The chart above shows the huge college degree gap by gender for the class of 2013 (data here). Based on Department of Education estimates, women will earn a disproportionate share of college degrees at every level of higher education this year, and overall, women in the class of 2013 will earn 140 college degrees at all levels for every 100 men. Over the next decade, the gender disparity for college degrees is expected to increase, so that by 2022, women will earn 148 college degrees for every 100 degrees earned by men, with especially huge gender imbalances for associate’s degrees (162 women for every 100 men) and master’s degrees (162 women for every 100 men). It’s unlikely that any college commencement speaker will mention the significant, and growing, gender imbalances in America’s higher education system.
The huge gender inequity in higher education for the class of 2013 is nothing new — women have earned a majority of US college degrees in every year since 1981 and since then have earned an increasingly larger share of college degrees compared to men in almost every year, so that men have now become the “second sex” in higher education. Despite the huge and growing “degree gap” over the last 30 years in favor of women, there are still almost 200 women’s centers on college campuses around the country (list here), some receiving public funding, most with the stated goal of “promoting (or advocating) gender equity” and promoting “women’s success.” Here are some examples:
The University of Minnesota’s Women’s Center advances equity for women students, staff, faculty, and alumnae across identities by increasing connections for women’s success, cultivating socially responsible leaders, and advocating for organizational culture change toward excellence for all.
The University of Virginia Women’s Center educates U.Va. students in how to create change in self, community, and the world by providing programs and services that advocate gender equity.
The Duke University Women’s Center is dedicated to helping every woman at Duke become self-assured with a kind of streetwise savvy that comes from actively engaging with the world. We welcome men and women alike who are committed to gender equity and social change.
The mission of the University of Idaho Women’s Center is to promote and advocate for gender equity on campus and in the community through programs and services that educate and support all individuals in building an inclusive and compassionate society.
The University of North Carolina Women’s Center strives to be a leader on efforts and initiatives related to gender equity.
MP: Even though the publicly stated goal of almost every Women’s Center is “gender equity,” there seems to be a very selective concern about sex imbalances, with no concern at all about the gender inequities at every level of higher education favoring women to the point that men have clearly become the “second sex” in higher education.
Here is apparently the gender activist “logic”:
Rule A: Any outcome where women statistically represent less than 50% of a population is a case of gender inequity, sexism, and/or discrimination that must be addressed with awareness, public funding for women’s centers, legal action, regulation, legislation (Title IX), scholarships for women, etc. to correct the sex imbalances, with the ultimate goal being perfect statistical gender parity, i.e. perfect gender equity.
Rule B: Any outcome where women represent more than 50% of a population (e.g. higher education at all levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees) isn’t really gender inequity, or at least it is gender inequity that doesn’t really count and can be completely ignored because that statistical gender disparity is a natural outcome of women being more talented and/or more highly motivated than men.
Bottom Line: Now that there’s a huge (and growing) college degree gap in favor of women and men have become the second sex in higher education, maybe it’s time to stop funding hundreds of women’s centers that promote a goal of gender equity that was achieved thirty years ago.