According to The Department of Education, women are now earning the majority of college degrees in the US, with approximately 140 women graduating from college for every 100 men. I can’t provide a link for you because:
Due to a lapse of appropriations and the partial shutdown of the Federal Government, the systems that host nces.ed.gov have been shut down. Services will be restored as soon as a continuing resolution to provide funding has been enacted.
IES – Institute of Education Sciences
…so you’ll have to take my word for it. There are two things that are interesting about this.
First up, where is the concern over the under-representation of men on campus? Why don’t we have a special government taskforce addressing the dearth of men on campus? Why aren’t there on campus Men’s Centers to provide the minority a safe space to reflect on their situations? Where the hell are the affirmative action programs for men.
But what are the degrees in?
Today, let’s look at what an average college campus would look like if the men decided to play hooky for a day. What exactly are the men doing on campus?
I can’t trace back to the original Bureau of Labor Statistics or the Census databases, which are also off-line thanks to all those Republicans who hate birth control (snark), but I’ll make due with some secondary sources. The following numbers are from 2008.
Let’s hit the Faculty of Education first, shall we?
Looks like classes in Advanced Crayons and Gluing Popsicle Sticks will be carrying on just fine. Only 21.3% of that Faculty is made up of men. Ha! You won’t even be missed!
How about the Faculty of Nursing?
Oh, please. A measly 14.6% of that Faculty are men, although I suspect the really hard thinky classes in anesthesiology will be sitting empty, since most Registered Nurse Anesthesiologists are actually men.
How about we peek in the Faculties of Social Sciences, Communications, Business and History?
Psychology classes are pretty much unaffected. Only 22.9% of psychology majors are men. Classes in Shakespeare and Early 14th Century Poetry are still crammed with students. Only 21.3% of men in college are there to study English Language and Literature. Still Life Drawing and Advanced Modern Jazz classes? No worries. 38.6% of those classes have men. Communications is pretty much the same: 37.5% of the students are men.
History and sociology classes are looking pretty sparse, though. 50.7% of those students are male, and business class is pretty subdued today, too. 51% of all business majors are men.
Arty-farty life continues unaffected, and we barely even notice that all the boys cut class today. Ha!
Okay, let’s see what’s going on in the Faculty of Engineering!
Oh dear. Well, the numbers for 2002 don’t look good, and given that the percentage of women in engineering has remained more or less stable for the past 25 years, it’s probably safe to assume the same basic numbers are true today.
Electrical and Mechanical lecture halls are empty. In a class of 100, 13 students showed up in mechanical and 14 were there for electrical. All the rest are playing video games at home. 18 students show up in Aerospace and 25 students in Civil.
Chemical classes are a bit better. 35 students who are not men are there. 33 students are in Industrial, and 31 students in Materials.
Overall, the classes in the Faculty of Engineering are pretty empty. By 2010, over 80% of all engineering degrees are going to men.
Faculty of Computer Science?
82.4% of the students are a no-show.
Faculty of Science? Using the chart above, it looks like this:
Biology classes are holding their own. 60% of the students are women. And Chemistry is not doing all that bad. Only half the class didn’t show up. In mathematics and statistics, just over 40% of the class is there, and the same goes for earth sciences.
Physics classes are not doing so great. Only 20% of the students show up.
Hey, why don’t we see how the Faculty of Graduate Studies is doing on this day that men skip out?
Nursing and other health sciences won’t even notice! Less than 20% of Masters in that field go to men. Communications, Biomedical Sciences, Education, English, Foreign Languages and Literature, Psychology, Public Administration and the Performing Arts are all going to be fine, too. Women are a solid majority of the advanced degree earners in those fields.
Computer Science, Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences are not going to be so lucky. Most of their students will be gone, and the ones that do show up probably won’t have an instructor anyways, since most of the doctorates (AKA slave laborers) go to men, too.
So, basically all the classes in thinking, feeling, dancing, coloring, talking and reading will continue on as usual if men cut out for the day. All the classes in counting, measuring, building, programming, discovering and analyzing will be devoid of students.
I’ll take a moment here to give a shout out to nursing, which doesn’t involve a whole lot of book reports or poetry analytics. Nursing is science, and the women in that Faculty deserve due credit.
But the rest?
Bachelors of Bullshit. Barista of Arts. Summa cum latte.