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Tipping the gender scale

Women outnumber men on Canadian campuses, and admin should steer clear of the gap


 

The boys are back on campus. At least in the United States.

According to a report by the American Council on Education, the gender gap on campuses has stabilized as the number of men enrolled in bachelor’s programs increases.

So, does this mean Canadian men will soon follow suit? Are the days of the female majority on campus numbered? Should we scrap plans for aggressive male-recruitment initiatives?

Who knows. Who cares. And definitely.

It’s no secret that for the past few years, women have outnumbered men in Canadian undergraduate enrollment. But lately, it’s become a problem. At least for some.

“I’m going to be an advocate for young white men,” Indira Samarasekera, president of the University of Alberta, told the Edmonton Journal last October. Samarasekera said she’s concerned about what the future will look like because of this gender imbalance. “The [. . .] worry is that we’ll wake up in 20 years and we will not have the benefit of enough male talent at the heads of companies and elsewhere.”

Ah, I’d like to see her stand at the front of a women’s gender studies class and say that.

Hilarious mental pictures aside, I cannot grasp this incessant push for (assisted) equality. To what end are we to ensure that men and women are equally represented in all programs and fields? When does ‘some’ presence become ‘enough’? And does it not undermine the capabilities of an individual or group for one to become a self-appointed hand-holder?

Apparently not. “There is a feeling men can take care of themselves – clearly that is not true,” Samarasekera told the Globe and Mail. “If that were true, we wouldn’t be seeing this growing gap.”

Whether or not the gap is indeed budding, the meddling should be nipped. Even if women outnumber men in lecture chairs now, I’m sure there will be a suit and tie or two behind the CEO desk later.

Editor’s note: This post has been updated


 

Tipping the gender scale

  1. Tightening?

    Robyn, is there another report which you found this information?

    To quote directly from the news release you cite, “For the first time, several indicators suggest that the size of the gender gap in higher education may have stabilized.”

    Another passage: “It appears the gender gap in higher education has reached a plateau”

    I do not see any mention in the release that the gap is tightening. Further, no report expressing concern about the “gender gap” has stated male enrolment had decreased. All the reports noted that male enrolment was increasing, just that the increase for males was significantly lower than the increase for females. The boys never left campus, contrary to your opening statement.

    It be interesting to see what factors are leading to the stablization of the male/female ratio in universities. The news release does not say.

    In short, all we can do without more information is speculate as to the causes of the stablization.

  2. Joey Coleman? I thought you left Macleans forever! Just back to make sure that your replacements are doing a good job?

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