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Quote of the Day
Thursday, July 13, 2006
My favorite radio program these days is Tom Ashbrook's On Point. Today, part of the program was dedicated to the widening gender gap in higher education: on the average, more women (60%) than men (40%) are in college, and women are doing better than men in college. It was a fascinating show, and I encourage anyone interested to listen to it here. (I only caught portions of it, as I was in and out of the car all morning; I will listen to the entire program as I pack this afternoon.)
Most interesting to me was combining this show with what we already know about women in academia: by and large, it's difficult for a woman to secure tenure while also respecting her biological clock and raising a family. If universities are turning out more and better educated women, this presumably means that more women will land tenure-track jobs in the future. And when that happens, how will the process of tenure change? Will it change at all?
This program was also interesting to me as the mother of a son. The program's experts noted that males still outnumber females at some Big Ten universities, mostly because of their emphasis on athletics and the wide array of "practical" majors they offer (e.g., engineering, business). The program also noted, however, that males just might not be mature enough for college when they enter at age 18 or 19; males reach maturation at around age 25. As I ponder whether or not to hold ST back a year from kindergarten because of the differences in maturity between girls and boys, I wonder how long this maturity "delay" will really affect him.
Listen to the program. I'd enjoy hearing what other academics think.