Prediction: No college graduation speaker will mention the 29% ‘gender college degree gap’ for the C

Now that we’re at the beginning of this year’s college graduation season, I thought it would be a good time to show the updated chart above of the huge (and growing) “gender college degree gap” for this year’s College Class of 2018 (data here). Based on Department of Education estimates, women will earn a disproportionate share of college degrees at every level of higher education in 2018 for the 12th straight year (since 2007 when women first earned a majority of doctoral degrees). Overall, women in the Class of 2018 will earn 141 college degrees at all levels for every 100 men and there will be a 663,000 college degree gap (up from 659,000 last year) in favor of women for this year’s college graduates (2.28 million total degrees for women vs. 1.62 million total degrees for men). Stated differently, there will be a 29% “gender college degree gap” this year for the Class of 2018, and men will earn only 71 college degrees nationally for every 100 degrees earned by women. For associate’s degrees, there’s an even greater 37% degree gap favoring women, with men earning only 63 degrees for every 100 degrees earned by their female counterparts.

By level of degree, women will earn: a) 158 associate’s degrees for every 100 men (female majority in every year since 1978), b) 134 bachelor’s degrees for every 100 men (female majority since 1982), c) 143 master’s degrees for every 100 men (female majority since 1987) and d) 112 doctoral degrees for every 100 men (female majority since 2007).

Over the next decade, the gender disparity for college degrees is expected to increase according to Department of Education forecasts, so that by 2027, women will earn 151 college degrees for every 100 degrees earned by men, with especially huge gender imbalances in favor of women for associate’s degrees (179 women for every 100 men) and master’s degrees (153 women for every 100 men).

The huge gender inequity in higher education for the Class of 2018 is nothing new — women have earned a majority of US college degrees in every year since 1982 and since then have earned an increasingly larger share of college degrees compared to men in almost every year, so that men have now become the “second sex” in higher education. Despite the huge and growing “degree gap” over the last 36 years in favor of women, there are still hundreds of women’s centers on college campuses around the country, some receiving public funding, most with the stated goal of “promoting (or advocating) gender equity” and promoting “women’s success.” Here are some examples:

  • The University of Virginia Women’s Center mission is to foster the safety, dignity, and respect of women and girls.

  • The Duke University Women’s Center is dedicated to helping every woman at Duke become self-assured with a kind of streetwise savvy that comes from actively engaging with the world. We welcome men and women alike who are committed to gender equity and social change.

  • The mission of the University of Idaho Women’s Center is to promote and advocate for gender equity on campus and in the community through programs and services that educate and support all individuals in building an inclusive and compassionate society.

  • The University of North Carolina Women’s Center (The Center for Gender Equity) will lead efforts and initiatives related to women and gender equity.

Even though the publicly stated goal of almost every Women’s Center is “gender equity,” there seems to be a very selective concern about gender equity, with no concern at all about the gender inequities, imbalances, and over-representation at every level of higher education favoring women to the point that men have clearly become the “second sex” in higher education. There is also apparently no willingness for any of these women’s centers to close down even though gender equity in higher education was achieved 36 years ago (for college degrees) and there is no question that women are now much more successful than men in terms of both completing college and earning degrees at all levels from associate’s degrees to doctoral degrees.

Here apparently is the standard approach to the goal of gender equity:

Rule A: Any outcome where women statistically represent less than 50% of a population is a case of gender inequity, sexism, and/or discrimination that must be addressed with government investigations, awareness, public funding for women’s centers, legal action, regulation, legislation (Title IX), scholarships for women, etc. to correct the gender imbalances, with the ultimate goal apparently being gender parity.

Rule B: Any gender imbalance where women represent more than 50% of a population (e.g., higher education at all degree levels: associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctor’s degrees; degrees in certain fields like biology, psychology, veterinary science, nursing, education, etc.) isn’t really gender inequity, or at least it is a form of gender inequity that doesn’t really count and can be completely ignored because those statistical gender disparities are a natural outcome of women being more talented than men in certain areas, or naturally more interested/motivated than men in certain fields of study and careers.

Like in “Animal Farm” where both genders are equal but……….

Bottom Line: Now that there’s a huge (and growing) “gender college degree gap” favoring women (29% gap for the Class of 2018) such that men have become the “second sex” in higher education, maybe it’s time to stop taxpayer funding of hundreds of women’s centers that promote a goal of gender equity that was achieved 36 years ago in higher education, at least in terms of earning college degrees? And perhaps the concern about gender imbalances in higher education should be expanded to include a much greater recognition and concern that men are now increasingly an “Under-Represented Group” (URG) at America’s universities. But it’s close to a 100% certainty that none of the thousands of college commencement speakers this year will mention the “gender college degree gap” that started 36 years ago and will continue to grow in the future.

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