Thursday, September 22, 2011

Women Outnumber Men for Doctoral Degrees, 142 Women Enrolled in Grad School Per 100 Men, and Women Outnumber Men in 7 Out Of 11 Fields

The Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) released its annual report today, here are links to the press release and full report.  

For the second year in a row, women earned a majority of all doctoral degrees in 2010 (51.9%), an increase from the 50.4% female share in 2009, which was the first time in history that women outnumbered men earning doctoral degrees (see top chart above).  By field of study, women earning doctoral degrees outnumbered men in seven of the eleven graduate fields tracked by the CGS: Arts and Humanities (54.4%), Biology (54.8% - isn't that a STEM field?), Education (67.6%), Health Sciences 70.4% (STEM?), Public Administration (60.9%), Social/Behavioral Studies (59.4%) and Other fields (53.5%).  Men still outnumber women earning doctoral degrees in fields like Engineering (76.8%), Math and Computer Science (74.1%) and Physical Sciences (66.9%). 

The bottom chart above shows total graduate student enrollment in 2010 by gender and field for all graduate programs (Master's and Doctoral).  By this measure, it's not even close; women enrolled in graduate programs at all levels far outnumber men.  Women represent 58.7% of all graduate students in the U.S., meaning that there are now 142.1 women enrolled in graduate school for every 100 men.  In certain fields like Education (74.8% female), Health Sciences (79.8% female) and Public Administration (75.3%), women outnumber men by a factor of 3-4 times.  Overall, women enrolled in graduate school outnumber men in 7 out of the 11 graduate fields of study, all except for business (45.9% female), engineering (22.3% female), math and computer science (29.2% female) and physical sciences (37.5% female).    

Here's a prediction: The fact that men are underrepresented in graduate school enrollment overall (100 men for every 142 women), and underrepresented in 7 out of 11 graduate fields of study will get almost no media attention at all.  Additionally, there will be no calls for government studies, or increased government funding to address the problem, and nobody will refer to this gender graduate school enrollment gap as a "crisis."  But what will get media attention is the fact that women are underrepresented in four of the 11 fields of graduate study like engineering and computer science, which can likely be traced to some kind of overt or unexamined gender discrimination.    


At 9/22/2011 5:51 PM, Blogger Benjamin Cole said...

Interesting points.

At 9/22/2011 7:05 PM, Blogger Che is dead said...

Dr. Lynn Comella earned her Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, September 2004, her M.A. in Gender Studies and Feminist Theory, The New School for Social Research, May 1996, and her B.A.(Highest Distinction) in Psychology, with minors in Anthropology and Women’s Studies, May 1990. Her research and teaching interests include media and popular culture, gender and consumer culture, sexuality studies, and ethnographic research. She is presently at work on a book project that explores the history and retail culture of women-owned sex toy stores in the United States.

Minding The Campus

I think that that paragraph pretty well sums up the value of most of the doctoral degrees being earned by women on todays college campuses.

At 9/22/2011 8:03 PM, Blogger AIG said...

Che...first off, wow! She sounds like quite the specimen. Second...well lets not generalize too much and lets not turn it into a women vs men thing. She is, after all, a product of U Mass Amherst, and not her gender ;)

At 9/23/2011 5:51 AM, Blogger sykes.1 said...

For the most part, women are in laughable, no income degree programs, and that includes most of the health sciences.

At 9/23/2011 11:11 AM, Blogger Moniker said...

The chart expresses the ratio of men to women in doctoral disciplines, not the number enrolled in each one.

If you want to criticize and argue that women on the whole pursue wasteful PHDs, then give me data on the number of women in each field.

I happen to know that there are more women than men seeking medical doctorate degrees. Do you think that's a "waste" too?

At 9/26/2011 10:01 AM, Blogger MC said...

As a Engineer involved in manufacturing I've seen this as a conflict between "Wealth Producing" and Wealth Consuming" fields. Since the late 1990's the USA's manufacturing base has declined while the Education, Medical and social services have boomed.

In this chart Men are leading Women in 4 out of 5 "Wealth Producing" fields.
Bio-Agra Sci, Business, Engineering, Math and Physical Sci.

Women lead Men in 6 out of 6 "Wealth Consuming" fields.
Arts, Education, Health Sci, Public Admin, Social and other.

At 9/26/2011 7:59 PM, Blogger ruralcounsel said...

My girlfriend just received her Doctorate in Education, and claims the only thing it is good for is getting people at work to call her "Doctor". I watched her take seemingly useless class after useless class for multiple years, steeped in politically correct themes, theories, and assorted BS. Half her 'cohorts' didn't even write a real research thesis, just a "personal narrative".

My doctorate, obtained over 20 years ago, is in Chemical Engineering. Can't say it wasn't useful in understanding how the physical world works. Still is.

The areas women predominantly take graduate degrees in lead to useless parasitical public service oriented careers. If they're so accomplished and equally capable, why aren't they taking the hard useful science and engineering programs? When women are willing to do the heavy intellectual lifting in equal proportion to men is when all women will get my respect. Until then, only the ones who do real math, science and engineering are worthy of professional respect, in my book. The rest are taking the collegiate equivalent of Home Ec.

At 9/27/2011 2:15 PM, Blogger Ron H. said...

"I watched her take seemingly useless class after useless class for multiple years, steeped in politically correct themes, theories, and assorted BS. Half her 'cohorts' didn't even write a real research thesis, just a "personal narrative"."

As it seems she remained your girlfriend all that time, you are apparently smart enough to not remind her very often of her poor choices. :)


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