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The Gender Gap
Are Colleges Hostile to Men?

If a college degree is the path to a middle-class life, young women are better prepared than young men to take advantage of it. A new report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that at age 27, women are considerably more likely than men to hold a bachelor’s degree, with nearly one third of all women holding such degrees versus only 24 percent of men. And it’s not just that men are dropping out in greater numbers—women were also more likely to have spent some time in college than their male counterparts.

The college gender gap has existed for decades, and has shown no signs of disappearing anytime soon. Still, it’s noteworthy that reports like this usually meet with nothing but radio silence from the mainstream media. If the statistics went in the other direction, and men were outstripping women in college achievement, the screaming would be intense, with activists and pundits decrying the injustice and calling for programs to close the gap. Instead, it’s treated as a simple data point and allowed to pass mostly without comment.

Along with the spread of parallel legal systems that discriminate against men on college campuses, studies like this suggest that it’s worth asking whether there may be some hostility to males in the academic-industrial complex.

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  • qet

    Yes, but mostly as part of a general hostility. To be male, especially male and young, is to be under a constant presumption of moral shortcoming that it is the man’s own burden constantly to rebut. Behavioral traits associated with men are so heavily scrutinized, analyzed and disparaged in colleges and in major media organs that most men would prefer to just retire from the field of combat.
    But I also think that the late emphasis of many–including Via Meadia–on the superiority, morally and economically, of entrepreneuership, on the predictions of the future as belonging to the entrepreneurs, operates to heavily discount the benefits of a formal college education in the minds of men, who tend to be more entrepreneurial than women. We all know that our most visibly successful entrepreneurs did not attend or finish college. It is much easier for a man to flourish in a society officially hostile to maleness if he has grown rich directing his maleness into a still-approved channel like business entrepreneurship. He can then live mostly beyond the reach of the resentful and controlling anti-male ideologues who rule the colleges nowadays.

    • Corlyss

      The feminization of society and culture generally.

  • LivingRock

    “… on our university campuses, we have probably the worst sexual abuse of any other place in America.

    There are only 4 percent of the rapes on college campuses even reported, because the college — the university presidents of the greatest universities don’t want to report sexual abuse on their campuses, because it brings discredit to them. So they discourage female students from reporting rapes.

    And what this does is result in a few boys on the campus, a few men on the campus who know they can rape a girl with impunity, because they’re not going to be reported. And, if they are reported, they’re not going to be criminally prosecuted for it.” Jimmy Carter March 26, 2014

    Why would we want men graduating from universities when they’re just raping women on campus with impunity? This “campus rape crisis” has of course been debunked and is a result of hyper feminism gone irrational.

    • Corlyss

      Not to mention the recent propaganda about the “rape crisis” in the military. That has become an Article of Faith” similar to AGW, I.e, unassailable except at great risk to the dissenter.

  • Andrew Allison

    There’s another question to be asked: notably, how well prepared are men for college vis-à-vis the fair sex. One way to answer it would be the gender balance of the remedial classes which have become such a significant part of college education. Could it be that the explanation lies in high school?

    • Jim__L

      The explanation probably lies in any institution controlled by government and dominated by Democrats.

  • f1b0nacc1

    Yes, next question….

    • JollyGreenChemist

      You beat me to it.

  • Corlyss

    This stat can’t be looked at in isolation. Other campus characteristics need to be looked in toto. There’s the sexual encounter codes that seem to assume that women’s complaints about molestation are true unless proven false. There’s the speech codes.

  • Anthony

    Are colleges hostile to men? I read a piece a year or so ago giving perspective to Feed’s question. The piece listed economic challenges for college age males that may also have relevance to ideas inferred above. Specifically, if my memory serves me correctly, the list included making college affordable, easing burden of student debt repayment, and expanding access to post secondary education and training (there were other items too but these are perhaps most germane) as ways to address societal imbalance vis-a-vis college age males. Implied in proposition was idea that college remains the ticket to a well-paying job and a middle class life (certainly a proposition open to question). Nevertheless, the matter has moved beyond stage of data points (economics, economics, economics).

    • Jim__L

      How exactly is anything you say relevant to men specifically and not both women and men?

      You’re dodging the issue entirely, pretending it isn’t there.

      • Anthony

        As often happens in your writing you miss point for seeking peccadillo. There is no intentional “dodge” we are talking here about males and yes proposed references could apply to females but I thought Feed’s subject matter (males) availed opportunity to customize what you infer may be applicable universally to subject (I work hard to curtail my biases).

      • f1b0nacc1

        You seem surprised by this…why?

        • Anthony

          My man if you got something to write, let’s have at it. I don’t do anonymous or envy.

        • Jim__L

          Because most commenters on VM are quite perceptive, to the point that finding one that isn’t is a bit of a shock.

  • David Schuler

    There may be some hostility towards men in higher education but I think the more important reason is that the “commanding heights” of the economy, education and healthcare, are definitely hostile to men.

    Isn’t it beyond dispute that most people in K-12 education are women? And that men in K-12 education are looked at with suspicion?

    In healthcare, if you’re a man and you’re not an MD, you’re nothing.

    • free_agent

      If by “commanding heights”, you mean the sectors that reliably generate many jobs, your analysis is correct. If you mean the best-paying jobs, those are still dominated by men.

  • free_agent

    As far as I can see, neither the Left nor the Right is prepared ideologically to speak on the problem, other than a certain faction of the Right that frets about government-driven misandry.

    But a comparable question would be to ask what is the comparable incomes of men and women at, say, age 27? And in more detail, what are the factors that correlate with income. Off the top of my head, I’d expect that women’s higher education levels would raise women’s wages from what they would have been. But overall, I’d expect that men’s wages would show a much higher variance, given the general tendency of men to take higher-risk paths in life.

    • Jim__L

      For the species to survive and our intergenerational cash transfers (Social Security, Medicare) to remain solvent, at age 27 you should see women — including, perhaps especially, intelligent and talented women — staying home and raising kids.

  • Joseph Blieu

    The high level answer to this issue is that the difference in total
    number of degrees by sex category makes no significant difference in
    career outcomes. It is the academic major. Degrees in “Fill in the
    blank -Studies”, Education, Language, Socio/Phsycology and such are
    not taken to optimize income per hour. The top 50 Universities have
    acceptance rates lower than ever. There is a tremendous volume of
    brilliant young people trying to get in equal to any past level. We now
    just claim that “everyone” should be in because it is policy to enforce
    equality. 100 female and 100 male comp sci, or statistics, or
    chemistry, or business grads of good schools who work an equal
    uninterrupted number of years will have equal outcomes, in most cases
    females will be paid more earlier and will be more heavily recruited.
    If a higher percentage of females want to go to school great, but if
    there are more males in the desirable fields don’t expect equal pay over
    the category of sex. Equality will occur when the numerical population
    of female vs male STEM /JD/MBA/MD grads are equal (JD/MD groups are
    probably already there). Perhaps there are not too few males as a
    percent, but too many females in fields that don’t “pay off”. So don’t
    trouble young women if they don’t study what you want them to.

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