July 8 2013
Vicki E. Alger
Last year Title IX turned 40. We’ll recall the purpose of this law was to stop gender discrimination in higher education, both academics and athletics.
For all its good intentions, Title IX has likely outlived its usefulness—particularly when it comes to increasing the ranks of women in scientific fields. Roughly as many women as men earn advanced degrees in the sciences.
The BBC reports that results from the Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) show girls outperform boys on skills-based vocational assessments. Yet like Title IX proponents here in the U.S., gender bean counters in Europe are bemoaning the fact that fewer girls than boys enroll in science courses. Later on fewer women than men earn advanced science degrees.
Previous efforts by the European Union to achieve gender parity on paper culminated in an insulting ad campaign that tried to make science more “girly.” How? By having scantily clad young women ooh and ahh over the fact that their lipsticks are the result of—big squeal—chemistry!
Seriously. Would we want anyone—female or male—this vapid in the sciences in the first place?
Individuals should be free to pursue the careers that interest them—not the professional gender parity worrywarts.