ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

ACTA is an independent, non-profit organization committed to academic freedom, excellence, and accountability at America's colleges and universities.

What’s Good for the Goose…

June 3, 2005 by ACTA

The collegiate gender gap isn't what it used to be, InsideHigherEd.com reports. For the past ten years, the infamous gap has been gradually but decisively inverting itself: Where it was once the case that women were under-represented among college students, it is now increasingly the case that men are. First felt at community colleges, historically black colleges and universities, and liberal arts colleges, the new gender gap is now becoming pronounced on the flagship campuses of large public universities. At the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, for instance, 58% of this year's freshmen are women--and the trustees are worried. Some have gone so far as to recommend affirmative action for men, though the university has no plans to undertake such a project. Similar imbalances can be found at the University of Virginia, where 56% of next fall's entering class will be female, and at the University of California, where women make up 57% of those admitted systemwide for the fall.

The Department of Education's 2004 report, Trends in Educational Equity of Girls & Women, which forms the basis for InsideHigherEd's piece, is an instructive document. Noting that in 2000, 56% of all undergraduates were women (as opposed to 42% in 1970) and that 58% of all graduate students were women in 2000 (as opposed to 39% in 1970), the report is a veiled but eloquent argument for rethinking the issue as one of educational equity for boys and men. Boys, as Business Week noted in a cover story two years ago, are fast becoming the second sex.

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