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The Male Minority: Affirmative Action for Men

Discussion in 'Issues Around the World' started by Techie2000, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    <A HREF="http://www.time.com/">Time</A> has <A HREF="http://www.time.com/time/education/article/0,8599,90446,00.html">an article</A> about the growing gender gap in colleges across the country. It has started to get to the point where colleges have started actively recruiting men. Some believe that it is due to more men <A HREF="http://slashdot.org/articles/03/01/12/1419224.shtml?tid=146">getting jobs in the IT industry</A> that don't require degrees. While others believe that it is our culture that encourages anti-intellectualism among males.
  2. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    What the article doesn't take into account is the number of males that enlist in the military right out of high school. Most of the soldiers being deployed right now to Iraq are between 19 and 24 years of age. That's damned young - these guys entered the military right out of high school, and many are making the military their career choice, while others did it for the college money.

    And I'm sure that these numbers are significant enough to affect college admissions, coupled with the numbers of men who go into technical fields right out of HS rather than go to college. When they talk about deployed 50,000 troops from 2 states, and most of them are men.... It's a significant number.
  3. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    Another element, and an entirely unfortunate one, is the number of young males who are incarcerated.
    But I think the cultural issue is more interesting. Does our culture encourage anti-intellectualism among males? Or even more interesting, since when do we <b>encourage</b> intellectualism among females?
    I'm no statistician, and I may be muddling numbers, now, but this is interesting.
    I teach at a community college, and it's a community college in New York City, so I have a different view than the overall national average.
    At my school, the numbers are overwhelming. The students are 60-65% African American, 25-35% Hispanic, and the rest "other" (mostly Asian American). Of those students, more than 65% are female.
    I don't know the exact numbers, but I think when you look at graduation rates, the imbalance becomes even more pronounced. We start out with fewer males, and then even fewer of them end up graduating.
    Where are the men going?
  4. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    The men are busy getting jobs, working hard, applying themselves to their careers, and building a decent, middle-class lifestyle, with aspirations for upper-middle class, for their families.

    I could go on, but don't trust myself to remain OT.
  5. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    Why do people waste time and money(usually other people's money) gathering useless statistics? So what if more women than men are applying to colleges! Why do some people think that there MUST be a proportional amount of every group of society, <i>in</i> every group of society?

    I wonder if left-handed people are as likely to go to college as right-handed are? We better spend a few million dollars to find out, then another few million dollars to try to balance it out. Pffft!
  6. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

    RRedline, there are special scholarships for left handed people. I kid you not.
  7. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    I believe it. Ridiculous.
  8. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    Hey! Where can I get one? ;)
  9. Techie2000

    Techie2000 The crowd would sing:

  10. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    Rredline, I don't think this study cost a lot of money at all. It certainly didn't cost a penny of your or my money.
    As to why bother? I won't speak to proportional representation in all segments of society, but diversity in a college or university is important because a diverse environment (lots of different kinds of people) means a better learning environment. Part of the whole point of college is being exposed to as many different kinds of views and opinions as possible. If the college population becomes less diverse, that becomes less likely.
    (I don't think the left-handed population is an important one to have represented, though--and I'm a lefty myself ;))
  11. mikepd

    mikepd Veteran Member

    There are special classes of scholarships for all sorts of people. From those with certain last names, members of organizations, if you can think of it, there is probably a scholarship for it. Even left-handed people. Not sure about those right-handed ones though.
  12. Robert Harris

    Robert Harris Passed Away Aug. 19, 2006

    I wonder if the growing presence of women in these places may not at least in part reflect the changing labor market -- and the drying up of the kinds of jobs that girls used to easily get right out of high school. Clerical, secretarial, etc., things.
  13. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    joseftu, I respect the experience you bring to discussions on academia, but I question the value of diversity. It seems that colleges and universities are becoming more conformist and left-leaning every year. If diversity is as valuable as it's made out to be, it would seem that political life on campuses would reflect that around the country and would be more evenly distributed.

    Diversity, except in cultural matters, does not, as far as I can tell, contribute much of anything toward the learning process and would seem, on the face of it, to be correlated with political stratification and a heavy slant toward the far liberal left.

    Or am I taking too much of my opinion from news sources?
  14. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    stevent, I think we're talking about two kinds of diversity, cultural and political.
    I would argue that both kinds are beneficial and desirable in an academic environment.
    I'm not sure I understand how
    "Diversity, except in cultural matters, does not, as far as I can tell, contribute much of anything toward the learning process and would seem, on the face of it, to be correlated with political stratification and a heavy slant toward the far liberal left"
    To me, "diversity" means a wide range of ideas and viewpoints. A heavy slant toward the far liberal left is a lack of diversity, no?

    Now, the question of whether such a slant exists is worth debating. It's a matter of perception, I think. There is a prominent and consistent belief among people on the right that academia is a completely intolerant and conformist environment, with no room for any conservative viewpoint. I'm familiar with that belief, but I don't agree with it. If colleges seem more left-leaning every year, it's only because society at large is shifting so far to the right. Colleges are the last place where there is room for the left. That's one argument, anyway. Or another argument could be "naturally, as people become more educated and informed, as they think more deeply, they move to the left. It's the more intelligent and intellectually developed stance" ;) (I don't argue that, let me assure you!--although I do remember a certain well-known individual making the statement that people on the left were universally less intelligent than those on the right ;) )

    In any case, I would still argue that diversity is desirable. Are you saying that you don't believe it is? or only that most universities don't act like it is?
  15. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    I'm afraid I have to agree with stevent on diversity. I went to a college that was 99% white, and I now live in a rural town that is more than 99% white. Just because I'm not exposed to a more diverse segment of society doesn't mean that I am not culturally sensitive or that my life is somehow lacking.

    I have no problem with diversity whatsoever. But I do have a problem with FORCED diversity. I say that we let people go wherever they want, do whatever they want and with whomever they want.

    Most black people marry black people, and most white people marry white people. Is this a problem that needs to be corrected or do we just let people alone to do as they wish? I just don't understand all the emphasis on diversity.
  16. RRedline

    RRedline Veteran MMember

    You think society has been shifting to the right? I feel that for as long as I've been politically aware(ten years or so), society has been shifting way towards the left. I'm not saying that it is a bad thing or a good thing...just my own observation. This is especially reflected in the entertainment industry. I'm sorry, but a TV show like <i>Will & Grace</i> would have never gotten past the censors fifteen years ago.
  17. joseftu

    joseftu ORIGINAL Pomp-Dumpster

    I've never seen "Will & Grace," but I think I see your point. There is certainly a more tolerant and open attitude about sexuality, etc. But I'm not sure if that's a <b>political</b> shift as much as a cultural one.
    Like I said, it's a matter of perception. And perception often seizes on details, or personal effects. I certainly have no facts or statistics to back up my perception. But when I was growing up, feminism, civil rights, gay rights, movements for peace and justice, rejection of religious fundamentalism, etc. were new and exciting ideas. It looked like the progress in these areas was just beginning. I never imagined the kinds of backlash and rejection of these movements that's taken place over the past 20 years.
  18. Steve

    Steve Is that it, then?

    joseftu, you ask a difficult question: do I support diversity? Maybe.

    I support diversity when it occurs as a natural development of a society that promotes equal opportunity for all; when it occurs because people of diverse backgrounds, cultures, races, religions, etc. are afforded opportunities to interact and mingle for "natural" reasons; when the diversity happens as a result of free choices made by free people.

    It's all good, in that context.

    "Forced" diversity, though, sits wrong with me. Mandatory classes on sexual awareness, race relations, etc. strike me as being a little too close to policing thought and way too far from achieving the purported purpose.

    The backlash and rejection that do exist, and that you perceive, are there in response to "forced" diversity, in my opinion.

    This could easily slide down the rugged path of debate over liberal versus conservative, but I don't think it's the same thing.

    Water finds its own level; people find their own comfort level. Given opportunities to experience or create diversity, people will do so, to a greater or lesser extent. But the cumulative effect, over time, is to increase overall diversity in a freely chosen fashion.

    Attempts to accelerate that natural process, no matter how well-intended, have created much of that resentment. It's not so much an issue of liberal thought versus conservative attitudes as it is a resentment at being pushed to unwanted change, especially when unready for that change.

    In simplistic terms, when people are uncomfortable, they resist. But I believe the resistance is over the pace of change, not the actual change, itself.
  19. wapu

    wapu Veteran Member

    If diversity is so important, what is your college doing to recruit the white male? I am not trying to be nit-picky, but diversity should mean that I am important too.

  20. Misu

    Misu Hey, I saw that.

    I think this shift supposedly occurring in colleges really depends on the school and subject - there are Universities (mine being one of them) where it seems that most people going to school are either white males or white females, with hispanics, blacks, asians and others making up the rest.

    Depending on the major, that's how the genders breakdown. For example - psychology is a mostly female-dominated subject at the undergraduate level. Graduate level, it tends to get about even. At the doctorate level, it's male-dominated. Computer science is male-dominated throughout all levels. Liberal arts is female-dominated all throughout.

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