PJ Media

New Theory or Excuse?

Here is an article from emInside Higher Ed /emon a “new take” on the a href=”http://insidehighered.com/news/2006/04/26/gender”gender gap in colleges/a. I thought this litte know factoid was relevant:br /br /blockquoteThe study starts with a review of the long-term trends in gender enrollment and notes a fact that has received relatively little attention of late: Between 1900 and 1930, male and female enrollments were roughly at parity. And relatively few of the women enrolled (about 5 percent) were at elite women’s colleges. About half were at public institutions./blockquotebr /br /So, if male and female enrollments were roughly equal from 1900-1930–where is all the discrimination against women in public education that feminists keep talking about from that era? I thought women were home barefoot and pregnant.br /br /Update: I understand very well that women were discriminated against in earlier times and had trouble using their credentials to get ahead in many professions. However, the point of this post is to reveal the hypocrisy that the researchers at Harvard are using when they use the fact that equal numbers of women and men attended college in earlier times as an excuse–oops, I mean “theory” as to why there is a gender gap in education now. In other words–nothing to worry about for men–they never attended college that much anyway so why worry if they don’t now. If you really want to know how the Harvard researchers feel about men in college, take a look at this a href=”http://insidehighered.com/news/2006/04/26/gender”paragraph/a:br /br /blockquoteThe other major factor they cite is also very simple: Women do better in high school. They are more likely to study hard, to take the right courses, and to do well in those courses than are their male counterparts. Male high school students are more likely to have behavioral problems./blockquotebr /br /Now, turn that paragraph around and imagine how sexist it would sound if we said men do better at high school and women have behavioral problems. The question if women were down to 40% of college students would be, “what can we do to change that?” not, how can we make it seem normal that men don’t attend college so that we don’t have to do anything to change it?