Friday, March 24, 2006

What Goes Around, Comes Around

One of my commenters pointed out this op-ed piece in the NYT (thanks) entitled, "To All of the Girls I've Rejected." The Times piece is an apology to all of the girls who are being turned away from their pick of colleges due to "demographic realities."

The author discusses the "tragedy" of her own daughter who received only four acceptance letters but (gasp!) was waitlisted at a fifth school. The author is the Dean of admissions and financial aid at Kenyon College, where they are having to turn away (or at least debate whether to accept) accomplished young women.

Had she been a male applicant, there would have been little, if any, hesitation to admit. The reality is that because young men are rarer, they're more valued applicants. Today, two-thirds of colleges and universities report that they get more female than male applicants, and more than 56 percent of undergraduates nationwide are women. Demographers predict that by 2009, only 42 percent of all baccalaureate degrees awarded in the United States will be given to men.

We have told today's young women that the world is their oyster; the problem is, so many of them believed us that the standards for admission to today's most selective colleges are stiffer for women than men. How's that for an unintended consequence of the women's liberation movement?


Okay, so the "you go girl!" program is now backfiring--instead of Prince Charming coming to rescue their little Princesses, some mothers such as the author, have just rewritten the script. It now goes like this: "if you are a girl, the world owes you, nothing can stop you and you will be given everything you want--while pushing all others (e.g. boys) out of the way." All colleges become Daddy, who is to hand over the fat envelopes of admissions, just because you happen to be "an accomplished young woman." Perhaps these same mothers would have been better off teaching their daughters something different about the world--like how to deal with adversity and how to tolerate being rejected. It is something boys learned a long time ago. If shit happens, you suck it up like a guy and do not complain. (Look how feminists tend to dismiss male complaints as unmanly "whining.") If you fall down, you get back up. The world does not owe you and life isn't always fair, especially if feminists are in power.

But now the tides are turning and the very affirmative action rules and regulations that were to be used to promote their little girls (as well as other select groups) are backfiring. Maybe if we selected students based on their actual qualifications, rather than gender or skin color, their daughters would be back in the running. But if you are going to play the affirmative action card, you have to live with the results and play by the rules, and that may mean the very "minority" you are trying to promote may become the very ones who lose out. Watch out what you wish for, it may come back to bite you in the ass.

135 Comments:

Anonymous "Eric Blair" said...

Great post, Dr. Helen, but sure to cause plenty of leftist spleen to be vented here.

You are absolutely right about affirmative action. It does no good whatsoever. I know a young assistant professor who happens to be a black female. She truly is good as a teacher and a researcher. For family reasons, she decided to move to another part of the country. A prestigious liberal arts school promptly hired her onto their tenure track, with "clock time" toward tenure, WITHOUT a national search.

The only times I have EVER seen that was when the hire was part of a underrepresented group.

Thus, everyone---including my friend---can reasonably conclude that her skin color, not her accomplishments, were responsible for her hiring. In my opinion, that will cause self-doubt in my friend, and impact every decision on campus (and outside campus) involving my friend.

The institution should have done a national search, because I very much doubt that other applicants would have looked "as good" as my friend.

Affirmative action doesn't really help diversity; it gives ammunition to people who do not believe minorities can compete. It reinforces a "victimist" point of view. It also inflames racist thinking.

I also notice that the architects of these programs are usually white, and none of those people give up anything---jobs, salary, tenure---they just ask other people to do so.

Ditto the gender gap. What you will start to hear, of course, is sexist activities toward men "do not count," since men "rule" the country. It's part of that bizarre "critical theory" business as it applies to race and gender.

Thus, I am very surprised by the article. I am not pleased, because any time you allow your selection criteria to be on the basis of color or sex, you are in trouble.

Many people will probably flame me for these ideas, and they have that right. But the rules that are set in place can be used by people other than the framers of those rules. People who support affirmative action want a peaceful, multicultural world. But sex and race based criteria could be used by racists as well as multiculturalists.

There are other solutions that take us away from race and gender, like economic status.

Anyway....the science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein used to write fiction about this period in America (his future, our present). He called these times "The Crazy Years."

Yup.

10:12 AM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger John Doe said...

Good post. "Affirmative action" was always an appalling misnomer. Consider the oxymoronic, but more precise "positive discrimination" instead.

11:07 AM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Vicki said...

Suddenly guys are a valuable commodity, again? Okay, in a very restricted context, only. But why would a guy who's been told for most, if not all, of his life that he is crap, that's he's to blame for all the abuses, neglect and discrimatory practices against women *want* to enroll in any college or university where he's going to hear more of the same, once he's there?

11:12 AM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Brian said...

I hadn't actually read the article until you mentioned part of it--I had thought the girl was getting rejections. Aw...she got into 4 and waitlisted from a 5th? Definitely a world's smallest violin moment.

She hadn't been named a National Merit finalist, which means her standardized tests weren't that good (it's based on PSATs). She "sat through Saturday mornings taking SATs". Doesn't tell us what she got on them. She did extracurricular activities--we don't know which ones. And we don't know which school waitlisted her. Also, she lives near Kenyon, which means she didn't go to a top Ohio school (I grew up in Cleveland; I know the area.)

For any student--if you have the money, and you're not applying to any schools you think could credibly reject you, you're probably not aiming high enough.

The article isn't about affirmative action's backlash, it's about a modern whiny pair of women with overblown senses of entitlement. The year after mine, there were a pair of students who hadn't "dug a well for a village in Africa, or climbed to the top of Mount Rainier" who both got into Princeton--one boy, one girl. I guess the thought that her daughter may just not have been perfect never crossed Ms. Britz's mind.

11:32 AM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger jw said...

eric blaire: YES! Heinlein's "Crazy Years" is the best description for the world as it is.

vicki: You ask a question that I've asked a million times. Why would I want to put myself through it?

Why would I want to take psychology and learn all about how violent and nasty I am? Why would I want to take literature and learn about how I control the world (through some magic means I suppose)?

I could go on. BAH!

I'm disabled and have the time to go back to university and there's a good university only half an hour from my doorstep: Why would I want to go there to learn how evil I am? I've been told how evil I am too many times as it is.

Both my sons could go to university; neither did nor will: They don't want to be told they are evil either; they went through that with me when they were little. Back when I was "The most dangerous man in Canada" for the HUGE crime of trying to provide lone fathers equal access to programs and services.

11:34 AM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bad part is not the undergrad situation, its what happens later. Large numbers of women are entering law and med school, with no intention of making those professions their life's work. So, the resources devoted by the school (and the taxpayer) to educating some of them will just turn out to be money spent on a vanity degree.

12:12 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

anonymous you are so right. The UK is experiencing exactly that. Many more women have gotten degrees in the medical fields. On average they work for a few years and drop out. That has caused a severe shortage of doctors. And the taxpayers have paid for effectively nothing.

You go girls!

12:33 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Peregrine John said...

As Jack Nicholson famously observed (about a not completely unrelated issue): That’s what we got from the women’s movement. The chickens have come home to roost.

I'm not sure which is the bigger pity: that perfectly qualified people are either turned away or accepted but suspect because of these asinine rules; or that the reversal of fortunes is unlikely to inform those who should learn thereby the error of their ways.

12:48 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

anonymous 12:12 and 12:33:

Yes, this is a big problem in fields such as medicine where women are getting the majority of degrees and working part-time. I wonder if what is happening in Canada with socialized medicine is part of that phenomenon--people are calling doctor's offices and getting answering machines saying they can leave a message etc. or the office is closed. Working fewer hours means patients cannot get treated. My two female dentists had no office hours on Fridays which made it hard to be seen at times (they do, however, come in promptly for emergencies).

There is nothing wrong, of course, with working part-time but women docs tend to work fewer hours then men, meaning that fewer patients can be seen. Socialized medicine of any type here in the US would aggravate the problem if docs are paid on a salary rather than by how much they show up.

12:48 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous grad03 said...

You've got some logical fallacies here especially in considering women doctors who work part-time. Were they admitted to med school INSTEAD OF men who (you're presupposing) would work full-time? Or were these women accepted because they were more qualified candidates to become doctors than their male counterparts? Either way, what they choose to do with their education is their business. Buying yourself an opportunity to get a degree does not obligate you to society to use it.

If you took this argument to its logical conclusion and forced incoming med students to sign some sort of commitment to work full-time for a certain number of years after completing their studies, fewer people of both sexes would apply for med schools.

And I'd love to hear some support for your contention, anonymous 12:12, that schools and taxpayers support med students and thus are somehow owed years of service. Most U.S. med students come out of school with six-figure loans.

It might make sense to spend more time on why women with advanced degrees are not pursuing careers in these fields full-time (if that's even true to a statistically significant degree). Could it be because they're having families and don't want their kids to spend the week in daycare?

Can't have it both ways, I'm afraid. Stories on this site have faulted working moms who put their kids in daycare for too many hours a week. Now you want to blame women with advanced degrees who are trying to balance work and family more sensibly. One of the consequences of having more educated women in the U.S., period, is that more types of work/life balance will appear and become popular because educated women will demand them.

If men took advantage of this movement instead of being threatened by it, they could benefit by having more time to spend with their own families.

1:42 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grad03:
As a lawyer (who loves her work) and a woman pregnant with her first child, I was involved in those discussions on this site about daycare for working moms. I like your point that working women are at once excoriated for choosing to work and put their children in daycare and then criticized if they choose to reduce or stop working entirely (though this criticism seems more aimed at professional women, since presumably the argument is we're taking the education that someone else who wouldn't drop out could have had).

I would submit that, in law at least, the problem for women is in some part a problem with the industry. The NY Times had a story a couple of days ago about why so few women are made partner in the legal industry. This is a complicated problem with no easy answers, and I thought the article was a bit shallow in its treatment, but if it begins or adds to a discussion of why women drop out, then I think it adds something.

http://www.nytimes.com/2006/03/19/business/yourmoney/19law.html?_r=2&hp&ex=1142830800&en=2713ffcfe90442a8&ei=5094&partner=homepage&oref=slogin&oref=slogin

(Sorry, free registration required)

1:55 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

The immediate question, to me, is whether colleges will affirmatively recruit and accept lesser qualified males in order to remedy an imbalance between male and female students. I support merit-based admissions. However, if affirmative action has caused an imbalance, it's logical that colleges that embraced diversity and rejected merit-based admissions should remedy the gender imbalance they helped create.

By the way, I think we all know this won't happen.

2:00 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

Grad03 and Anonymous @1:55:

I think you both might be taking these conversations a bit too personally. In general, it is not a good use of limited resources to have people study for years to gain professional degrees, followed by rigorous training/interning, only to drop out of the workforce or take jobs that do not utilize those skills.

Mine is a two-lawyer marriage where neither one of us works full-time because we have a profoundly disabled child. In essence, we work together in a family law firm to do the work of one full-time attorney. It works for us, our family, and fortunately we live in a country that can afford for us to use our skills at a less-than-optimum level. In addition, Americans are compassionate people and want to extend the same flexibility to all our citizens. But clearly, if we all operate at low efficiency or productivity rates, it won't be a good thing. (Think France.) And I don't think it's wrong to think in general about ways to keep Americans working at full capacity because ultimately it's good for everyone when that happens.

2:11 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger gs said...

From 'You go, girl!' to 'You're owed, girl!'...
*****************
IMO a discussion--especially a libertarian discussion--of female MDs who, so to speak, underutilize their degrees is incomplete without considering whether the medical profession unnecessarily restricts access to its ranks. The world does not owe them a monopoly.
*****************
Helen, you wrote: "If shit happens, you suck it up like a guy and do not complain...If you fall down, you get back up. The world does not owe you..." I just got a shock. Most of my potential wealth is in an enterprise whose serious management problems, I thought, had been solved; they have abruptly resurfaced. After a few unpleasant hours, I worked my way through to the frame of mind you described, but it's helpful to hear it stated succinctly. Thanks.

2:17 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous holdfast said...

Re: What happens in Canada:

Generallly GPs are paid by the patient visit, so a Dr working less will bill the provincial medical plan less. It's my recollection that in some provinces there is an annual billing cap, so a productive doc could easily max out on 3 days a week.

In Canada, the gov't pays for the vast majority of your med school education. Also, ALL Med schools in Canada are at public universities (private colleges are generally jokes), and the number of spaces is severely restricted. Thus, if a Dr (male or female) decides to drop out or work less, it is a loss of a scarce public resource (this, of course, is the basic problem with socialism - we've turned individual human beings with right, dreams and aspirations into commodities and state assets. Ugh).

Still, to be fair, Dr availibility is not the biggest cause of the crisis in Canadian healthcare. There are absolutely Dr shortages in rural areas - but that is really more of a market problem - nobody wants to live there, and I think that the same thing happens in the States, though perhaps the lower total number of Drs as a % of the population in Canada exacerbates the problem. Canada helps to plug the gap by poaching Drs from abroad (particularly from South Africa, which clearly has just a huge surplus of Drs they can afford to lose). The biggest healthcare problem in Canada is the general rationing of services via state diktat and the delivery of services with government-type inefficiencies and costs. Young surgeons, far from being in demand, are sitting idle because there is no money to keep the operating rooms open and they are barred by law from performing surgery for private profit. People wait 2 or more years for a hip replacement - which leads to painkiller addiction and loss of productivity - though the ruling politcians can always avail themselves of the excellent care at the National Defence Medical Centre in Ottawa - and very rich can go to the USA.

2:32 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DRJ:
I'm the anonymous 1:55-
I didn't mean to give the imporession that I was taking the discussion personally. I agree with your point, that generally, "it is not a good use of limited resources to have people study for years to gain professional degrees, followed by rigorous training/interning, only to drop out of the workforce or take jobs that do not utilize those skills."

All I mean to state, though, is that women, as child bearers, and as more socially acceptable childcare givers, struggle with the problem as you have outlined it a little more. Please note: I'm NOT saying women don't have a variety of options that would allow them to continue to utilize the skills that they have acquired, even while raising a family. I'm also NOT saying that women bear sole responsibility for child care. All I meant was, in my part of the legal industry (which is all I can speak for), being a woman has some built-in...assumptions? challenges? disadvantages? (those aren't quite the right words, but maybe you can see what I'm trying to get to) that seems to make women drop out of law, rather than succeeding at higher levels.

So the question to me, is do we stop women from becoming lawyers or doctors, or do we try to address whatever issues there are in those fields that might be causing women to drop out? Probably the most efficient solution is simply to bar women from entering those fields that have sufficiently high enough value to society that it would not want to "waste" any of those who qualified. I think, though, that such a solution, besides being repugnant socially, also does society no favors by wasting 50% of its intellectual capital in such a way. So the response, if we want to address the retention problem, is to address the underlying factors that cause the retention problem. Again, I have no idea how to do that.

BTW, on the original story, I completely agree with Dr. Helen- the writer of the story isn't really an object of my pity. I've always preferred to succeed on the basis of my merits, not because I'm female. And it sounds as though her daughter has plenty of opportunity to succeed.

2:53 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

On the topic of women, part time work and medical school--here is an interesting article from the Chicago Tribune that points out the pros and cons of women in the medical field:

Chicago Tribune article

http://jobsillinois.us/news/contentview.asp?c=139384

2:58 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Grad03 said "And I'd love to hear some support for your contention, anonymous 12:12, that schools and taxpayers support med students and thus are somehow owed years of service."

Ask anyone in the medical profession for 10+ years if they agree with me (a non doctor) and the overwhelming response will be "yes".

Many med schools, admittedly not all, are state institutions. Tuition does not pay all the bill. Surely you know that. Throw in the cost of maintaining a teaching hospital as a necessary adjunct to the med school. To say, as you imply, that the public has no interest, business or concern with this issue is not reasonable.

Go to the entering class at a med school and ask each of them "Do you plan to work 50 hours a week for at least the next 25 years?" Virtually none of the women will say "yes", but virtually all of the men will. Sure, women have reasons for not working full time, and, frankly, I'm glad when they decide that their family is more important than anything else. I believe society is more at risk by motherless homes and latch key kids than it is benefitted by female short term doctors.

As I said above, I am not a doctor; what I am saying is based on what I've heard from doctors over the last 20 years.

3:05 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and more than 56 percent of undergraduates nationwide are women.

So what? That is not surprising. Why not?

(1) The human male-femall ratio is not 50-50. About 51 percent of the gteneral population is female.

(2) Suppose five or so percent of young men would rather work full time or serve in the US military. Are we to assume that they have made the wrong decision?

I think not, because (a) many of these yopunbg men go to college later on, and (b) perhaps five percent or more of young women would be better off working full time and/or in the armed forces.

It's a big mistake to say that all young people need to go straight from high school to full time college. It is very self-serving on the part of the higher edu. establishment to inists that every one needs to freom high school through a bachelor's degree p[rogram with no interruption.

so many of them believed us that the standards for admission to today's most selective colleges are stiffer for women than men.

That is almost certainly not true, or else there would be many discrimination lawuits claiming such unequal treatment.

-- david.davenport.12netzero.com

3:19 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

Anonymous @ 1:55 & 2:53:

After posting, I was concerned that my comments sounded harsh and I appreciate your thoughtful response. My view, and speaking in general here, is that law schools and law students need to do better jobs thinking about the types of careers they want. Too many lawyers don't decide what they want to do until after they graduate and then they pick a career based on prestige rather than personal constraints.

For the average male lawyer and for female lawyers who don't have family issues (e.g., they already had their children, they have full-time nannies, or they don't plan to have children), challenging job requirements are difficult but can be accomodated. Female lawyers with children and those who are just beginning their families are not as flexible, and it might be better if they focused on those segments of the legal workforce that can accomodate their needs. Perhaps government or corporate positions are more amenable than, for instance, high-powered law firms. I'm not sure what the answers are but I don't think we do women any favors if we make them think they can have any full-time law career they choose and a traditional family, too.

As I mentioned earlier, I have a profoundly disabled child so I've spent quite a bit of time in the medical world. Some areas of medical practice are more accomodating of personal lifestyle issues than others and most doctors-to-be accept that and choose specialties that mesh with their personal constraints. Either way, it's a heck of a life to be a doctor or to be married to a doctor and, frankly, I think the same should be said about lawyers. I do not mean to impugn lawyers because it's my profession and I'm proud of it, but too many lawyers feel entitled to have a wonderful career with time for family, friends, and fun. Law is not just a job that you leave at 5 PM. It requires hard work and committment, sometimes in spite of promises we make to our families, and that's why we call it a profession.

3:22 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sorry about the spelling errors! :(

"male-female," "general," "young,"
and "... insist that everyone needs to go from high school through a bachelor's degree program ..."

--david.davenport.1@netzero

3:25 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's take a deep breath: I am a right-wing nut, I went to Kenyon, and am here to help get this back on track.

Lots of kids who are very qualified do not get into Kenyon. It was that way when Rutherford Hayes was one of its 50 students, when Renquist was one of 40 entering freshman, when John Snow graduated in a class of 70, and when the college opens its doors to its modern and super-sized class of 400. Kids who get into Ivy League schools don't always get into Kenyon, and vice versa. About a quarter of the freshmen were in the top 1% of their high school classes, and some kids who bring a lot of other stuff to the game get in while some dull but diligent straight-A students don't. This is even worse at other places (I went to graduate school at Duke, which sent me a nice little thing in the mail saying that they have 18,000 applicants for 1,600 spots and 1,300 of those kids have combined SAT verbal/math scores over 1550 - obviously, some perfectly smart kids are going to get rejected) - and this hasn't changed much over the last century.

What has changed is that a boy with certain qualifications is a sure bet, whereas a girl with the same qualifications might not make the grade. And that reflects the demographic realities, which don't stem from Gambier - that problem starts in high schools across the country, which aren't turning out strong boys (my pet reason: a few decades ago the critique of feminism shocked educators into fixing the way they schooled girls, and as girls' performances improved it exposed the flaws in how so-called educators taught boys).

The college, like most decent schools, has always picked classes as well as kids. Kenyon, for example, needs a certain number of talented swimmers to float the team, which has won the Div. III men's swimming national championship for 27 straight years. Kenyon was a men's school, and we alum will not tolerate its conversion into a pink ghetto, nor will the students find it very attractive.

So, suck it up, girls. It's a tough life, and as J.F. Kennedy said, "Life's not fair."

3:39 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

However, if affirmative action has caused an imbalance, it's logical that colleges that embraced diversity and rejected merit-based admissions should remedy the gender imbalance they helped create.

Would someone please tell me what actual, current, existing affirmative action programs have caused there to be more women than young men college students?

I have heard allegations that so-called Title IX legal requirements have compelled some universities to allocate more funding to women's sports than to men's minor sports such as lacrosse, but is Title IX causing a five or so percent difference in overall male-female enrollment? I doubt it.

Basically, I think this male-female college student gap is another phoney crisis. The education establishment always wants more customers and more funding. Enough is never enough for the edu. estab.


-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

3:39 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous grad03 said...

Anonymous 3:05,

Since when is 50 hours a week "full-time"? Your expectations of what a medical doctor should be seem to exceed normal standards. And personally, I'd prefer to wait a few hours to see a part-time doc rather than get in right away to see a doc at the end of a 36-hour shift whose judgment is more likely to suffer. See any recent publications on the high percentage of medical errors in the U.S.

Just because the U.S. medical profession has always demanded outrageous time commitments from its participants doesn't mean that's the right, or the only, way to run the profession. If all doctors worked shorter shifts, say 40-hour workweeks like the other white-collar professions do in standard, the quality of service offered might be better. And who's to say more people would not commit to being doctors if the time expectations were more reasonable? It would be nice if fathers also had more time to commit to their kids.

Wandering far from the original topic here. To cut back to the college issue, I agree that this is a phony crisis. There are more young women than young men applying, and so more are getting in overall, even though more may be turned away from the most competitive schools.

3:43 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Steve White said...

I'm the director of a pulmonary and critical care fellowship program in Chicago (for young doctors who want to enter that specialty). I'm also a man, so depending on your own political beliefs you may want to dismiss what I say out of hand.

We have a majority of women in our medical school and in our internal medicine residency program (first step out of med school). For the fellowship (2nd step), our numbers are similar to the national numbers for medicine subspecialty training programs: women represent perhaps 25% of fellows. By the time we get to academic positions in the subspecialties, the numbers are lower yet.

The principal reason is the one identified by several here: women decide at some point in their lives to bear children. For women in medicine, to bear a child or two in their late 20's or early 30's, that means -- after residency training, and during or instead of fellowship training. If you bear children earlier than that, it interferes with med school and/or residency, and most trainees want to clear those hurdles first. If a woman physician waits much past age 32 or 33, and then discover that she has a fertility problem, she's really up against time constraints to settle this.

In our country, women provide most of the child-rearing, particularly for young children (Dr. Helen may want to comment on this). So women in medicine have to consider, in ways men do not, how to balance career and family. It's a simple fact of life. This means that a fair proportion of women in medicine seek careers that let them have a family, and that means that 1) subspecialties 2) academic medicine and 3) time-intense practices are out. It means you'll find more women entering specialties (e.g., family medicine, pediatrics) that are family-friendly, or doing part-time practice, or structuring their training and practice around family. It's a very common scenario.

I offer no opinion on whether this is 'right' or 'wrong' or good or bad; it simply is the way it is. As a fellowship director, I've worked to structure our program (one example: I provide more maternity leave than the University will generally allow) to entice top-quality women graduates of residency programs. It's an issue that comes up in almost every single interview of a female physician fellow-candidate.

3:47 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger dick said...

Brian,

You live in Cleveland which is about 150 miles from Kenyon and is not noted for having great schools. I grew up in Mt Vernon which is 5 miles from Kenyon. You are right that Mt Vernon is not one of Ohio's top 10 schools. It is, however, rated much higher than Cleveland and has SAT scores far higher on average than most of the state. I would guess that it probably ranks around the 80th percentile of the state when it comes to schools. It also has the capability of having top students take classes at Kenyon which is one of the top schools in the country.

I think that the point of the student not getting the National Merit honors pretty much tells us that she did not get exceptionally high scores on her SAT test and that is a lot of what counts for her collegiate acceptance.

The last I saw, before the SAT tests were revamped a couple of years ago, the Kenyon area had SAT scores of around 1150 composite which is not too shabby considering that much of the area is still farm land and blue collar. That would probably not get the average student into Kenyon but it would get the top students into that university easily. I know that my scores many years ago of 1585 would have gotten me pretty well into almost any school I wanted.

I really would like to see this whole Affirmative Action mess put down for what it is. At this point in time all that affirmative action is doing for us is cheapening the experience of education, bringing people into college classrooms for which they are woefully unprepared for the competition while there are many schools where they can be brought along successfully and lowering standards across the board. At some point the establishment needs to say enough of this, the education of our young people is more important than seeing to it that someone does not get feelings hurt.

3:49 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grad03
"if all doctors worked shorter shifts, say 40-hour work weeks like other white-collar profession do in standard"

Are you kidding? Most white-collar professionals work far more than 40 hour work weeks standard. As a private practice attorney, I usually have forty hours in a little over halfway through the week.

I know my friends that are newly-graduated doctors would love to work a 50 hour week.

3:52 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

that problem starts in high schools across the country, which aren't turning out strong boys

Strong boys?

I presume that "strong" therein means "diligent scholar," as opposed to insufficient testosterone or weight lifting. ;0)

(my pet reason: a few decades ago the critique of feminism shocked educators into fixing the way they schooled girls, and as girls' performances improved it exposed the flaws in how so-called educators taught boys).

You presume that young men who forgo college immediately after high school are or will remain uneducated.

There is also the assumption or presumption that education comes from professional educators.

The edu. estab. makes the same erroneous assumptions.

Also, one wonders if this alleged dearth of male college students is true for all races, or if the real complaint is insufficient young black men graduating with a B.A. or B.S. Is that the real issue,which everybody's too squeamish to mention?


-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

3:53 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You go, girl.

3:55 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Jordan said...

I think not, because (a) many of these yopunbg men go to college later on, and (b) perhaps five percent or more of young women would be better off working full time and/or in the armed forces.

It doesn't matter when they decide to attend college; these statistics reflect the number of college students, period.

Would someone please tell me what actual, current, existing affirmative action programs have caused there to be more women than young men college students?

Well, you can start by trying to find a college that doesn't have some sort of "women's resource center" or by trying to find one that has a comparable "men's resource center."

Then you can count all of the scholarships which are for women only. Then compare them to the number of men-only scholarships (I'll help you out: there aren't any).

Also, count the number of women only organizations (Society of Women Engineers) for example. Note: they don't restrict their membership *wink wink* Then compare them to the number of men-only organizations (I'll help you out again: there aren't any besides fraternities).

What about all of the university recruiting efforts which specifically target women? Are there any for men? Nope.

Universities have made it their life's mission for the past 30 years to get as many "diverse" (read: not white males) candidates as possible, consequences be damned. It would be impossible to find a college administration today that doesn't blindly strive towards their hollow notion of "diversity" at any cost. Many unconstitutional university speech codes have "diversity", "tolerance", and "multiculturalism" as their foundation.

4:04 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"say 40-hour workweeks like the other white-collar professions do in standard"

*snort* Can I visit your planet? Sounds nice.

On mine, anybody trying to have a career is working 60 hrs, except when the work gets heavy. Heck, the secretarys often work 50 hrs.

4:09 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous grad03 said...

anon 3:52,

No, I'm not kidding. Read my post more carefully to get my point. Just because you work in a profession where >40 hours a week is standard does not mean your profession SHOULD be that way. It means it IS that way, here and now. And of course that standard affects how women participate for the reasons several others have stated above.

And by the way, most white-collar professions do hold the 40-hour workweek as a standard (that's how the government measures work).

I appreciate Steve White's comments from experience on how the women in his program deal with the challenges of balancing work and family, and how it affects their career path within the profession. It would be interesting to hear your comments, Steve, on the reasons men in your program choose the career sub-paths that they do.

4:11 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grad03,
Of course it SHOULD be that way. If I wanted to work less hours I could easily do so at a job for less pay and prestige. The problem with many of my peers is that the want the high pay and prestige, but not the long hours or devotion to their job. As anonymous 4:09 said (only somewhat exaggerating), anyone trying to have a career is working 60 hrs or more. Please provide an example of white collar professions that are based on a 40 hour work week.

4:18 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I would like to know is, with a gender imbalance nearing 60/40, where will white-collar women find their mates? Especially white-collar women who want to "marry up", never mind marrying within the same status group.

I suppose being a single mother will be more affordable with their greater earning power.

4:35 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Barbara Skolaut said...

Anon said: "40-hour workweek as a standard (that's how the government measures work)"

Just because the gu'mint decides that's the standard doesn't make it so.

I usually work 45-50 hours a week and am grateful for the money. Others in the firm work even longer hours. In my field, the work is cyclical - I may not be able to get so much work in a few months, or I may. I'll take what I can get, when I can get it.

BTW, I used to have a 40-hour-a-week job. It paid well, but I hated it. I love the work I do now, even with the much longer hours. Having had a taste of both sides, I view the "fixed-40-hour" jobs as a hindrance to getting ahead in life.

Your mileage may vary.

4:47 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous grad03 said...

Re white collar professions: Overtime pay begins at 40 hours for the majority of white-collar professions. Thus, the forty-hour workweek.

Let's begin with government jobs. For classified staff positions across the states, overtime pay begins for hours worked over 40 per week. That includes all administrative, secretarial, human resources, information technology, and financial tech positions just for starters.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Survey, the average number of hours worked per week in 2005 for full-time employees in the Financial Activities sector is 35.8. For the Education sector, it's 32.6. For the Professional and Business Services sector, it's 34.0. Those are averages so obviously some people in those professions work more hours than that, but they support my point.

Law and medicine are anomalies and always have been in terms of their workloads. Let's not pretend that the vast majority of administrative and clerical jobs across the country are that demanding. Most white-collar jobs penalize employees who work overtime, or even fire them if they can't complete their tasks in forty hours a week.

4:58 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Aged 30 male, reporting in from the front lines.

I'm a graduating senior in Electrical Engineering. Wall to wall males - in every class. There are some female underclassmen but when the rubber hits the road most of them don't manage to pull it together. They expect their lab partners to "pull them through" and most of the projects take two to three good people working full time to finish.

Thankfully my college has been cutting back our liberal arts core classes in favor of added classes on modern technologies (USB, wireless communication, biomedical engineering, etc, etc). As a result we have to sit through dangerously few classes in which a vastly overpaid 1960s throwback uses a computer (that we design) to show us powerpoint slides demonstrating why we are evil.

Shortage of males in college? I don't think so. What does exist, however, is a vast shortage of people getting real degrees that will result in anything beyond pointless pontification and academic banter - male of female.

No skin off my nose. Just makes my degree worth that much more.

4:59 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Kirk Parker said...

"'Affirmative action' was always an appalling misnomer"

As a label for what's currently called AA, you're quite right--but its origin is in an executive order by (iirc) President Johnson, and in that context it was a perfectly fitting and inoffensive description of what is truly appropriate: making sure there really aren't any race-based restrictions on hiring.

5:04 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Mr. Snitch said...

On a related (I think) note, NPR's All Things Considered a few weeks ago featured an African-American man on the subject of racism. His conclusion: Yes, he sees racism, but once or twice a year, and in subtle ways. He said of most charges of racism that it's there, if it's what you want to see – if you're choosing a 'victim' lifestyle.

(He was careful to add that African-Americans do face challenges, that many live at lower levels than other groups and so on. Didn't say there were no problems.)

The point as it applies here is: It's tempting for any of us to play the victim when things get rough.

5:05 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What I would like to know is, with a gender imbalance nearing 60/40, where will white-collar women find their mates? Especially white-collar women who want to "marry up", never mind marrying within the same status group.

So you agree that the real reason why five percent or so - not any hyped-up 60 percent -- more women than men are enrolled in college is because the ladies still value that Mrs. degree highly, at least if they can "marry up"?

Groovy!!!

It is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius, Age of Aquarius, Aqu-a-a-r-i-i-us ...

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

5:05 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Maddad said...

Dr. Helen,

Here's a link from my hometown paper:
It's the second item in the column. I'll cut and paste:

Females at top

of academic list

Female students make up the top 10 percent of this year’s Madison Consolidated High School graduating class, longtime Canaan community leader and former junior high school counselor Edward Taylor told the School Board.

Taylor said he wasn’t drawing any conclusions, but pointed out what appears to be a dearth of males in student-services roles at the elementary, junior high and high schools. Taylor said his comments to the School Board were “Post-It” observations, individual statistics offered separately. “I’m not going to try to connect the dots,” Taylor said. “I’m going to leave you to connect the dots, or not.”

Four of the five at-risk counselors at the elementary schools are females, he said. At the junior high school, all of the health services workers and the counselors are women, as are the office staff, he said. At the high school, all of the nurses and counselors are women, as are the office staffers, Taylor said.

After the meeting, Alex Stephan, the MCHS student representative to the school board, said that the highest-ranking male in the graduating class of 234 is ranked number 25.

Stephan said she was talking to Taylor recently about the Custer Contest, an oratorical competition for five seniors from among the top 10 students academically, and mentioned that this year, all will be females. That got Taylor looking at the gender of people with influence over students.

He said that if the genders were reversed and men were dominant, “someone would have noticed.”

In other leadership positions in the schools, at the elementary school, three of the seven principals are women, while the junior high and high school principals are men.

During the part of the meeting where school board members comment, board president Gayle Spaulding thanked Taylor for his presentation and said most people “never put that much attention to it.”


I'm not real sure the gender of the support staff has much to do with under-performing males, but I thought the numbers were kind of shocking.

5:15 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would suggest that any male HS senior who avoids going to college because he doesn't want to be told males are bad is a weenie.

I recommend he put off college and join the Marine Corps for a few years. Then he will learn not to have his feelings hurt if someone doesn't like him. After that, the college money he will get from the military will allow him to get a real education.

5:17 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maddad,
Interesting article. I am fairly certain that if the genders were reversed that such results would be taken as proof the educational system is biased against females. I am guessing that the reaction to these actual results from many acadmics was "Good for those girls, they must have worked really hard."

5:20 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Female students make up the top 10 percent of this year’s Madison Consolidated High School graduating class, longtime Canaan community leader and former junior high school counselor Edward Taylor told the School Board.

Umm-hmm, and how many of 'em will become engineers or scientists in the hard sciences?

///////////


I would suggest that any male HS senior who avoids going to college because he doesn't want to be told males are bad is a weenie.

I recommend he put off college and join the Marine Corps for a few years. ...


Exactly. That is excellent advice.

By the way, I'm an engineer myself, UT Knoxville class of 1982, and i can tell you people for sure that American women who graduate with B.S. or higher engineering degrees were and still are scarce. No lack of men in the neginerring buildings.

This phoney, hyped-up lack of male college students -- it's in the Humanities classes where young men may be under-represented. And not missing much, aside from erotic opportunities ...

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

5:31 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

anonymous 5:17,

You sadly mistake not being liked for real discrimination against those of us who do not tow the party line. It would be one thing if one were simply not liked --most guys, and many women could live with this. The problem is that, in college, and grad school, if one says the wrong politically incorrect thing (depending on which buttons the professor or administration does not want pushed), then one can suffer consequences ranging from poor grades to being ousted from a program. I saw this first hand in grad school when a male student was dismissed for arguing in a talk that Jensen's intelligence research was correct. The professors did not like what he had to say and he was asked to leave. His career was probably over or at least put on hold.

Your remark was thoughtless and troubling. I hope you do not work with boys or young men if this is your attitude.

5:35 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Half Sigma said...

Here's a link to Kenyon college's departments:

http://www.kenyon.edu/departments.xml

As you can see, the emphasis is on female oriented programs such as Fine Arts and Humanities.

There is no engineering school, no business school.

5:38 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your remark was thoughtless and troubling. I hope you do not work with boys or young men if this is your attitude.

Why is that, Dr. Helen?

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

5:40 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grad03 said...
Re white collar professions: Overtime pay begins at 40 hours for the majority of white-collar professions. Thus, the forty-hour workweek.

"Overtime pay" is a function of being paid hourly. By definition "white collar professionals" are exempt from Wage and Hour requirements to pay overtime. I am a white collar professional, and I make the same whether I work 40 hours or 50 hours.

5:45 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I reread the linked article because it has elicted many, sometimes conflicting, responses in these comments. Two things continue to impress me:

First, I think the author is sincerely impressed with the caliber of young women who apply to college and regrets that her position requires her to disappoint many fine applicants. Having a daughter applying to other colleges at the same time clearly brings this home for her.

Second, where is the sympathy for the young men of 10-20-30 years ago who had superior grades, test scores, and qualifications but lost out to female applicants due to affirmative action/equal rights goals? Is it possible that today's young men are in part the result of these policies?

5:48 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Mr. Davenport,

I find it troubling because this commenter is downplaying the issues men face in college and grad school. What is one supposed to do in a class if you are male and the professor and other students are talking about the problems with males--they are rapists, oppressors, etc.? Just sit there feeling angry? Ignore it and just get through the class? What if one is to write a paper on a topic and all the professor will accept is something politically correct? What do you do? Write a politically correct paper that goes against what you believe? What would this commenter do if the school he attends boycotts military recruiters and he just came from the military as the commenter suggests a young man do so as not to be such a weenie? Do you just sit there? I guess the answer could be yes but there is more at stake than simply being told you are bad because you are male. One's autonomy and freedom to speak can be restricted in some schools to what is politically correct. What if the only options for a male are to go into engineering or the military or not go to college? Why should a man's career choices be limited? What if a man wants to be a teacher but cannot put up with the political correctness he must follow to get his teaching certificate? Not because he fears being disliked but because he cannot stay silent and compliant enough to get his degree? Do you just call this being a weenie or is it reverse discrimination? I call it the latter.

5:55 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Kim said...

My son is so white he makes Wonder Bread look like an ethnic food. He has applied to eight law schools and has been accepted at four so far, and is on the wait list at the #14 ranked school in the country.

Two flat out "rejected" him and we are just waiting for the last one before he makes his decision.

Did we whine that he didn't get into two schools because he is "white"? Nope. He didn't get in because he didn't get in. Period. End of subject.

But we sure are proud of him for what he has accomplished and for all his hard work.

Somewhere along the line you have to teach your kids that the world is not their oyster and you WILL have times in life when things will not go your way no matter how hard you work. Sounds like this girl in the article is learning it the hard way. That's too bad.

5:56 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger doctorfixit said...

Have I died and gone to Heaven?

I think I have, because I am looking at a stunning woman and reading something she wrote about men being treated fairly and not being blamed by her for every thing that is not perfect in the world - in fact, she's holding feminists accountable for some of the rotten things that are happening. I'm just a little dizzy, so forgive my incoherence, I'll wake up from this dream soon I am sure, and go back to my constant nightmare - Hillary's smartypants face telling me all about Jesus. But let me dream a little longer.

6:19 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Brian said...

Dick--

Most schools in Cleveland are indeed awful, but it's the big names in OH schools that get high percentages into the Ivies:

Hawken School (my alma mater)
Hathaway Brown
University School
Worthington HS (Columbus)
Chagrin Falls HS
Orange HS
Sycamore HS

A high GPA means a lot more from one of those types of schools than it does from any of the schools around Kenyon.

6:21 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

...if you are male and the professor and other students are talking about the problems with males--they are rapists, oppressors, etc.? Just sit there feeling angry? Ignore it and just get through the class? ...

My idea is, the best way to kill the academic Left is to deprive them of additional customers.

One's autonomy and freedom to speak can be restricted in some schools to what is politically correct.

So let's put some schools out of business.

What if the only options for a male are to go into engineering or the military or not go to college?

But those are good options.

Seriously, I think that America needs more heterosexual artists and historians and law professors, but heterosexual men will prevail in the long run anyway.

Why should a man's career choices be limited? What if a man wants to be a teacher but cannot put up with the political correctness he must follow to get his teaching certificate? Not because he fears being disliked but because he cannot stay silent and compliant enough to get his degree? Do you just call this being a weenie or is it reverse discrimination? I call it the latter.

K-12 public school education will always be mostly women's work. Schoolmarms. Nothing muuch wrong with that.

Need a certain percentage of men to coach the sports teams and teach math and science, that's about all.

Elite high schools ought to have and will inexorably have a larger percentage of men teachers.

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

6:26 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Barbara Skolaut said...

David Davenport said: "K-12 public school education will always be mostly women's work. Schoolmarms."

Tell me you're kidding.

6:35 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about this, pointed to by the excellent Steve Sailer's www.isteve.com?

http://www.claremont.org/writings/crb/fall2005/sailer.html

Boys Will Be Boys

A review of Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences, by Leonard Sax

...

As founder of the national association for Single-Sex Public Education, Sax's favorite and perhaps most valuable theory is that co-educational schooling is frequently a mistake. He makes a strong case, especially concerning the years immediately following puberty. He cites the experience of two psychologists studying self-esteem in girls. They went to Belfast, where children can be assigned fairly randomly to coed or single-sex schools:

They found that at coed schools, you don't need to ask a dozen questions to predict the girl's self-esteem. You have to ask only one question: "Do you think you're pretty?"

Similarly, the Coleman Report found, four decades ago, that boys put more emphasis on sports and social success in coed schools, and less on intellectual development. Sax argues:

Here's the paradox: coed schools tend to reinforce gender stereotypes.… There is now very strong evidence that girls are more likely to take courses such as computer science and physics in girls-only schools…. Boys in single-sex schools are more than twice as likely to study art, music, foreign languages, and literature as boys of equal ability attending comparable coed schools.

..

We've now achieved the worst of both worlds: the educational authorities are committed to anti-male social constructionist ideology, but the pop culture market delivers the crudest, most sexualized imagery. The irony is that when the adult world imposes gender egalitarianism on young people in the name of progressive ideologies, it just makes the young people even more cognizant of their primordial differences.

--david.davenport.1@netzero.com

6:39 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

First, let me say men are not going to college because 12 years of women based education has bluntly informed them that they are not wanted there.
We medicate boys for ADHD at a 4:1 ratio to girls. Maybe we aren’t medicating boys for ADHD, but for just being boys. I didn’t have a male teacher until high school. Boys don’t tune out of school their senior year in HS (as anon 5:17 suggests) but in middle school when they really aren’t old enough to make a rational choice.

Second, men have a tendency to look at return-on-investment. I can see the benefit of an engineering degree, but I’ll be damned if I see the benefit of an English degree. (Well, the benfit of a $100k English degree.) Yeah, yeah, society needs history and English scholars, but how many? I love history. I have given hundreds to The Teaching Company, but I fail to see why it is worth $100k for a degree in it. Engineers do better in law school than history majors do anyhow.

Helen:
What do you do when a teacher demands a PC paper that is against your beliefs?
You write it, and try to make them believe you believe it too. A large part of succeeding is school is figuring out what the teacher believes and parroting it back to them. In my Freshman English, my teacher hated men. Plain and simple. On student switched classes because he was “tired of being emasculated.” So, every paper I wrote was about how men oppress women. I got an A, both terms.
My college strategy was exactly what Helen suggested. I was first a Physics major then switched to Electrical Engineering. The grading was objective. I had male professors that had no opportunity to politicize anything. Math is hard to politicize.
Later, the MBA was also fairly straight forward (glib even).
Where I really ran into trouble was law school. The worst teachers I have ever had. My strategy there (regardless of the ABA’s requirements) was to not attend class. I self-taught, which is easy to do in law school. In law school you only have 1 exam at the end of the term. I showed up then and got an A/B. To this day I could not pick my CrimLaw professor out of a line up. Class discussion was dangerous because if you said the non-PC thing you were ostracized and shunned. And I can easily imagine being hauled up before the SBA (whose president claimed to be an anarchist) for a speech code violation.
The typical male strategy for university is (1) Lie. Parrot back to them what they want to hear. (2) Avoidance. You are not going to win a fight. In fact, you’ll likely lose big. So, avoid a fight.

Plus, every guy I know knows someone in college that was accused of rape, was suspended by the college, the charges were dropped, and had to fight to be let back in and have the discipline record removed from their transcript.

In college you put yourself into the hands of people that have unchecked power over your life, and do not like you simply because of your gender and/or skin colour.


One thing I want to do for my son is create a business he can take over. So, if he doesn’t want to go to college, he doesn’t have to.

7:05 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Dr. Weevil said...

David Davenport:

Please learn some basic statistics.

1. If 56% of college students are women, that is not a "five or so percent difference in overall male-female enrollment", as you said at 3:19pm. It is a 12-percent difference (56 - 44 = 12). Actually, in terms of total numbers of women vs. men, it is a 27% difference. If the sex ratio is 56-44, then for every 100 men on campus, there are 127 women. (Solve for x where x / 100 = 56 / 44.) That is a huge disparity.

2. The fact that the population is 51% female has nothing to do with college attendance rates and everything to do with the fact that women live much longer than men. The extra two percent of the population (51 - 49) that is female is just about all in the 60+ age group, and very few of them are still in college.

3. If large numbers of men skip college when they're 18 to join the service or bum around or work for a few years, and then go back to school later in life, that would not explain the 56-44 disparity. Or rather, it would explain it if men were just starting to do that. But if they have been doing it for a while, we would expect colleges to be 50-50 men-women, but with the average age of the men much higher than that of the women. The only way a long-term 56-44 disparity can come about is if large numbers of men forgo college at 18 and many (perhaps most) never go back.

7:07 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Someone's memory says Kenyon's SAT scores are in the 1000s. Wrong. If you're looking at averages, the combined scores will be closer to 1400.

It doesn't have an engineering or business school so it's all soft and ready for girls? It was an all-men's school from 1824 to 1969, and the course work did not change with the admission of women. Most of its alumni work in business, law, medicine and stuff like that, but it also has a collection of artists and actors and Episcopalian priests (it was founded by the church)...

7:07 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger DR said...

> The only way a long-term 56-44 disparity can come about is if large numbers of men forgo college at 18 and many (perhaps most) never go back.

I'm sure the disparity is real. The question is Why and Is It a Problem? I'm not so sure.

First of all, why do colleges have a 50-50 gender balance? Is there a balance anywhere else? Each gender makes different choices.

I suspect more men are joining the military (not just for a few years, but as a career). This makes sense after 9/11 and the Iraq war. Military careers are coming back for the Long War.

Secondly, men do have high income trades as options, such as carpentry, plumbing, electricians, etc. which women simply arent interested in.

These 2 options must be siphoning off a fair number of men.

Lastly, even if more women get BS degrees, is that really a problem? Many of these degrees are in stereotypical female Liberal Arts majors, which dont offer much beyond the sheepskin diploma.

8:42 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger DR said...

I also agree with the other poster who suggested a big chunk of the disparity is concentrated among black men. The NYTimes had an article this week on black men falling further behind.

For some reason, there is reluctance to bring up the race angle to this story. Newsweek, in its seminal article on the subject, used all kinds ofanti male stereotypes to explain the male deficit.

I wonder if they would have been so quick if they realized they were really talking about a racial disparity.

8:46 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

To grad03,
You seem confident that law and medicine are anomalous re: "standard" hours worked for white-collar positions...but I would disagree. I worked as a mechanical design engineer, chemical plant engineer, technical sales support, project manager, and hardware support engineer---and seldom put in just 40 hours/week. 50-60 hour work weeks were "standard" for most of my colleagues, and the more ambitious ones worked even longer hours. My husband is in accounting/finance and business management, and typically works 60-70 hours/week. We worked for Fortune 500 companies, and never got "overtime pay".
I'm not saying this is ideal, far from it...but those long hours always seemed to me to be the price one pays for rapid professional advancement.

As an American of asian descent, I'm sure affirmative action opened a few doors for me...but I always worked very, very hard to prove myself, and to be worthy of the opportunities that came my way. I guess that's why I'm absolutely appalled at the entitlement attitude that's creeping in all over the place. Bleah.

8:57 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger Kyda Sylvester said...

Not only are women using valuable resources to train for shortlived careers in a vital field already experiencing shortages, they're taking valueable slots that might otherwise go to to men who would study the hard sciences (other than medicine) or mathematics or engineering or other highly technical fields that go begging for top US candidates. Women simply don't enter those fields of study in any significant numbers--just ask Larry Summers.

The war we've been waging on men for the past forty years must end and we must work to reverse its damage. This one size fits all approach to the sexes must end. Affirmative Action must end. We need to redesign college and university curricula (defeminize it for one thing) and restore academic and admission standards.

It's said that our universities are the best in the world. Why, then, do they turn out so many graduates ill-prepared to do the work that's necessary and vital to keeping our nation on top? Why do businesses and industries here at home so often find it necessary to search off-shore for the talent they need? Why do we settle for such mediocrity? We need to wise up and wise up quick.

9:17 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You are one cool woman Helen.

Instead of a system which favors girls through high school and then discriminates against them in the application process, perhaps we should go for equality throughout the school experience.

Jeff

9:21 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Don't celebrate to quickly. Affirmative action was implemented by Nixon in order to divide middle class strivers by race. It work but at what cost to our nation.

9:52 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This problem started when women first started whining about going to college in the first place. Women are not biologically or intellectually suited for higher education, and they're certainly not suited for leadership positions. Take a look at Carly Fiorina or Hillary Clinton for all the proof you need.

Women evolved to take care of the hearth and home. You don't need college or high school, even, to raise children. All you need is a good heart.

Unfortunately, feminists have torn the heart of a woman right out.

9:54 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen,

Sorry you found my comments troubling. What I find more troubling is telling young men how unfair life is for them.

Maybe they have to do what generations of men have done before them: suck it up and get on with the job. Life includes adversity, and a man has to be able to face it. He has to be able to overcome it. Whining doesn't work.

In the past men crossed oceans, walked across continents, fed their families, fought off marauders, and recovered from natural disaster. Today college age men are fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

So, what do we see here? Whining about the big bad PC professor. Whining and indulging whining makes weenies.

Tell the young men they will face challenges and they can meet them. They may not like it, it might be difficult, but they can do it.

When I returned from Viet Nam I, and thousands of other guys, went to college and grad school on the GI bill. We met the anti-war profesors who told us what we did over there, and we laughed about it. We met the communist economics professors, and we laughed about them, too. And we got our degrees, went out, and forgot all about the PC folks back on campus. Today's young men can do the same.

(I'd also ask them why they want to enter professions that are full of PC weenies.)

9:58 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

From Anonymous @ 9:54: "Women are not biologically or intellectually suited for higher education, and they're certainly not suited for leadership positions."

Anonymous, I'm curious how you ended up at this website.

10:15 PM, March 24, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"You write it, and try to make them believe you believe it too. A large part of succeeding is school is figuring out what the teacher believes and parroting it back to them. In my Freshman English, my teacher hated men. Plain and simple. On student switched classes because he was “tired of being emasculated.” So, every paper I wrote was about how men oppress women. I got an A, both terms."

Gospel Truth. 101.

This is how men get through college today. They lie - and at some point a lot of them get very, very tired of doing it.

11:08 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger dadvocate said...

Rather interesting that the male/female ratio problem in college has reached this level so quickly. The University of Alaska is actively developing programs to attract males.

Dr. Weevil's statistics are excellent. The only thing I'd add is that about 51% of births are male which means at college age the male/female ratio may be equal.

I believe part of the problem is not simply the college atmosphere but the atmosphere in the first 12 years. Judging for my observastion of my 4 children, 2 boys, 2 girls, what I've read, etc. the elementary and secondary educational systems are more friendly towards girls. More female teachers, girls tend to be calmer and able to sit still longer, etc. all things that tend to make the educational process more rewarding for and more friendly to girls.

I believe that many men go into the "trades" not so much because they see it as a way to make a good living but because they are fed up with school. A friend of mine is a carpenter ten years younger than myself but he looks older and complains that he doesn't know how much longer he can take it.

11:39 PM, March 24, 2006  
Blogger M. Simon said...

Male/female sex ratios or Why girls have gone wild.

3:40 AM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger M. Simon said...

I read some where tthat for white men the genders are almost in balance (with a slight edge to the females).

Where the real imbalance comes is in the non-white population.

Considering that drug prohibition has put quite a few men of color in prison (compared to whites) this is not surprising.

The non-whites are getting advanced education. At San Quentin. (here in Illinois it is the Charm School at Joliet).

In other words it has very little to do with PC at school. It has to do with our attitude towards unpatented drugs.


The War On Unpatented Drugs.

Is Addiction Real?

Addiction or Self Medication?

4:05 AM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger M. Simon said...

BTW my link above on why girls have gone wild addresses the drug prohibition issue head on.

You can't solve a problem if you misdiagnose the cause. Which surpisingly enough is exactly our problem with drug prohibition - standard "wisdom" is that "drugs cause addiction". What if that is not true. What if drug taking is self medication for an underlying problem?

In other words we aree punishing people who have medical problems. And of course we call ourselves a "Christian" nation. At least culturally.

4:11 AM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger jw said...

On female medical professionals:

If we could get women to start marrying down, we could probably solve the problem of part time work. The thing is for these women to find men who are willing to be the stay-at-home dad. With that adjustment the problems go away.

Men have, for the most part, adjusted away from their traditional prefereance of marrying down. Women seem much more reluctant to make an adjustment in marriage preference and still demand to marry up. This is a fixable problem being made worse by those women who scream out that men are afraid of powerful women.

On men's attitudes:

There are men who strongly disagree with the core idea of discrimination against males, violence against males, etc.. These men have no trouble at all with calling any man bothered by anything "weenie" or not a man or ... Whenever you see a call to join the military as a way for a male to "grow up" you should KNOW that you're facing a problem.

Unfortunately for the 1 in 5 men who think like women these men, with their hardline attitude, are a daily threat. For the other 1 in 5 men who don't think like men or women, these men just make life confusing and do so for no reason. We must MUST know that this is true and a problem.

dadvocate:

Yes, there are more male births. We're keeping more of those boys alive too: Look at the census data, we're slowly becoming a mostly male culture. The old 51% female doesn't apply anymore, it will soon be 50/50 and keep on becoming more and more male. What will happen? No one knows. It's been centuries since we've had more males than females.

4:34 AM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Zoe Brain said...

I'm in Australia, so YMMV and all that.

I'm also in the Department of Computer Science, and the Faculty of Information Technology at the Australian National University. I'm doing my PhD there, and tutoring part-time.

Only about 10% of the students I teach are female, and this in Computer Science, not the more male-dominated areas of Mechanical or Electrical Engineering.

Why is this so? Well, the Gender Studies people over at the Faculty of Arts say that it's because "Gender is a Social Construct", and girls have been sociologically discouraged from taking an interest in such areas. There's an element of truth in this (I'll discuss it later), but the element is relatively small.

The point is, that male and female brains tend to be different : dynamic MRI has shown that different structures are used for the same tasks. The brain is sexually dimorphic. It's a statistical thing, of course, individuals vary.

It's been my experience that the few female engineers are just slightly better on average, because they have had to overcome a small but persistent societal discouragement. If this didn't exist, perhaps the proportion would be 15% rather than 10%, something like that. Only the top 2/3 go in, they have the talent, and the craving to be Engineers that other girls didn't, and that some guys don't. But the distinction is slight, and barely noticeable. I wish that some good science had been done to confirm or refute my observations, but no-one wants to do that, whatever the results they'll be too controversial.

Does the Glass ceiling exist? To see if it does, we'd have to conduct an experiment. Take two people, a man and a woman, with exactly the same credentials, qualifications, and personality, and see how they fare.

Just ask transsexuals - people who have changed apparent gender - whether the glass ceiling exists. Both MtoFs and FtoMs will tell you it certainly does. It can be quite a shock to find yourself talked over, your opinions discounted, just because you no longer present as male. And I'm not talking about people who are obviously TS, I'm talking about the many whose existence the world doesn't suspect, those who blend in and hide in plain sight. Most people don't realise that about 1 in 2500 women in the US were born male. And about 1 in 10,000 males were once "Daddy's Little Girl".

Two days ago, I was asked by the student affairs supervisor to give a talk to first year female students about how to cope, as a morale booster. There was I, the country's foremost expert of spaceflight avionics (that's not hard when there's only 3 of those in the country), a poster child for Geek Girls everywhere, and expected to tell them how I coped when I was a girl at University.

Except I never was. To lie would have been obscene. I had to plead a previous engagement.

Again, if anyone thinks there aren't significant differences between the way girls and guys think, just ask a transsexual. You think they'd go through the whole hideous and embaressing rigmarole, the hundreds of hours of agonising treatment, the $100,000 expense, if there was no difference? Some can fake it for 10 years, others for nearly 50, but being a woman with a male body is as intensely uncomfortable as the reverse. Yes, it happens to guys too. Think about that before you start to laugh at the pervert. It could have been you, investigating "top surgery" and phalloplasty, and the merits of various testosterone therapy regimes, just so you could look normally male, as one in 10,000 guys do.

Sorry, I digress.

Again, this whole area is dominated by far too much unsubstantiated opinion (like mine), and anecdote (like mine), when what we need is some good, solid, apolitical and unbiassed studies, some actual fact-finding and science.

Given the vested interests and partisanship on all sides, I'm not holding my breath.

Dave Davenport's quote has it right though, and that's our greatest hope.

We've now achieved the worst of both worlds: the educational authorities are committed to anti-male social constructionist ideology, but the pop culture market delivers the crudest, most sexualized imagery. The irony is that when the adult world imposes gender egalitarianism on young people in the name of progressive ideologies, it just makes the young people even more cognizant of their primordial differences.

Hear Hear.

5:13 AM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Internal Medicine Doctor said...

It's actually an interesting trend I noticed in my college graduation (65% female).

What will become of men? Will they fall behind (obviously), as high powered jobs go to the women.

Also interesting, and this only because I recently became a dad with a wife who workes nearly all day, what will become of children?

I know..I know. Many will now scold me for saying that and counter that men can be just as effective a parent as a woman. True...But I can only say that if you live in reality you know different..No matter how much I care for my daughter, there is still no one like "mom" for when times get rough!

6:11 AM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

grad03 said:

And I'd love to hear some support for your contention, anonymous 12:12, that schools and taxpayers support med students and thus are somehow owed years of service. Most U.S. med students come out of school with six-figure loans.

Here you go:

One important factor in physician education is its public financial support. No other group in the workforce receives direct financial subsidies of the size and scope of those directed at physicians. For example, the federal GME subsidy in fiscal year 1994 was nearly $6 billion (Pew Health Professions Commission, 1995a).

Taken from
"The Nation's Physician Workforce: Options for Balancing Supply and Requirements" by the Institute of Medicine. Available at
http://fermat.nap.edu/books/0309054311/html/68.html

That works out to more than $70,000 per resident per year.

More details at
http://www.hpolicy.duke.edu/cyberexchange/Regulate/CHSR/HTMLs/P4-Medicare%
20GME%20Payments.htm

7:50 AM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Mercurior said...

ok i dont know much about american universities, or the american pro female. BUT i do know about colleges in england, first, why are there women only courses, and no men only, there has been a downturn in the need for prior scholastic evidence in women.

meaning, women can get in with a grade c, but a man has to get in with a grade b. in several studies its been shown, that women generally go for the softer options in medicine, by which i mean there are less female surgeons, but more pediatric doctors, what will happen in 20 years when there wont be as many surgeons doing the work, will there be female only surgery courses.

Men all men regardless of race, get dumped on, go to any college in the uk or america and you will see softer fluff courses being offered, and you will see 90% in those are women, if you go to engineering, you will see 90% are men. why.. partly its because a lot of women wont do the mucky jobs, they wont do the dangerous jobs, i come from a line of administrators i am good at the work, so i got a qualification in typing and word processing, in a class of 18 there was only 3 men, they tried to persuade me into not taking that course (i also wanted to do designing clothes but they refused said it would interfere) but they failed.

this world is becoming more feminised, look at the courses all about feelings, and emotions, where men cant really think that way (there are some exceptions). feminists (including male feminists) are bending over to compensate these women for this abuse and that, when if they just stopped and thought about it, they would realise they are screwing up womens lives too. but its all about the feel good factor. they feel good for destroying another bastion of the male patriarchy. and leaving men dissatisfied and more aggressive, due to their LACK of choices.

8:24 AM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Pawpaw said...

College administrators are generally nitwits. They have failed to learn the single economic lesson that every bar owner knows. If you want the guys, you have to pack the place with women.

I blogged it at my place.

11:17 AM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Aaron said...

One of the main responces to the article itself (not to the other conversations about women in the medical field or any other such thing) is that affirmative action or anything like it causes people to play the victom quite a bit. And yet, I don't see that as much. I see a lot of white males playing the victom by saying that it is harder for them now. Want proof? Read the posts about this article. I, as a white male, am not told that am evil very often.(And I have gone to public schools all my life). However we, as white males, feel fine telling women that if they want equality, they should be more like us.

So, in order to grant equality we tell women (and minorities) to stop being women, to be bitter, hostile people who are threatened by the authority of another (How's that for making a reference to men being evil). We tell them to, how was it put by Helen, "If shit happens, you suck it up like a guy and do not complain". I just read a bunch of guys complaining in these posts. The problem with affirmative action is not that it makes things unfair for white men, but that it makes things still more unfair for everyone else by saying that they all must become like white men.

1:45 PM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JW wrote:

"There are men who strongly disagree with the core idea of discrimination against males, violence against males, etc.. These men have no trouble at all with calling any man bothered by anything "weenie" or not a man or ... Whenever you see a call to join the military as a way for a male to "grow up" you should KNOW that you're facing a problem."

There are two parallel issues here. The first is the existence of discrimination. The second is the response of the individual HS senior who is contemplating college.

Suppose we accept the existence of discrimination. If so, then exactly what do we tell that HS senior?

I tell him to suck it up and get on with the task. He will face adversity all his life, and it's nothing to run from or whine about. He doesn't have to like it, he just has to do it.

I'd be interested in alternative recommendations for that individual male HS senior. (Helen, you don't think I should be advising young men?) What exactly would you folks tell him? We don't advise societies, we don't advise some amorphous thing called higher education, we advise individual young men. And whining is not advice.

(Some young men have been socialized into the culture of the whine. Given the non-stop carrier wave of whining we live with, I can understand that. For them, I think the military would be a fine antidote.)

2:04 PM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymous 2:04:

I guess we are talking about two very different issues--you are looking at the effect on the individual if there is discrimination--I am looking at the wider picture of the effect on society. Say that all individual young men suck it up at college, say nothing or apparently resort to lying as one of the commenters suggested. This incredibly cowardly stance (which I liken to an antisocial who doesn't give a damn about anyone but himself) effects the next individual male who comes through the door as well as the women who are not PC.

The professors, the schools and the administration never have to change a thing. Maybe you and some other men are too cowardly to address some of these problems within a class or write a paper that reflects your own views and not those of a parrot. That would take real bravery which according to you, seems to only come in the military. I disagree.

Jack Kennedy, in his book, "Profiles in Courage" said that physical courage is more common than political courage. People would rather risk death than be unpopular with their peers. I guess you and the other commenter who lies and parrots back information he does not believe or condone would prove Kennedy's words correct.

2:32 PM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The professors, the schools and the administration never have to change a thing.

Translation: you'll never change a thing, because you are thoroughly brainwashed into believing in the current education model, perhaps with a bit of meliorist reform around the edges ... a little consciousness-raising for the lads, or something like that.

As if American grade 12-16 education is its present form is the only possible college education ...

The professors, the schools and the administration will change if their crummy schools goes out of business due to lack of customers.

What the American edu. establishment wants, basically, is more and more customers for their overpriced Konsumer Produkt.

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

2:48 PM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Mr. Davenport,

Yes, lack of customers might work but more and more female customers are willing to go and it is the men who will not have a college education--yes, perhaps the young men will not care for a while, but at some point, when they can no longer work with their hands (disability happens to healthy people all the time) they may wish they had pursued higher education rather than skip the experience in order to make a point about the crummy American educational establishment.

2:56 PM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen,

Could you tell us your advice to the individual male HS senior contemplating college?

Little will change before the young man starts his freshman English class. Little will change before he gets his degree in four years. Little will change before he finishes law school in seven years. This is what he faces. So, what exactly do you recommend he do?

You said, "The professors, the schools and the administration never have to change a thing." OK. So what do you tell the young man?

You don't like my advise, so do you have the courage to tell us your own advice?

3:11 PM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Mercurior said...

the is a responsibility, that people have, and thats to be the best person they can be. if something is patently wrong, it is their DUTY to say this is wrong. we shouldnt do this.

the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

if men are being educationally emasculated, who's fault is it. the educational system, that promotes women graduates over men, is it the teachers who promote gender biased teaching, or is it the students themselves for allowing such blatently sexist policies to exist.

what ever happened to the student rallies of the past, the demonstrations of this is wrong. its all be subverted to women are always right, case in point marc lepine, he killed a lot of women fine, but in that same period more men were killed, but that didnt trigger any effect, look at male suicides, more than women's, look at cancers some of the womens fundings is more than 7 times than that of mens.

all these show that this is becoming a more feminised world, and its upto the students of today to say. this is wrong we want equality, we want to be treated just the same regardless of sex, race, creed. the students are the wave of the future, but intellectually stunted students are not a benefit to you, or me, or anyone else.

3:34 PM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

anonymous 3:11,

I would tell him to have courage and to speak up in class in a truthful but respectful manner. I would ask him to challenge in a polite way, a professor or other students that put down men and call them oppressors and rapists. I would ask him not to lie and write papers on how men were oppressors but on something less damaging or at least neutral. Even my 10 year old can do this. The DARE program at her school told her and her classmates to write a paper on how they would never drink or use drugs. Rather than parroting back this nonsense, she wrote that the new FDA guidelines included having one or two drinks a day in the food pyramid as healthy. She stated that she would learn to drink moderately. She won the award for the best paper. There are many techniques that one can learn so that you do not have to feed back everything you hear in class and still make it through.

I would tell the young man to take a lesson from the PC crowd. Say things like, "this makes me feel uncomfortable or unwanted in this class. It feels like a hostile environment here when you talk about....insert whatever." This works--I do it myself all of the time. There are a million techniques one can use that will allow one to get an education without being belittled and harrassed by the PC crowd.

3:46 PM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Mercurior said...

exactly as dr helens says so long as someone is respectful you can argue you should argue, they should be able to argue cogently, in fact its best if they do, make their own minds up. it teaches self reliance, and self knowledge and the most important HOW to study.

to just respond parrot fashion isnt teaching, teaching is showing someone that they have to think about a subject, and make their own conclusions.

4:54 PM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen,

So, how is your advice substantively different than mine?

I said, "I tell him to suck it up and get on with the task. He will face adversity all his life, and it's nothing to run from or whine about. He doesn't have to like it, he just has to do it."

I have little problem with most of your advice. It fits within my parameters. I say face the challenge. If your strategy works, that's fine. A strategy has to fit the situation.

This is some of the same stuff we did after Viet Nam. Sometimes it worked, and other times, we used different tactics.

However, where we differ on a particular is your recommendation he snivel and whine like a little PC coward. I'd say such whimpering "effects the next individual male who comes through the door as well as the women who are not PC." Apparently it also leads to a lifetime of snivelling and public whining.

6:10 PM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen:
It is respectfully asserted that your advice is idealistic and silly.

The free market doesn’t operate in universities. Tenure prevents any repercussions on the professors. Grading is not anonymous. And, what you do in one class changes the way other professors treat you. You don’t think they talk? I learned that in middle school when one student got belittled by teacher X for something he did in teacher Y’s class.

This isn’t about fairness and equality. This is about power. The professors have it and you don’t.

Oh, you may pay the bills, but “F’ you Johnny”. There are plenty more to take your place. Why do you think universities turn away applicants? Universities have convinced the public that you need a degree to make something of yourself. You don’t want to play by our rules? No degree for you. No good job for you. We [universities] don’t need you; you need us.

You think the “free market” will take care of things? Customers aren’t going to stop going to university anymore than people not buying from the RIAA/MPAA will change copyright law. We can raise tuition by 10% per year for decades and you will just bend over and take it. You want a good job, you need our degree. We have the power and you don’t.

You don’t like Prof X’s class? I have one at 8am for you, but that may be full. You could take this next semester, but that would lower your credits below the minimum and you won’t get a residency point [8 residency points required to graduate] for this semester.

Oh, do you feel hurt? Good, that is what I, the professor, was trying to do. Now you know how women feel due to you men.
BTW, regardless of how rational and polite you may be, if the professor uses the class an ideological platform how rational and polite are they going to be? Helen, when you get comments/emails from left wing partisans how polite and rational are they (on average)? When you run into this problem in university you are not dealing with a normal human being, you are dealing with a loon.

Why yes you can file a complaint here with the Ombudsman. Of course, the professor has tenure and this will not effect them in the least. However they will get the complaint, with your name on it, next week, just about the time your paper for them is due. Well, if they grade you unfairly there is really nothing you can due. Professors have complete autonomy over their grades. Not even the Dean can change a grade. [NB: I actually know someone who had to file a court action to get his grade changed. The Dean agreed the grade was unfair, but he was unable to change it.]

Helen you mistake this for a rational system with checks and balances. It isn’t.
Professors don’t even have bosses as you & I know them. The department head schedules and assigns classes (the most power over professors anyone has). The Dean’s function is to promote and get money for the department (not deal with personnel issues). The President’s job is to fundraise for the university. Raises are decoupled from performance. Tenure prevents firing.
This is called “Academic Freedom”.

You want to empower students to complain and challenge professors? Remove the tenure system. Then establish the hierarchal boss system most of use work under. The one were the boss can say “You are going to do this because I am the boss”.
And make all grading anonymous. Law school uses a system of random numbers assigned by the Registrar (changing every semester). You sign your work/exams with this number not your name. All work/exams are turned into the Register, who forwards it to the professor. The professor then turns in the grades to the Registrar. The Registrar then decodes the number correlated grades back to name correlated grades. Not only is the grading anonymous, you deal with though an intermediary (the Registrar).

In many ways university is like fraternity hazing. A gauntlet you have to pass through to get something you want (or in the university case something you need, a degree). When you run a gauntlet you know you are going to get beaten. The object is to minimize the beating you receive. Avoidance and lying get you the least beatings.

Even if you are a pain the ass. The professor doesn’t care. You’ll be out of their life in 4 -5 months. You can't effect their career.
The university doesn’t care you’ll be gone in 4 years. And if you really bug them, they can expel you (preferably in a way that prevents you from going somewhere else, and getting a degree, therefore not getting a good job) or make your life painful.
Your argument/complaint with the professor probably violated a speech code. That will require you to go through a reeducation/diversity class. If you want to appeal we have a process, no lawyers, transcripts, or cross-examination of witness are allowed. Your complaints have already caused a hostile learning environment for your fellow students; we can’t let you be hostile to the witnesses.

As I said, this isn’t about fairness and equality. This is about power. The professors have it and you don’t.

6:41 PM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I should add that in Saddam’s Iraq the correct thing to do was for someone to stand up a resist Saddam. Those that didn’t just hurt themselves and their fellow countrymen.
But if you did that you got tortured and shot. Saddam had the power and you didn’t.
What changed things were external forces, forces the tyrant didn’t have power over.

In university, the professor has power and the student doesn’t. And the professor is not afraid to use that power.
You stand up, they’ll try to take your career away from you.
The student only has to put up with this for 4 years, not a lifetime. Grin and bear it for 4 years and you never have to deal with them again.

I truly believe change to the university system must come from outside, the state or federal legislature.
Military recruiting wasn’t allowed at my school (although gay-only firms were OK) until the Federal government changed things.

Another example is the ABA which accredits law school (hence power over them). The ABA’s new rule is that law schools support affirmative action regardless of state laws forbidding it.
The Federal government should take way ABA accreditation duties from the ABA.

6:58 PM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If 56% of college students are women, that is not a "five or so percent difference in overall male-female enrollment", as you said at 3:19pm. It is a 12-percent difference (56 - 44 = 12). Actually, in terms of total numbers of women vs. men, it is a 27% difference. If the sex ratio is 56-44, then for every 100 men on campus, there are 127 women. (Solve for x where x / 100 = 56 / 44.) That is a huge disparity.

No, sorry, challenged student! Your numbers are a form of double counting. Maybe a Humanities major is right for you! You need more education in calculation of percentages

If x = 100*56/44, then x = 127.2727 percent, meaning that there are 127.27 percent more women then men!

In this context, also notice that if the gender ratio were 50:50, then we can solve for x = 100*50/50, and x = 100 percent thereby. and please tell me the meaning of this 100 percent.

Listen, If 56 percent of the students are female, then 56 percent of the students are female.

Let's suppose we have a total of 100 students of both genders. If 56 percent are female, then 0.56*100 = 56 young women. We only have to replace 6 (six) femme students avec 6 jeunes hommes to achieve a 50:50 gender ratio.

Let's suppose we have 127 girls and 100 boys, making a total of 227 students. What percent are female? Solve for x = 100*127/227. In this case, x = 55.9471... percent.

Keeping a total of 227 students, how many girls have to be replaced with boys to make the gender ratio 50:50?

Let y = (127-100)/2 = 13.5. We don't want to cut anyone's baby in half, so let's replace a coven of 13 feminists with 13 boys. Now we have 113 boys and 114 girls.

You're all mixed up about how to calculate percentages. The journalist who concocted this story alleging a paucity of young men in college is probably in similar shape.

Sorry! :0[

...

For some reason, there is reluctance to bring up the race angle to this story. Newsweek, in its seminal article on the subject, used all kinds ofanti male stereotypes to explain the male deficit.

Yes, I suspect that the writer was of the pee cee ilk that's too squeamish to disaggregate the enrollment numbers by race. It's similar to public service announcement slogan, "AIDS is a problem for all of us," which ain't exactly so.

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

7:50 PM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pawpaw, I looked at your blog.

i have to convey to you the sad news that campus life is no longer like the good ole days of the 1970's or earlier '80's.

Nowadays, if the b***h gets angry, she'll go and tell the campus kangeroo court that you raped her, and suddenly you're a rapist, at least on campus, just on her say-so.

It's scarey.

///////////////////

And to all of you all still wringing your hands about the scarcity of young men on campus, please drop by the engineering or physics or math buildings and estimate the gender ratios there.

Thanking you in advance,

-- david.davenport.1@netzero.com

7:57 PM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymous 6:41:

People are not as powerless as you think they are. And yes, I agree that external pressure is sometimes necessary. Universities can be subject to external pressures such as their alumni threatening to stop donating, bad publicity, etc.--look at the case at Yale and the ex-Taliban student. Yale looks bad, alumni are upset etc. I think that David Horowitz serves a real purpose in pointing out to people where some of the worse PC offenders are so they can be avoided and hopefully ridiculed. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. It was the 1990's but still PC nonetheless--especially in my field. I do not begin to think that I know all of the answers to the problems of the PC "loons" as you put it at colleges, but I think that acknowleging that there is a problem and standing up to it in some way has to beat the alternative (hiding out and lying) which only leads to more of the same. After all, since we saw the collapse of the Soviet Union, who is to say that these little echos in the world of academia cannot be toppled as well.

8:49 PM, March 25, 2006  
Anonymous Dr. Weevil said...

David Davenport:

If you want to sneer at my supposed ignorance of statistics, you might want to avoid writing things like this:

"If x = 100*56/44, then x = 127.2727 percent, meaning that there are 127.27 percent more women then men!"

No, in that case you can say that there are (rounding off) 27% more women than men, or that the number of women is 127% of the number of men, but you cannot say that there are "127.27 percent more women than men" unless there are 227 (not 127) women to every 100 men, which is an entirely different case. This is really basic. Try to get it right.

You might also want to address my other objections next time you want to refute me. The fact is that a 56-44 disparity is very large, and you seem to be trying every rhetorical trick you can to minimize it. Why is that?

9:48 PM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

Anonymous @ 6:41 and Dr. Helen:

As the parent of a college student, may I suggest a middle ground that might improve colleges in our lifetime? Send your student (and your money) to colleges that are less likely to penalize students for conservative viewpoints. I realize they are rare but there are quality colleges that have professors who want to teach and who respect differing points of view. Furthermore, even in those colleges where some professors hold highly politicized views, such views are not as common in most engineering, science, and business departments.

11:27 PM, March 25, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

On the other hand, there's also this solution by some enterprising college students.

1:55 AM, March 26, 2006  
Blogger quadrupole said...

My advice for a young man going off to college:

1) Major in something real (hard sciences, mathematics, or engineering)
2) Pay attention to college requirements. Go somewhere that requires minimal meaningless classes. If college A requires gender studies, 2 semesters of 'perspective' classes, etc and college B has a broadening requirement you can fill with econ, foreign language, and general history, choose college B.

The real key to surviving as a male in college is to take real courses, in real academic subjects, that have real subject matter. Such classes tend to be objectively taught and graded.

The thing that really terrifies me is not the male/female disparities in college, but rather the sheer uselessness and meaningless of much of what is being taught to the majority of students attending. Most of them will look up from their English degree in 5 years and discover it doesn't repay their 5 year, $100k + investment very well.

5:52 AM, March 26, 2006  
Blogger jw said...

internal medicine doctor:

For kids primarily raised by dad, it is "There's no one like dad when times get rough." I've seen it many thousands of times.

Kids form an attachment to the primary caregiver in those first few months ... that attachment can be transfered during the first four or five years: After that ... there are problems with transferance, but it does happen.

Anonymous 2:04

I saw the same comments 25 years ago when we were working to get lone fathers access to the single mother programs.

"Any man who takes child support from a woman is whinning jerk." "Stop your complaining and get on with life." "He wants equality for men! He's the most dangerous man in Canada." etc..

So, to the point of view you espouse, it is better to have starving children, than decent laws. It is better to give women a free pass through life than for women to stand up as free individuals.

I disagree and do so most strongly!

The point of view you put forward here is the one currently being used to stop help for boys molested by women. To that point of view --the one you are espousing-- it is better to have an excess of damaged men and male suicides than to hold women to the law.

I disagree! All people must be held to the same law or we do not have a society. Without laws being applied in a free and fair manner we have chaos.

I think you chould check your thinking. People are people. What is between their legs may be ignored, only what is between their ears matters when it comes to the law.

5:59 AM, March 26, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

DRJ,

Thanks for the link to the innovative students--now there is a technique. Using postive and negative reinforcement with professors might work if one can get the cooperation of other students in the class. There are studies where students could make their professor move from standing to one side of the room to sitting on the desk by looking down and/or looking bored when he was standing and looking more and more interested and nodding when he would move to and finally sit on the desk.

Perhaps students could look down and look disinterested when a PC professor blathers on about their politics and look incredibly interested and wide-eyed when they teach their actual subject matter. Self empowerment through behavioral techniques.

9:24 AM, March 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

JW,

If you have something to say about college, I'll be glad to engage.

Instead you tell us my point of view is:

1. "it is better to have starving children, than decent laws."

2. "It is better to give women a free pass through life than for women to stand up as free individuals."

3. "it is better to have an excess of damaged men and male suicides than to hold women to the law."

I said nothing about any of those three items. Maybe someone will discuss this with you. I don't care. I was discussing college.

Stop whining. Weenies hide behind straw men.

12:05 PM, March 26, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

Dr. Helen's excelent suggestion: "Perhaps students could look down and look disinterested when a PC professor blathers on about their politics and look incredibly interested and wide-eyed when they teach their actual subject matter. Self empowerment through behavioral techniques."

I'll pass this on to my college student. We raised him to think for himself so he doesn't always use our suggestions, but I hope he will give this a try in the right situation (and report back on what happens).

1:44 PM, March 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DRJ,

That's a good strategy if one is trying to change the behavior of the professor. But I wonder if the professor will look over the class and note the scowlers as he warms to his subject?

It's also a good opportunity for the proverbial "C" student to jump to a "B" by looking up with interest when the rant starts. Knitted brow, nodding, and furious scribbling might even get him an "A."

1:54 PM, March 26, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

Anonymous at 1:54 - I appreciate your comments. It sounds like you've experienced this subject before. Here are my thoughts in response:

"That's a good strategy if one is trying to change the behavior of the professor. But I wonder if the professor will look over the class and note the scowlers as he warms to his subject?" I won't speak for my son but as for me, I wouldn't scowl at the professor. Something more subtle would be my preference. Looking at my book or papers, absently taking notes, nothing "in your face" that would offend. As a former professor myself, I can tell you that we have a sixth sense for when people tune out on what we say. Nothing is worse to a professor who likes to hear himself talk than an audience that isn't listening.

"It's also a good opportunity for the proverbial "C" student to jump to a "B" by looking up with interest when the rant starts. Knitted brow, nodding, and furious scribbling might even get him an 'A'." My goodness, Anon. Brown-nosers, grade-grubbers, whatever you want to call them, have been around forever. Students decide at an early age whether they are going to act this way and nothing that happens in college (or after college) is going to change these behavior patterns.

2:26 PM, March 26, 2006  
Anonymous "Eric Blair" said...

This thread is getting long now, but I since I am a college professor, too, I thought I should chime in.

Since I teach in the sciences, you might think that politics isn't part of that. Not so. There are issues about using animals in lab experiments, social issues revolving around genetic privacy, and so on. So students who toe a "leftist" line are certainly in my classes.

I encourage them to chat with me during office hours about their perspectives. I also make clear that there are multiple points of view on these issues, and that they---the students---have to make informed choices at the ballot box about some of these issues (like, for example, stem cells).

Mind you, when I say "informed choices," I don't mean "agree with me." I mean understand both sides of the issue, look at evidence, and draw your own conclusions.

Just as we expect people to be literate and numerate, they should be technically capable. They don't need to be able to explain DNA replication, but they should sure understand the related issues of genetic privacy.

Finally...and this is the major point...students don't often come to office hours. They don't e-mail detailed questions. They aren't engaged, mostly. So when a student---left or right---has an interest in the subject matter, has read about it, and wants to discuss it...why, that is good.

It's also rare.

5:34 PM, March 26, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

Eric Blair,

It's clear that you are one of those rare professors who want to teach and respect differing points of view. I am so grateful that quality people like you choose to teach.

6:22 PM, March 26, 2006  
Blogger misterniceguy1960 said...

Let's see: the alleged reason for turning away highly-qualified girls in favor of mediocre boys is that a school with too many girls becomes unattractive to boys -- and also to girls -- and thus fewer of the best and brightest will apply there.

It seems to me that the best solution is not to admit large numbers of ill-qualified boys, but to choose a select group of the cutest ones.

Speaking of "What goes around comes around"....

6:33 PM, March 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really wonder if you people are speaking from experience or just from paranoia or supposition. Seven years of college and law school and I can only think of two professors that I thought were assholes. And even they weren't all that bad. The rest were fair and sincerely concerned about the progress and well-being of students.

But then again, I went to the University of Freakin' TENNESSEE, which ROCKS!

GO VOLS!

8:11 PM, March 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous 8:11,

It's not polite to question if victims are really victims. It leads to heated indignation and unbridled name calling.

8:41 PM, March 26, 2006  
Blogger DRJ said...

Anonymous @ 8:11: I'm glad you have had good experiences in your education, and I am also glad you like the Vols. I'm partial to that other UT but I certainly appreciate a great Southern school when I see one. And feel free to categorize our college professor discussion as paranoia or supposition. I'm tempted to respond with something very old-fashioned like "Just wait until you have kids", but the truth is that it isn't guessing or paranoia that caused teachers like Jay Bennish in Colorado (high school) or Ward Churchill, also in Colorado (college). Not to mention Yale's Taliban student and his apologists, as well as professors like Cornel West, Robert Jensen, and Peter Singer, just to name a few. I agree that some professors are not highly politicized but how sad is it that the discourse has become so anti-American that we only notice when professors compare President Bush to Hitler or repeatedly indulge in anti-American rants?

9:39 PM, March 26, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon 8:41:

I'm sure you're just being funny. On the other hand, being raped as a child by your uncle certainly entitles you to the term "victim". If that doesn't, I don't know what does. But what we're talking about here, I think the term "victim" is overdone. And I guess that's the crux of the problem.

drj:

Again, I admit that my experience is only one. If my kids have such an experience, it will also be only one. The handful you mention are still an awfully small sample. But this is what people do these days. They hear a few stories around the same theme and then start screaming like chicken little.

Still, just in case, MY advice to anyone is to go to the University of Tennessee!

10:47 PM, March 26, 2006  
Blogger Helen said...

Anonymous 8:11,

I was just talking the other day about how non PC the law school is at the University of Tennessee. In fact, students have a lot of input there, there is a student on their hiring committee. But many schools are not like that and not everyone can attend a school out of state. The problem is that some people must attend their local colleges due to family or other committments. If they are PC, they are stuck in a situation that can be very difficult to deal with. In addition--there is evidence that most professors lean left--some schools have no Republicans or others at all on their faculty. This lack of diversity of thought does play a large part in what is taught and how.

8:27 AM, March 27, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Helen,

Lack of diversity may play a large part in what is taught, but the individual determines what is learned.

9:27 AM, March 27, 2006  
Anonymous Brian said...

On what to do if you're a guy at a modern university:

I went to Princeton, and:
1: Majored in engineering. Math and science classes tend not to have much of a bias.

2: Satisfied my humanities requirements with "hard humanities" as much as possible, specifically:
Economics
Law/Politics classes with professors like Robert George and Hadley Arkes.
History
Hard philosophy (logic, metaphysics)
Foreign language

And had I had the chance, music theory would have nicely satisfied an arts requirement.

But like an earlier poster said, try to avoid schools requiring classes in "non-Western studies" or similar garbage. There are useful things to learn in the humanities, if you look hard enough.

1:02 PM, March 27, 2006  
Anonymous GM Roper said...

Dr. Helen, I laughed out loud when you talked about modifying the behavior of the professor by paying attention or not. In the late 60's we did just that in an experimental Psych course and I would have sworn that the professor would catch on. Our goal was to stop his pacing and scribbling all over the board. By semesters end he stood at one end of the class and printed all the info, moving only when he had filled that section of the board. Selective ignoring/yawning and rapt attention were our only responses. At the end of the semester we told him what we had done and boy howdy was he upset, threatened to flunk us all (he didn't and even could laugh about it by the time I took a course from him in Grad School.

Thanks for the memory

9:35 PM, March 27, 2006  
Blogger dadvocate said...

gm roper - I had a psych professor at the University of Tennessee who admitted this had happened to him Ironically, behaviorism was his specialty. He's still there so I won't mention his name.

11:36 AM, March 28, 2006  
Blogger dick said...

Brian,

Interesting that you mention the top schools in cleveland. In the city itself all but University are private schools. The ones in the Cleveland suburbs are in super-expensive suburbs, The one in Columbus also is in a super-expensive suburb. You do not mention the top schools in the state which are located in Cincinnati (Walnut Hills), Toledo (Ottawa). You are making an assumption as to what the schools in the smaller towns are like. That is the same assumption they made in Mass when I lived there. Imagine their surprise when the top schools in the state were all in the small farming communities except for Boston Latin and Latin Academy. Much the same goes for the other states. When you compare private and very exclusive schools with ordinary public schools, then you are talking apples and oranges. Compare like with like. Compare non-exam public schools with non-exam public schools and the schools around Kenyon are very competitive. Comparing Hawken with Fredericktown (tuition and board and room at hawken is what, around 30K) and Fredericktown is a small town public school. The SAT's are not all that different (around 40 points). The courses might be taught differently but if both are taught well then the GPA won't make that much difference. I read the writeup on one of the students from Hawken and the girl was 16 and had a new Mercedes Benz SUV of her own to drive to school. Big difference there.

BTW there are a lot of us from these small towns who do very well in Kenyon and other comparable schools.

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