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  • Obama Administration Broadens Gender Quotas in Higher Ed

    Last week, the Obama Administration issued new regulations broadening Title IX of the Higher Education Act—the part of law barring sex-based discrimination in education programs typically associated with high school and college sports—to explicitly include science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

    As many commentators have noted, this new policy could effectively create science quotas and once again shows that the Administration is focused on equality of outcomes, not equality of opportunity. As Charlotte Allen notes over at Minding the Campus:

    When college women study science, they tend to gravitate toward biology—about 58 percent of all bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in biology go to women. In contrast, women earn some 17 percent of bachelor’s degrees in engineering and computer science and just over 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees in physical sciences and mathematics. The likely reason for this, found in the study “The Mathematics of Sex” (2009) by Cornell psychologists Stephen J. Ceci and Wendy M. Williams, is that women tend to be drawn to “organic” fields involving people and living things, whereas men are more interested in the objects and abstractions that are the focus of STEM majors.

    Yet the Obama administration sticks closely to the hard-line feminist argument that the problem is bias: women are somehow being denied access to STEM courses.

    As Hans Bader of the Competitive Enterprise Institute notes, existing Title IX regulations have restricted the number of men participating in sports to the overall percentage of men that make up the student body, which has limited sports options for men at universities. Carrie Lukas of the Independent Women’s Forum (IWF) echoes that analysis:

    As a result, while Title IX succeeded in creating opportunities for women, it has also robbed men of similar opportunities.…

    Title IX has contributed to the elimination of scores of men’s athletic teams (commonly baseball, wrestling, gymnastics, track and field, swimming, and crew) and the near extinction of some sports (like gymnastics) for men at the college level.

    While women are underrepresented in some academic areas, they are also overrepresented in others. And if the Administration’s new Title IX guidance were applied evenly, opportunities for women in other fields would be limited. But as education researcher Joanne Jacobs notes, “don’t hold your breath waiting for Title IX enforcers to crack down on college English departments.”

    Could there be any worse way to ensure access to science education? Pulling down men to alleviate a nonexistent problem plaguing women is surely no way to improve academic opportunity for everyone.

    As Allen concludes: “The use of Title IX to force universities to restructure their curricula and alter the composition of their hard-science and engineering departments in order to achieve a supposed gender equity that matches neither the aptitudes nor the interests of many women isn’t just heavy-handed and totalitarian. As study after study indicates, it’s bad science as well.” And as IWF’s Sabrina Schaeffer writes:

    Before we look to broaden the parameters of Title IX, we ought to give serious thought to the question: Is gender parity in the sciences really necessary in order to have gender equality? Can we accept that men and women see the world differently and choose to engage in different disciplines? Perhaps then we can finally value the differences men and women each bring to the table.

    Fifty-seven percent of students enrolling in college in 2010 were women, the same year that women surpassed men for the first time in doctoral degrees earned. Moreover, the coming higher education revolution, which is harnessing the power of online options to bring down costs and improve access, will have a far greater impact on ensuring that everyone has access to educational opportunity than the Administration’s top-down regulations ever will.

    Posted in Education, Featured [slideshow_deploy]

    12 Responses to Obama Administration Broadens Gender Quotas in Higher Ed

    1. Tim Gadsden says:

      Engineers are born. You either have that makeup or you don't.

      You can train the wrong person in engineering, and they will never be an engineer.

      You can skip training the right person in engineering, and they will figure it out on their own.

    2. What did Lawrence Summers say about this?

    3. Bobbie says:

      the role of government has no constitutional authority nor code of ethics that allows government to rule gender quotas and or quota appropriateness anywhere in a free society. The government has no constitutional authority manipulating any freedoms or choices or areas that promote freedoms and choices! The government needs to be put in their constitutional place so common sense can commence America back on her feet.

      The government doesn't "spend" tax cuts. Nor do tax cuts "take" from government! Obama's government rulers doesn't promote a healthy economy when unconstitutional government rules and admitted incompetence leaves no certainties, are what's in the way!

    4. mdmandklm says:

      I am so sick of all their damn nonsense. A lot of big mistakes have been made in the past few years. I think come November we find out just how badly more and more folks realize it. I don't expect to live through the recovery but I am sure it is underway. My children have been getting screwed already but I have hopes for them and for their children.

    5. Soquel Creek says:

      I'm a male scientist and engineer. I'd love to see more women, like my three daughters, go into the field. However, government mandates are an INSANE way to increase participation by women.

      We've seen what happens when you allow politicians and bureaucrats, most who have no background in economics, attempt to manage the economy. Disaster ensues. Should we expect any better results when politicians and bureaucrats attempt to manage our science and engineering schools?

      To attract more women into science and engineering, you need to hook girls on math and science by the time they are in middle school. Engineering enrollment is down nationally because too many students are unprepared for the rigor.

    6. Lloyd Scallan says:

      If anyone cares enough to truly understand what has happened to America, look no futher that this latest
      intrusion by Obama. But we also must realize this did not start with Obama. In 1965, when LBJ signed the
      Civil Rights Bill, this nation started dying.

    7. Riverside Robyn says:

      Will the new rules apply to paying foreign students? Will programs be shut down because they don't meet the quotas? What about dropout rates?

    8. worton says:

      Title IX basically gutted mens college sports, you’ll be able to see the consequences in about 8 years when the USA fails miserably at the Olympics.

      Once they apply Title IX to STEM education, you’ll see the consequences about 10-20 years later, when the USA runs out of engineers and scientists. I hope you all like speaking Chinese.

    9. Hungry Scholar says:

      So someone on this post really thinks the Civil Rights Act was a bad idea??? Complain all you want about certain excesses, (which typically happens) but protecting Civil Rights for minorities in the 1960s is lamentable?? Are you waxing nostalgically when some humans by virtue of skin couldn't vote, eat in restaurants, and so on. And recall some Ivies didn't allow women to matriculate until the late 60s and early 70s. Don't forget to go pick up your brownshirt at the cleaners. Or get some female servant to do it for you. As an academic for years I can say what everyone in the academy has experienced: women students produce the best work in most classes, even as it may vary a bit from major to major, which is why GPA's of women are higher nearly everywhere. Facts can be aggravating things.

      • Jimmy says:

        "Women students produce the best work in most classes"

        And yet they don't invent, innovate, or create nearly as often as men. So it's either brownshirts or Title IX? No equality of opportunities, just a black and white choice between stripping men's opportunities and giving women a headstart or the SS? You're insane.

    10. fishydude says:

      If implemented, Universities will be force to close engineering schools in the US because they could not be sustained with the require 80-90% cuts that will be mandated to comply with Title IX academic rules. As science programs get cut, the balance will shift to the point that 100% of new engineers are foreigners and 80+% college graduates will be women.
      Only communist countries come close to gender parity in science and engineering.
      Another little fact. in my engineering field, nearly every American female engineer migrates toward marketing and project management and away from product development. But nearly all foreign (mostly Chinese) women stay in design.
      My daughter wants to go into engineering and USAF. Being female raises her chances 100x of getting a full boat. She doesn't mind being among men in class. The dudes may end up fearing her brains. :)

      Bubba Clinton toyed with forcing Title IX on academics because Hillary told him to do it. But when faced with reality, he backed off. Obama has no such sense of reality. Now that the government controls all student loans, he thinks he can for women into science and engineering by withholding funding from those who don't do as they are told.

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