Science Opinion

Gender Gaps Too Politically Incorrect for NYT Ed Page?

By Richard Whitmire — October 26, 2010 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

The New York Times writes a (nearly) great editorial today about the slipping proportion of science and engineering majors (we now rank 27th out of the 29 comparable wealthy nations) and somehow neglects to mention why this happening: the campus gender gaps.

Look at this 2006 study of California public universities: the university population soared during the study time period but the number of engineering majors declined. Why? Because the enrollment increase were driven by women, who are choosing other majors.

I’ve written dozens of blogs on the need to encourage more women to undertake majors in computer science/engineering (women make up roughly 58 percent of those receiving four-year degrees but less than a quarter of those majors). And my book, Why Boys Fail, also deals with the issue. But progress there is slow, which heightens the need to address the core reason for this science slippage: college campuses are dominated by women.

Prior to today, I had reason to criticize foundations and the U.S. Department of Education for ducking this controversial issue. Now, I can add the New York Times editorial page. Shamefully, the page cited the University of Maryland, Baltimore County for showing some success in this area without citing a key reason why: the program attracts men.

Related Tags:

The opinions expressed in Why Boys Fail are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.