26 February, 2005 at 21:10 Leave a comment

Female Numbers in Universities

Was reading an article in THES yesterday about increasing female numbers in Universities (in UK and USA). So, I checked out Uni. of Glasgow statistics –

Gender – All Students – University of Glasgow

 
1999-00
2000-01
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
Female
12945
13453
13931
13581
13784
Male
9478
9491
9765
9742
9858
Totals
22430
22946
23697
23328
23645


Actually, I did not have as anyone can see that there is a female domination in most clubs and societies and activism. No surprises here but it is always good to verify the stats. And it came out right (or one can make them come out right). A couple of obvious things is that this has been the case since 1999 (and perhaps even before). So, this study (whoever did it) is quite untimely in terms of figures, patterns and trends. But it was timely as Universities are taking steps to increase male student population numbers on the lines of positive discrimination and reducing entrance criterion or by a points system where one is given extra points based on gender.
As is obvious, someone does something and a few more join in barking about it. So, there is quite a public cry and debate on this issue. There was some mention of the Harvard episode as well in the article. This is perhaps the only instance of my working memory that I find myself in the midst of a statistic. It feels strange. Even mediocre and mundane to be in this part of the classic Bell curve.

I do not understand why there is so much noise on this. Is it because a)now there are more females than males in Universities and there is gender inequality? Well, even about 20 years ago the ratio was reverse. No one complained that there were more males than females. It was taken as the status-quo. So, this reason in inherently sexist. Or is it because b)males are being given preferential treatment in admissions. Again, 20 years ago this was what all those feminists wanted. Lower entry to women. If it was not wrong for feminists then why should it be wrong for masochists? I am sure some feminist out there wil give a reason – “oh yeah, what about the centuries of slavery… blah blah blah”. No comments.
Knock, knock. Does anyone have a clue or an answer? And if you ask me of what my twisted mind thinks of all this, I think this is being totalitarian. Why should a state be worried about these numbers anyway especially when everyone is under the illusion of choice and free-will.
I mean, males are choosing not to go to Universities. Females are choosing to. There ends the matter. I can understand the vested interests of academics as this is a potential problem to seek funding for research as gender issues are always raunchy. Why should the state bother or even tinker with how the ratios are working out? This is not freedom to me. Well, I do not know what freedom is like but I definitely know that this kind of meddling is not freedom.

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