Christina Hoff Sommers has a great article over at National Review Online about the potential perils of using Title IX as a “gender equity hammer” to get more women into the hard sciences. The case study of Title IX and athletics should be enough to make policy makers pause before jumping on the Title IX and science bandwagon:
Although Title IX has contributed to the progress of women’s athletics, it has done serious harm to men’s sports. Over the years, judges, federal officials, and college administrators have interpreted it to mean that women are entitled to “statistical proportionality.” That is to say, if a college’s student body is 60 percent female, then 60 percent of the athletes should be female – even if far fewer women than men are interested in playing sports at that college. But many athletic directors have been unable to attract the same proportions of women as men. So, to avoid government harassment, loss of funding, and lawsuits, educational institutions have eliminated men’s teams – in effect, reducing men’s participation to the level of women’s interest. That kind of regulatory calibration – call it reductio ad feminem – would wreak havoc in fields that drive the economy such as math, physics, and computer science.
Read more here.