In 1970, when I started college, higher education was stacked against women and minorities. White men were the vast majority of students. Heroic efforts were made to include women and minorities in higher education in later decades.
Fast forward to 2022.
The heroic efforts were successful. Too successful.
Men are abandoning higher education in such numbers that they now trail female college students by record levels.
At the close of the 2020-21 academic year, women made up 60% of college students, an all-time high, and men 40%. U.S. colleges and universities had 1.5 million fewer students compared with five years ago, and men accounted for 71% of the decline. In the next few years, two women will earn a college degree for every man, if the trend continues.
The college gender gap cuts across race, geography and economic background. For the most part, white men—once the predominant group on American campuses—no longer hold a statistical edge in enrollment rates, said Mr. Mortenson, of the Pell Institute. Enrollment rates for poor and working-class white men are lower than those of young Black, Latino and Asian men from the same economic backgrounds.
**A Generation of American Men Give Up on College: ‘I Just Feel Lost’**
**The number of men enrolled at two- and four-year colleges has fallen behind women by record levels, in a widening education gap across the U.S.**
**by Douglas Belkin, The Wall Street Journal, Sept. 6, 2021**
**Social science researchers cite distractions and obstacles to education that weigh more on boys and young men, including videogames, pornography, increased fatherlessness and cases of overdiagnosis of boyhood restlessness and related medications....**
**Men dominate top positions in industry, finance, politics and entertainment. They also hold a majority of tenured faculty positions and run most U.S. college campuses. Yet female college students are running laps around their male counterparts....**
**The young men who enroll lag behind. Among University of Vermont undergraduates, about 55% of male students graduate in four years compared with 70% of women. ...** [end quote]
I lived through the feminist revolution. I subscribed to Ms. Magazine in the 1970s, but ultimately dropped the subscription because I felt they were anti-male, while I worked in a traditionally male career but respected and enjoyed men. That was 50 years ago! Yikes!!
My personal opinion is that the feminists “won the war” over 20 years ago. With all the best intentions in the world, American society has transformed to become detrimental to young men. I don’t think the special efforts to encourage and educate young women should be diminished. Rather, I think similar efforts should be put in place to encourage and educate young men. Of all racial and ethnic groups.
It’s a sad fact that many children are raised by single mothers and that this (statistically) harms boys much more than girls in terms of income, criminal activity and other measures.
The New York Times created a mesmerizing flow chart of generational changes in income.
Black and white women raised in families with comparable incomes earn more similar amounts as individuals in adulthood. This data found that black and white women from similar backgrounds in this age group worked a similar number of hours per week, and made about the same amount of money per hour. They also had similar occupations.
White boys who grow up rich are likely to remain that way, while Black boys raised in similarly wealthy households are more likely to fall to the bottom than stay at the top in their own adult households. This can’t be the result of pure racism, since Black women do as well as white women.
White men earn more than almost anyone else. They earn more than black men and they earn more than white women. Both gender and race contribute to inequality, and white men hold advantages in both ways. White men fare better than white women, in part because men were about 10 percentage points more likely than women to be employed. This is historical data. The advantages of women’s income due to higher education will develop more in the future.
Because of the historic advantages of white men, there is pushback from women and minorities when colleges try to “put the thumb on the scale” to equalize the numbers of men and women. There is pushback when programs are suggested for white young men.
Google “America problems with boys” to find several books that discuss this issue.
It’s clear that the pendulum has swung past the point of equality. Higher education for men is a lagging trend in terms of recognition.
The critical point is that educating our entire population to the best of their potential is a national security issue. If the trend is excluding men the Macro impact will be at least as great as it was when women were excluded from higher education.