Title IX, the statute that has wreaked so much havoc on college athletics, may soon be invoked to solve non-problems in academics.
Christina Hoff Sommers addresses the issue in USA Today. Noting that today women are earn more than half the college degrees awarded in the U.S., she asks:
“So what are the Department of Education and National Science Foundation doing about the problem of male underachievement?
“Nothing. But they are conducting a review of math, physics and engineering programs at selected universities to root out supposed bias against women and girls. Their weapon is Title IX, which ‘is not just related to sports,’ says Stephanie Monroe, assistant secretary of Education for civil rights. ‘We’re in the process right now of putting together our dockets.’ She assures us that these Title IX reviews are just business as usual for her department.
“But why continue them in the face of massive evidence that it is now boys who are on the wrong side of the gender gap? …
“Activists create the illusion of continuing bias by focusing on engineering, physics and math. It is true more men than women major in these subjects. But why blame the difference on bias?
“Some history is required. Most professional schools were once unwelcoming to women. But that did not stop women from breaking down their doors. Women are approaching parity at schools of law and medicine, and they have surpassed men in biology and veterinary medicine.
“Women made up only 5% of veterinary school students in the late 1960s; now, female applicants number 80%. If aspiring female cadets could storm The Citadel military school, why would would-be female mathematicians be frightened off by math geeks brandishing slide rules? Today, American women go where they want to go.
“Government officials are fretting over something they cannot change. Women’s relative lack of interest in electrical engineering and metallurgy is matched by men’s lower participation in social work, early childhood education, psychology, languages and more. “