L.M. comments on our post on Melana Zyla Vickers’ article in the Weekly Standard pointing out that, sure, there’s a gender imbalance among college undergraduates campuses–except that it happens to disfavor male students (see “The College Gender Gap–It’s Male Students Who Are at Risk,” Dec. 29):
“What I did not see addressed in your post, or the link, is whether men are enrolling at lower rates than they have in the past. Just because more women are enrolling doesn’t mean that fewer men are enrolling over time.
“As for the so-called shortage of engineers, a recent article in the Wall Street Journal stated that engineering companies would rather conduct a six-month job search than train someone. ‘Looking for a five-pound butterfly’ was how the article put it.
“As for finding mates, I admit that I have no particular interest in getting married. But if someone interested me that much, whether or not he had a degree probably wouldn’t concern me nearly as much as whether he supported himself, treated me well, had a good character, etc. There are plenty of sharp people without degrees, and plenty of knuckleheads with them.”
What you say about men “enrolling over time” may be true, L.M., except that if a college sustains a 60-40 female-male undergrad ratio over a period of even a few years, there’s no way the imbalance is going to correct itself. It’s simply going to get worse–as many colleges are already discovering. As for the engineer shortage, sure, it’s possible that companies could train them, that is, run engineering schools on the premises. But that very option merely highlights the fact that our universities aren’t turning out enough engineers. And as for the mate shortage, I agree: I’d rather marry a man of brains, maturity, and character who lacked a college degree (and my formerly widowed mother did exactly that a few months ago!) than a man with a degree who lacked those three traits. But that doesn’t do much for the social lives of gals who are in college.