Male college success is determined in middle school. At that age, too many teachers are unable to handle the boys, both socially and academically, and the boys lose interest or are turned off. Boys raised by single mothers are used to being told what to do, then not doing it with no repercussions. Female teachers are then stuck with boys who are deaf to a woman's voice. We need male teachers, academic rigor and discard the high self esteem approach.

At 4/12/2010 11:56 AM, Blogger CastoCreations said...

I hope and pray that my son will have the opportunity to do whatever he wants to do. We are not going to force him to go to college and earn an (increasingly) meaningless degree unless he wants to - and I hope if he does it will be something substantial like engineering, not social sciences or liberal arts. We'll be just as happy if he learns a trade or joins the military. If we have a daughter, same deal.

And one reason women statistically still earn less is that many women STILL take time off to raise kids (oh the horror!). If I could I would absolutely stay home with my son and take the economic hit, without complaining about the inequity of it all.

At 4/12/2010 12:06 PM, Anonymous BAM said...

I always told my friends in college that single white males were the most discriminated group in higher education. (affirmative action, groups that support all other sexes/races/orientations) Hopefully this info will help steer us back to equity somehow.

At 4/12/2010 12:24 PM, Blogger Aretae said...

Pay in the workplace by gender?

Try correcting for IQ, hours of experience in the field, and hours per week worked.

Due to a higher IQ variance, men dominate the high-IQ brackets.

Due to a great deal more sense on the part of the women, plus the whole children thing, men ALSO dominate the willing-to-work-insane-hours ranks and the I-have-worked-insane-hours ranks.

Incidentally, Tino suggests that in Sweden the data is pretty lopsided to suggest that male managers tend to work noticeably more hours than do female managers.

It seems that it comes down to ... equal pay for equal work+experience or equal pay by gender. Pick no more than one.

At 4/12/2010 1:09 PM, Blogger Dan Turner said...

To all those implying or outright stating that a higher proportion of women earning degrees devalues them, that's simply not true, and is outright sexist.

What is true is that as more people in general get degrees, then the competition in the market place between those with degrees becomes more evident. For example, if all of the applicants have at least a Bsc, and there is one who has taken a Masters, who will (based on qualifications alone) get that job?

This means it such that for each individual job, higher qualifications are required. That is more education or easier to attain qualifications.

As for pastoral care of students, yes there should be people trained and available to deal with problems specifically for men, and specifically for women, and even a few for the variations thereupon. Centres exist for women because there was a push for them. There has never been such a push for men, as most view it as unnecessary. Wether or not they are unnecessary is up for debate.

At 4/12/2010 1:20 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Females dominate academia not only as students, but as top leaders, too.

50% of Ivy League presidents are female; in The Big Three, it's 67%.


At 4/12/2010 3:36 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am actually not troubled by this.

Most of the surplus female degrees are in useless fields. Employers have been paying less and less for new college grads on an inflation-adjusted basis, due to this.

So the loser here is the university that diluted what a Bachelor's Degree is.

Read 'The Misandry Bubble' for much more.

At 4/12/2010 3:38 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The 'pay gap' myth is one of the dumbest and most irresponsible around. Anyone who believes it is advertising their own economic illiteracy.

Women are paid MORE than men relative to output produced. MORE.

At 4/13/2010 4:34 PM, Anonymous Tristan Lennon said...

I am a man, but I don't care about the demographic of anybody else enrolled in higher education.

I am enrolled and I will (probably) get my degree. The academic trends of others are of no concern to me.


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