Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 4, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

BACK TO SCHOOL....I know this isn't a new phenomenon, and I don't really have anything interesting to say about it, but I still thought this Boston Herald story from Sunday about the shrinking number of men on college campuses was interesting:

"There's a lack of diversity of opinions," said BU sophomore Amber Held about her school's overwhelming female majority including the 30 women and one man in her anthropology class last year.

"I'd like to see and hear other perspectives," she said.

But the college outlook nationwide is decidedly female. The U.S. Department of Education reports 128 women for every 100 men at degree-granting institutions. And the feds project the gap will grow into the next decade.

....Exactly why men are disappearing from college campuses is an open question.

Some experts blame the feminist movement for elbowing them out. Others say pop culture sends messages particularly to young men that it's uncool to be in school.

"On college campuses, there are disincentives for boys to be good achievers," said Doug Sears, dean of BU's School of Education. "Men don't know if they are supposed to be high achievers or a kind of great athlete."

Among education experts, Sears said, "the rhetoric is still about how girls are disadvantaged in schools."

And yet, he said, "we're growing an army of underachieving and ordinary guys."

There's one thing that the article doesn't make clear and that I'm not sure how to find out: is the imbalance the result of more women going to college or fewer men? That seems like a crucial distinction.

Kevin Drum 10:36 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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