It’s the time of year when seniors take a walk catapulting them from child to adulthood. Thankfully the ceremonies seem to have gotten shorter, but the speakers are still boring, the babies still loud, and the graduation march remains the same. But this past Friday, while listening to a young lady’s valedictorian address, I thought about a recent article in Time Magazine concerning the State of Women in America.
While this government study focused on many issues, it is 97 pages long, I want to highlight a change occurring in America’s colleges, where future businesswomen and political leaders are being cultivated.
Before I delve into the content of the research, I’ll cite a 2004 study compiled by William Draves of the Wisconsin-based Learning Resources Network.
Boys vs. Girls
• Boys receive 70 percent of D’s and F’s.
• Girls receive 60 percent of A’s.
• Boys constitute 80 percent of high school dropouts.
• Among high school graduates, boys’ mean GPA is 2.83, compared with 3.05 for girls.
• Fewer and fewer males are showing any ambition to attend college.
These statistics may or may not be surprising, but they are the new reality. Larger numbers of females are valedictorians and salutatorians than ever before (check the newspapers), and in recent years, a greater number of female students have been college bound as well.
Among 2009 graduates, 73.8 of graduating females enrolled in college in the fall. The ladies have not only surpassed men in college attendance but young women are now far more likely than men to have a college or graduate degree.
Women account for 60% of newly earned college degrees. Apparently, they still show little interest math, science, engineering or computer programming, but a quick look anywhere else on a university campus will prove that students are overwhelmingly female.
So where are the males? Since the 1970s, their numbers have leveled off and recent years have shown a steady decline while the females have increased dramatically. What is the cause of this?
Having been around secondary education for the past fifteen years, I can tell you I have yet to meet a female student who fell asleep in class every day because she was up all night playing video games. I’ve also never had one inform me she couldn’t wait to get out of school so she could run off to the oil field or some other similar form of physical labor. The few girls who had sports as their number one concern used their talents, determination, and drive to earn a discounted ride to college where they exited four or five years later with a degree.
So, my question is, with women earning well over half of the degrees, what does that mean for the future? If our young males aren’t going off to school like their female classmates, what does it mean? If college campuses are overflowing with 18 to 22-year-old females, why don’t young men want to go? Is World of Warcraft or digging ditches that much more interesting?
Many have often joked that women are the power behind the throne, but I see nothing to suggest anything other than a future America with more educated women in positions of real power. Considering the job men have done running the world, I think it’s time women are given their chance. Apparently the girls are stepping up to seize the opportunity.