Posts tagged “Data

Degrees Earned, Women v. Men

[This post is from an old blog that I abandoned after a few weeks, but it contains some valuable data that I’ll share here.]

~~~

As it does once or twice a year, the Chronicle of Higher Education has trotted out its favorite feminist talking point: the ‘gender gap’ in science and engineering fields:

There have been many efforts over the last three decades to draw more women into STEM fields. While impressive gains have been made in mathematics, statistics, biology, and chemistry, women are still far less likely than men to major in computer science and engineering. In addition, recent studies, like one published last month in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, have demonstrated that there is still bias among both male and female scientists against female students.

As any neoreactionary knows, the Cathedral believes that bias exists where women or minorities are ‘underrepresented’ in some arena or endeavor. However, the Cathedral never addresses precisely what it means by ‘equal representation.’ In terms of race, equal representation can be a tricky business. Equal according to what geographic locale? The black population of the United States is approximately 13%, but this percentage varies drastically by state. Should the Cathedral hold California–with its black population of 4%–to the same definition of ‘equal representation’ as, for example, Mississippi? The Cathedral mouthpieces never say.

When it comes to gender, however, things are a bit easier. I presume that equal representation would = 50/50. Otherwise, bias exists, right? We need to equalize those outcomes. We need to make sure men and women are earning an equal number of degrees in all fields.

Right?

Let’s look at some numbers. The following charts show us how many men and women earned a degree in a given field from 2009-2010, in American universities. All data come from the National Center for Education Statistics, a federal data-tracking agency. We’ll start with computer science and physics, the main concerns of the article linked above.

The Equality Czars are correct that fewer women earn degrees in computer science and physics. But putting those numbers in perspective, we realize very quickly what neoreactionaries have been saying all along: that the reason the Cathedral never defines ‘equal representation’ numerically is because the Cathedral does not actually care about equal representation. With gender representation, a pure 50/50 split is not what the Cathedral is after . . .

In the liberal arts, women outnumber men (in terms of degrees earned) at the same levels as men outnumber women in STEM fields. But even in certain Science fields, we see the same inequality . . .

Even in a few ‘hard science’ fields, like biotechnology, women still outnumber men.

In terms of degrees granted, women far outnumber men in most fields. Indeed, across all fields, taken cumulatively, women outnumber men:

The article above notes that “impressive gains have been made” in fields like biology, and as these numbers from 2009-2010 show, what this particular papal bull really means is that “women outnumber men,” and that that’s a good thing.

The clerics of the Cathedral preach but do not care about gender equality. We’ve know this for a long time, and the data above are simply another reminder of the fact. We know it because the clerics do not attack inequality in English or animal sciences. They only attack inequality in STEM fields because it is one of the few academic areas in which women don’t outnumber men. Inequality only cuts one way.

Advertisements