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College class of 2011 by academic discipline and gender; the selective concern about gender imbalances is…. imbalanced

Academic Discipline Male Degrees Female Degrees Percent Female
Female-Dominated Disciplines
Family and consumer sciences 2,762 19,682 87.7%
Library science 13 83 86.5%
Health professions 21,536 121,894 85.0%
Public administration 4,908 21,866 81.7%
Education 21,195 82,797 79.6%
Psychology 23,229 77,664 77.0%
Legal professions and studies 1,317 3,112 70.3%
Area, ethnic, gender studies 2,801 6,299 69.2%
Foreign languages 6,720 14,986 69.0%
English language and literature 16,916 35,828 67.9%
Multi/interdisciplinary studies 13,602 28,626 67.8%
Liberal arts and general studies 16,488 30,239 64.7%
Communication 33,023 55,109 62.5%
Visual and performing arts 36,341 57,615 61.3%
Biological and biomedical sciences 36,892 53,111 59.0%
Close to Gender Parity
Social sciences and history 89,814 87,330 49.3%
Homeland security, law enforcement 24,361 23,241 48.8%
Business, management, marketing 187,081 178,012 48.8%
Agriculture and natural resources 14,675 13,948 48.7%
Parks, recreation, leisure studies 18,936 16,988 47.3%
Male-Dominated Disciplines
Mathematics and statistics 9,783 7,399 43.1%
Architecture 5,696 4,136 42.1%
Physical sciences, science technologies 14,782 9,930 40.2%
Philosophy and religious studies 8,149 4,687 36.5%
Theology and religious vocations 6,118 2,956 32.6%
Military technologies 50 14 21.9%
Computer and information sciences 35,478 7,594 17.6%
Engineering 77,100 16,017 17.2%
Transportation and materials moving 4,345 596 12.1%
All Disciplines 734,111 981,759 57.2%

The table above is based on the most recent data from the Department of Education on bachelor’s degrees by academic discipline and the sex of the graduating students for the college class of 2011 (most recent year available). Here are some observations:

1. Women earned 57.2% of all bachelor’s degrees in 2011, which also means that there were almost 134 women in that year’s graduating class for every 100 men.

2. For the College Class of 2011, women significantly outnumbered men in 15 academic disciplines, men outnumbered women in nine academic fields, and there was approximate gender parity in five disciplines.

3. For bachelor’s degrees in health professions (primarily registered nursing), 566 women graduated in 2011 for every 100 men, for public administration there were 446 female graduates for every 100 men, for education there were 391 women for every 100 men, and for psychology there were 334 women for every 100 men.

4. In the most unbalanced academic fields favoring males, 481 men graduated in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in engineering for every 100 female graduates, and 467 men earned a degree in computer science for every 100 women.

5. As much as we hear about female under-representation in STEM (science, technology, engineering and math), women outnumbered men for bachelor’s degrees in biological and biomedical sciences by a ratio of 144 females for every 100 males. Women also earned more than 43% of all bachelor’s degrees awarded in mathematics in 2011, and more than 44% of the degrees in general mathematics (the most popular of the 12 sub-disciplines in math). For general chemistry (another STEM field), women earned almost half (48.8%) of the bachelor’s degrees awarded in 2011.

6. As noted many times before on this blog, there are significant gender imbalances favoring women in higher education, in terms of total degrees awarded, and degrees awarded within many academic disciplines. Women earn more degrees in biology than men, and almost as many degrees in chemistry and mathematics.  But all we ever hear about is concern about female under-representation in certain STEM fields like engineering and computer science, with no concern ever expressed for the significant male under-representation for college degrees in general, or the male under-representation in female-dominated fields like health professions, education, public administration, biology and psychology.

7. Although not shown here, female over-representation in higher education gets even greater at the master’s level. In 2011, females earned more than 60% of the graduate degrees awarded, which means that there were almost 151 women earning master’s degrees in that year for every 100 men.

MP: Maybe it’s perfectly natural to expect gender differences by academic discipline, and we should give up trying to socially engineer perfect gender parity by academic field, e.g. STEM, especially when the concern about gender imbalances is so well….  imbalanced.

10 thoughts on “College class of 2011 by academic discipline and gender; the selective concern about gender imbalances is…. imbalanced

  1. It can’t be perfectly natural. That would imply that there are differences between men and women, and we can’t abide by that outdated notion.

  2. Prof. Perry,

    While your logic is airtight, you still seem to think they care about logical flaws in their claims.

    Years of such logic being presented to them proves that they do not. Women are about emotion, not logic. They will never stop demanding special treatment in the name of ‘equality’, no matter how much logic is presented to them.

    This is merely how women filter for which man is a pushover, and which man is not. This is how women decide who to take resources from (the former) and who to be attracted to (the latter).

  3. The problem is with the definition of “parity” (it is not what men think it is).

    “Close to Parity” is when the salaries/benefits of all men is similar to salaries/benefits of all women (and when the number of women getting STEM degree is equal to that of men). “Almost Parity” is when women earn more than men in all disciplines (including STEM). And “Parity” is when women make it difficult for men to get STEM degrees and start doing to men what men did to women in the past. Turnabout is fair play – and so no domination means no parity. Companies and educational institutions can start this process by arbitrarily lowering the salaries of all STEM employees/instructors (except those that are women) and increasing the salaries of all NON STEM employees/instructors.

  4. “1. Women earned 57.2% of all bachelor’s degrees in 2011, which also means that there were almost 134 women in that year’s graduating class for every 100 men.”

    This disparity should be a national shame but the narrative drumbeat does not recognize facts.

    • There are two narrative drumbeats; both the left and right have one. The nice thing is that “tuning out” these narrative drumbeats is easy and keeps the panties from bunching up… which is what it seeks to do.

  5. When there is so much concern on why female are under-represented in STEM fields I think that is because (even if they don’t recognize it), feminist are male chauvinist. It seems that they think: “If men don’t study, say, library science or nursery is beacuse those are very boring disciplines (women’s disciplines!) so no men would like to study that; but if women don’t study STEM disciplines, is because men don’t allow them. If not, every women would like to study those disciplines because they are very interesting ones (men’s disciplines!)

    • It has nothing to do with what’s “interesting,” which is subjective anyway. It is about pay:

      “Almost half of workers with bachelor’s degrees in STEM fields out-earn workers with Ph.D.’s in other fields… That doesn’t mean people with STEM degrees are necessarily working in those fields, says center Director Anthony Carnevale, the lead author of the report. He says technical skills have ‘become the common currency of the labor market,’ much the same way a liberal arts education was seen as a basic requirement for high-paying jobs in past years… people with a bachelor’s degree in a STEM major make roughly $500,000 more over their lifetimes than non-STEM majors.” – US News Stem Education

      Follow the money. Combine Mark’s stats with these STEM pay stats and you see why the women’s groups always harp on STEM. They’ve managed to get the number of female degree-holders up by creating a bunch of bullshit degrees, but the market is valuing those degrees at the appropriate price, low.

      I think this is all much arguing about nothing, as almost all degrees are worthless, STEM or not, and all these colleges will go bankrupt soon, with nobody caring about any degrees after that.

  6. Total difference: 247,648

    Biggest differences:
    Health 100,358 – far more nurses in the world than doctors. This is quite reasonable as nursing is far more friendly to being a mom than doctoring is.

    Education: 61K Similarly, being a teacher is far more friendly to being a mom than most careers.

    Psychology: 54K A useless degree which only proves you have gone to college. Maybe you can get a family friendly social services job with this, but nothing in the business world.

    Communication: 22K – See Phychology

    Visual and Performing Arts: 22K Ditto

    English Language and literature: 19K – I think you see were I’m going here…

    Men are far more likely to either enroll in college for something that will actually improve their earning power in the long run such as Engineering and IT, careers which do not as easily lend themselves to stopping for a few years to raise some young uns. Men are far more likely to support such children with their higher paying jobs, jobs which require much more time away from home than most women are willing to commit to.

    The other fields such as liaberal arts, Language, etc, are dominated by women because of the constant drumbeat women are told that the MUST GET A COLLEGE DEGREE!!!!! Men if they aren’t going to college for tangible benefits are far more likely to skip it alltogether, rather than sacrifice 4 or 5 years of earning power and tens of thousands of dollars on what is nothing but fluff.

    If women made the same cost benefit analysis as men, there would be far more balance in the college world.

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