More on Title IX and STEM
For those of you unfamiliar with the acronym, STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. And once gender quota activists have done their level best to drive men off the playing field at the college level, expect them to turn their attention to those academic programs.
As Contrarian readers know, it is always wise to look at the facts before assuming that any statistical disparity in American society is a result of gender bias or discrimination. Women’s activist groups, however, make assumptions like that for a living. Consider a recent AAUW study funded by a $250k grant from the National Science Foundation. This study, titled Why So Few? is actually not a study at all, but a summary of several reports published in the last decade.
Why So Few? highlights society’s propensity to consider STEM jobs “masculine,” and humanities, education, and healthcare jobs “feminine.” It asserts that these attitudes form the basis for STEM discrimination, because girls are less likely to apply themselves to subjects that society considers masculine. Indeed, even girls who are gifted at math and science are far less likely to pursue STEM careers than their male counterparts.
Why So Few? doesn’t attempt to prove that gender bias is the sole contributing factor to the STEM gender gap. The authors admit that biological factors, such as interest or innate ability, may lead more men than women to major in math and science. This important point, however, is quickly brushed aside. The AAUW is not interested in the degree to which biology accounts for the disparity between men and women in STEM fields. Rather, the purpose of the study is to highlight the possible presence of bias, regardless of whether or not men enjoy a natural talent and propensity for math and science.
Something tells me that this situation must look awfully familiar to folks who work in college athletic departments around the nation. Furthermore …
It is one thing to apply radical social engineering projects to college sports departments. It is quite another to apply them to the nation’s science, technology, engineering, and math industries. Title IX will not create a more vigorous academic environment, as the AAUW contends. It will bar countless qualified individuals from contributing to American innovation and discovery in the 21st Century.
While Ms. Pipes is correct in her conclusion, I can’t help but express a bit of disappointment as to her seeming acceptance of the use of gender quotas in college sports. As we’ve continually chronicled here, the hard gender quota has been grossly unfair, has thrown or kept thousands of male athletes off the field and continues to introduce real distortions into college athletics. Perhaps if more academics stood shoulder to shoulder with athletes, this sort of initiative could get stopped in its tracks.
For more on the drastic implications, click here.