Wednesday, February 21, 2007

The Ongoing Debate Concerning the New Gender Divide

Did you see the article "The New Gender Divide" which appeared in The Chronicle of Higher Education? It explored the "boy crisis" and gender ratios on college campuses. It cites data confirming that, according to the U.S. Education Department's most recent statistics, women make up about 58 percent of undergraduates nationwide. The gender divide debate centers around this fact -- that more women than men now enroll in college -- but is there really a "boy crisis"?
This so-called "boy crisis" has been an ongoing issue for AAUW. Many groups and individuals have interpreted the growing number of women on college campuses to be detrimental to men's success, when in reality, more women and men as a whole attend college today. Like the Education Sector wrote in a recent report: girls are doing better, boys aren't doing worse.
Quoted in the Chronicle article was AAUW's own Catherine Hill:
"There is this echo of fear when women are achieving a lot and doing well, but when girls do better, it doesn't mean that boys are necessarily doing worse," says Catherine Hill, director of research for the American Association of University Women. She calls concern over the rising proportion of college women a backlash that masks "a discomfort with women's achievement."
The report Gender Equity in Higher Education: 2006, published last year by the American Council on Education, says women now dominate in almost every measure of college attendance. Data show that in college young women do indeed outperform young men by many measures. College women earn better grades, hold more leadership posts, spend more time studying, and earn more honors and awards. They report being more involved than young men in student clubs and volunteer work.
Food for thought.

No comments: