Women are more likely to enroll in college and they are more likely to have better applications, so now there are hundreds of schools where the female-male ratio is 60 to 40. About 80 percent of the majors in public administration, psychology and education are female. And here's the most important piece of data: Until 1985 or so, male college graduates outnumbered female college graduates. But in the mid-80's, women drew even, and ever since they have been pulling away at a phenomenal rate.Women have jumped ahead of men so quickly. It's important to take account of the situation and do something about it before the gap gets worse. Unfortunately, it's risky even to bring up the subject, though it should be remembered that Larry Summers got slammed for speculating about why women were achieving less than men. Is male underachievement a less or more touchy topic?
This year, 133 women will graduate from college for every 100 men. By decade's end, according to Department of Education projections, there will be 142 female graduates for every 100 male graduates. Among African-Americans, there are 200 female grads for every 100 male grads.
The social consequences are bound to be profound. The upside is that by sheer force of numbers, women will be holding more and more leadership jobs. On the negative side, they will have a harder and harder time finding marriageable men with comparable education levels....
For 30 years, attention has focused on feminine equality. During that time honest discussion of innate differences has been stifled (ask Larry Summers). It's time to look at the other half.
October 15, 2005
David Brooks writes about the accelerating disparity between males and females in education. (Unfortunately, this link will take you to TimesSelect, which requires payment to enter.)