The Coming American Matriarchy

The fairer sex gets ready to take over

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Suppose you could memorize only a single demographic number and you set about choosing the one with the most far-reaching implications for change in America. You could do worse than 1.5.

Of course, there are plenty of possibilities: the birth rate, the teen-pregnancy or illegitimacy rate, the percentage of the population that is white or foreign-born, the percentage of elderly. But unpack 1.5 and you have the makings of a social inversion: a turning upside down of the male-dominated order that Americans have taken for granted since—well, since forever.
The number 1.5 is, in this case, a ratio. According to projections by the National Center for Education Statistics, in 2017 half again as many women as men will earn bachelor's degrees. In the early 1990s, six women graduated from college for every five men who did so; today, the ratio is about 4-to-3. A decade from now, it will be 3-to-2—and rising, on current trends.
What does this mean? And what's going on? Neither question is easy to answer. But start with the second.
A college degree used to be a rarity: a mark of privileged or professional status. As recently as 1950, fewer than half of Americans even finished high school, let alone went on to college.
Surprisingly, in the early decades of the last century, college attendees were as likely to be female as male. As the economists Claudia Goldin, Lawrence F. Katz, and Ilyana Kuziemko note in a fascinating 2006 article in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, things changed dramatically beginning in the 1930s. Men poured into universities, first to escape Depression-era unemployment, later with the help of the G.I. Bill, then to escape Vietnam. Above all, men were responding rationally to a labor market that paid a rising premium for advanced education. By 1957, three men took home a college diploma for every two women who did.
That imbalance defined the world in which all but the youngest of today's adults grew up. The education gap bolstered the presumption that men would dominate the professions and other elite careers; that men would boss women, instead of the other way around; that men, with their college-turbocharged earning power, would be the primary breadwinners; that, educationally speaking, men could expect to marry down.
Chapter 3 of the 20th-century story is as welcome as it is well known. Feminism, family planning (in the form of birth control, especially the Pill), and a meritocratic labor market opened not just jobs but careers to women, who streamed into the workforce and formed two-earner families. Expecting to work—and also, as divorce rates soared, worrying about having to support themselves—women also streamed to college. By about 1980, the gender gap in college enrollment had vanished. Young women had reached educational parity, with the promise of social parity not far behind.
The puzzle is what happened next. In the 1990s, the pattern changed again, but the surprise involved men. The wage premium for a college degree continued to rise smartly. Women responded just as economic theory predicts that rational actors would: Their college attendance rates kept climbing because the more they learned, the more they earned.
Men, however, ignored what the market was telling them: Their college attendance and completion rates barely rose. Why? "That's the big mystery," says Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution.
Whatever the reason, the result was a new educational gender gap, this time favoring women. There is little sign that it will close: Projections by the National Center for Education Statistics show a 22 percent increase in female college enrollment between 2005 and 2016, compared with only a 10 percent increase for men.
In 2006, according to the Census Bureau, about 27 million American men held a college degree; so did about 27 million American women. This is a tipping point, however, not an equilibrium, because male college graduates tend to be old, and female graduates tend to be young. Among people age 65 and older, men are much more likely than women to be college-educated. Middle-aged men and women are at parity. Among young adults ages 25 to 34 years old, the college gap favors women almost as lopsidedly as it favors men among their grandparents' generation.
In other words, today's young people already live in a world where, among their peers, women are better educated than men. As the grandparents die off, every year the country's college-educated population will become more feminized. In a couple of decades, America's educational elite will be as disproportionately female as it once was male.
Perhaps men will wake up, smell the coffee, and rush off to college in greater numbers. Or perhaps the labor market will undergo a sea change and the premium on education will stop rising and start falling. As of now, however, both of those reversals appear far-fetched. Men might—certainly should, and hopefully will—raise their college attendance rates, but the likely effect would be to narrow the gap with women, not close it, much less flip it.
Meanwhile, millions of semiskilled workers in developing countries are entering an increasingly globalized labor market, which all but guarantees a rise in the relative premium commanded by a college diploma.
So what we are talking about, in all likelihood, is an America where women are better educated than men and where education matters more than ever. Put those facts together, and you get some implications worth pondering.
In 1978, when I was a freshman in college, I met a woman who told me she was in law. "Oh," I said, "you're a secretary?" Her gentle but mortifying reply: "No, I'm a lawyer." Few of today's young people can even imagine making that kind of faux pas. According to census data, a higher share of women than men already work in management and professional jobs (37 percent versus 31 percent, in 2005).
Look for that gap to widen. A generation from now, the female lawyer with her male assistant will be the cliché. Look for women to outnumber men in many elite professions, and potentially in the political system that the professions feed. (The election of a female president is a question of when, not whether.)
Women's superior education will increase their earning power relative to men's, and on average they will be marrying down, educationally speaking. A third of today's college-bound 12-year-old girls can expect to "settle" for a mate without a university diploma. But women will not stop wanting to be hands-on moms.
For families, this will pose a dilemma. Women will have a comparative advantage at both parenting and breadwinning. Many women will want to take time off for child-rearing, but the cost of keeping a college-educated mom at home while a high-school-educated dad works will be high, often prohibitive.
Look, then, for rising pressure on government to provide new parental subsidies and child care programs, and on employers to provide more flextime and home-office options—among various efforts to help women do it all. Look, too, for a cascading series of psychological and emotional adjustments as American society tilts, for the first time, toward matriarchy. What happens to male self-esteem when men are No. 2 (and not necessarily trying harder)? When more men work for women than the other way around?
Some of these adjustments will have international dimensions. Goldin, Katz, and Kuziemko note, "Almost all countries in the OECD"—the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a group of advanced industrial countries—"now have more women than men in college and have had a growing gender gap among undergraduates that favors women." Yet much of the developing world, especially the Muslim world, remains predominantly patriarchal.
Many tradition-minded cultures in the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia already regard the Western economic and social model as emasculating. Radical Islam, in particular, abhors feminism. As the United States and Europe continue to feminize, will the anti-modern backlash, already deeply problematic in the Muslim world, intensify? As sex roles and expectations diverge, might hostility and misunderstanding mount between the West and the rest?
No, men are not about to disappear into underclass status. They will not become mothers anytime soon, and they will not stop secreting testosterone. Men's ambition will ensure ample male representation at the very top of the social order, where CEOs, senators, Nobelists, and software wunderkinds dwell. Women will not rule men.
But they will lead. Think about this: Not only do girls study harder and get better grades than boys; high school girls now take more math and science than do high school boys. If there is a "weaker sex," it isn't female. © Copyright 2008 National Journal

Jonathan Rauch is a senior writer and columnist for National Journal and a frequent contributor to Reason. The article was originally published by National Journal.

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  1. The first thing we need to do is build a wall to keep women out of the country. Then we need to amend the Constitution to take away birthright citizenship. And amnesty is not the way to do it.

  2. Not to generalize, but the other major aspect is that our country and the western world is entering a service based economy where traditionally male labor attributes (strength, speed) are much less valuable than things like interpersonal skills which are traditionally female.

  3. I don’t think it is women taking over as much as black and hispanic males are going to fall way behind the rest of society. If you look at that number among whites, it is a lot lower than 1.5 to 1, although a larger number of women still go to college. Sadly, our education system has completely failed black and hispanic males and no one seems to care.

  4. Here’s my hypothesis:

    Women are the chief educators of children.

    Girls excel at school-work that is designed by women, and that therefore rewards traits and thought processes that women value.

    Girls advance in a system that fits their instilled values, while boys feel isolated by it.

    1. I truly wish you would get some facts to back up your hypothesis. While elementary schools may still have primarily female teachers, the ratio of male to female teachers rises in middle school, high school, and college. As for school work, men still outnumber women in school administration, the same administration who decides which textbooks to use and which curriculum should be taught to our children. My high school age daughter only has one female teacher this year out of six classes. The majority of all my college classes have invariably been taught by men. The bottom line here is who makes the decisions about what curriculum should be taught. Our children’s textbooks are still predominantly written from a patriarchal point of view that also ignores the true history of minorities in this country. If these statements lead anyone to believe that I am a feminist, then so be it. Men have projected their own desires on feminists, believing that, instead of equality, that women ideally want power over men. Poppycock!

  5. Sadly, our education system has completely failed black and hispanic males and no one seems to care.

    Make that “our society” vice “our education system” and you have something there. I don’t think that’s a minor quibble.

  6. Reinmoose,

    There is a lot to be said for your hypothesis. Another factor to consider is that sexism and “child sex abuse” superstition has pretty much ended teaching at any grade below 8th for men. When I was a kid there was the occasional male elementary school teacher. That exists no more. I can’t imagine that has helped the progress of boys in school.

  7. I, for one, welcome our new female overlords.

  8. Im guessing this stat has more to do with the fact that there are more male jobs that pay well that dont require a college degree than female jobs that ditto ditto.

    There are lots of jobs that allow a good living that only require voc ed or on the job training.

    See the example of Plumbers vs Lawyers in The Millionaire Next Door.

  9. “Make that “our society” vice “our education system” and you have something there. I don’t think that’s a minor quibble.”

    But even black and hispanic males from middle class and well off families still do lousy. If it was just about society, the gap would close if you adjusted for income, but it doesn’t.

  10. I don’t buy it, John. The majority of black families in this country are now middle class. All the indicators are going in the right direction. Those populations are behind, but they are catching up, not falling behind.

  11. Over at Slate, Tim Hartford explains why large percentages of minority males in prison drives minority women into college.

    So the root cause is the War on Drugs.

  12. I am not so surprised by this trend, I am a recent college grad, and our school was actually about 60-40 women. Modern society simply does not require the same amount of brute strength as most of our evolutionary history has, and when you take away the strength factor women have a lot of genetic advantages over men…

  13. The gap closes considerably when you adjust for income, John, just not entirely.

    And once the typical middle class black student has parents and grandparents who also grew up middle class, it ought to disappear entirely.

  14. My college was 75-25 men-women. I wonder if this trend (its been 17 years since I graduated) has pushed them over the 30% female mark?

  15. Not the male population. Black male educational achievment in this country is horrible. Same with hispanic males. Yes, you are right the vast majority of blacks and hispanics are middle class. But that wealth is not translating into educational progress at least for men. Just a sample

    By the time they reach high school, Census statistics show that 42 percent of all African-American boys have failed an entire grade at least once.
    Just 18 percent of black men ages 20-21 are enrolled in college, according to the Census.
    And, the U.S. Department of Education reports that only 34 percent of the black students who earn bachelor’s degrees are male.

    http://www.blackcommentator.com/89/89_reprint_education.html

  16. As of Spring 2007, the freshman class of 2006-2007 had a ratio of 68.8% to 31.2%.

    Answering my own question (Thank you google!). That was the first Ga Tech freshman class over 30% female.

  17. Trendlines, John, trendlines.

  18. Don’t worry reasonoids, Libertarians will still be 95% men even in the 24th Century…

  19. In addition to the lack of male elementary school teachers, what I see down here is that the few male taught classes get filled with the hard to handle boys. The thinking is that a male teacher can keep them in line better than a woman. The reality is that you get a whole cless that doesn’t learn shit, and the teacher gets canned for his lack of teaching.

  20. Don’t worry reasonoids, Libertarians will still be 95% men even in the 24th Century…

    I like those odds. (Considering who the other men are)

  21. So your saying I will be forced to attend even more workplace baby showers? Shit.

  22. I would like to think you are right Joe, but I don’t see it.

    This is a hard question. One the one hand, you have the statistics that show the return on a college degree is increasing. On the other hand, you have the fact that men earn more than women. Also, you have the real idea that robc points out that college degrees are a waste of time and money for a lot of people. It may be that women are being shoved into the college rip off more than men. I am just not sure.

  23. “James | January 15, 2008, 10:27am | #

    Don’t worry reasonoids, Libertarians will still be 95% men even in the 24th Century…”

    metrotarians?

  24. Men, however, ignored what the market was telling them: Their college attendance and completion rates barely rose. Why?

    Two realities with the same outcome.

    The Pill lowered the traditional barrier for regular sex, marriage. Men no longer had to be desirable enough to marry, just desirable to sleep with.

    The other is feminism. As feminism dismantled the incentive for men to succeed in society (feminists call it “male privilege”), they misunderstood that this was also the mechanism that forced boys to “grow up” into adults (i.e. stable partners with which to raise offspring.)

    Men now have no incentive to do anything with their lives beyond the minimum required to support their desired level of sexual interaction.

  25. Don’t worry reasonoids, Libertarians will still be 95% men even in the 24th Century…

    Which probably makes Ron Paul the movement’s high watermark…

  26. Joe wrote:
    I don’t buy it, John. The majority of black families in this country are now middle class. All the indicators are going in the right direction. Those populations are behind, but they are catching up, not falling behind.

    And all the while, government was controlled largely by republicans!

    Just yanking your chain…no disagreement intended 🙂

  27. That’s a lot of smashed ceilings. Who will clean up all the glass? Oh, right…we will.

  28. The other is feminism. As feminism dismantled the incentive for men to succeed in society (feminists call it “male privilege”), they misunderstood that this was also the mechanism that forced boys to “grow up” into adults (i.e. stable partners with which to raise offspring.)

    Talk about unintended consequences.

    Thanks again, feminists! /snark

  29. There are lots of jobs that allow a good living that only require voc ed or on the job training.

    I think the fetish secondary education has for college is really hurting a lot of kids. I know a lot of my buddies who were just plain not cut out for college, but they went anyway. They eventually dropped out and got jobs in various trades, but only after some gut wrenching consternation about not living up to expectations. They are all doing well now, some extremely well, but if they had gone directly into the trades they would be even further along in their careers.

  30. I think the fetish secondary education has for college is really hurting a lot of kids. I know a lot of my buddies who were just plain not cut out for college, but they went anyway. They eventually dropped out and got jobs in various trades, but only after some gut wrenching consternation about not living up to expectations.

    Ditto. Not to mention all the money wasted. The conspiracy part of my brain wants to think this is all the student loan industry’s fault. There should be more focus on vocational trades.

  31. Matt J,

    We’ve got a baby shower coming up next Tuesday.

    Fortunately, 90% of women in my line of work are menopausal, lesbians, steadfastly childfree, or completely unable to attract anything that even remotely resembles a fertile human male. Throw in the shockingly high rates of bipolar disorder and OCD suffers, it’s easy to understand that we’ve only had two births out of 300 women in the last 7 years.

  32. I am not so surprised by this trend, I am a recent college grad, and our school was actually about 60-40 women.

    Right there, that tells me that in short order, men will be taking a greater interest in higher education.

  33. Men are already the vast majority of the world’s criminal population…now they are going to be uneducated dumbasses as well? Go figure.

  34. Ditto. Not to mention all the money wasted. The conspiracy part of my brain wants to think this is all the student loan industry’s fault. There should be more focus on vocational trades.

    Every time I fork over a grand to an AC repairman or plumber I think of all the money I wasted – on college.

  35. Speculation, based on personal experience and half-remembered statistics:

    Man are less risk-averse than women, and more willing to defy the expectations of their parents and peers. Thus they are more likely to forgo a safe but unnecessary college degree to pursue their ambition to become a titan of industry (e.g., Bill Gates and Steve Jobs) or a rock star.

    I don’t know that this is true, or that it fully explains a 4:3 ratio of female graduates to male graduates, but it’s plausible.

  36. BETTER TO RULE IN THE BOWLING ALLEYS THAN TO SERVE IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
    -thanks, PJ O’Rourke!

    BOUNCY BOUNCY.

  37. Er, “Men are less risk-averse . . .”

  38. LOL @ robc,

    I see we share something in common. I wish women were taking over GaTech.

  39. “The other is feminism. As feminism dismantled the incentive for men to succeed in society (feminists call it “male privilege”), they misunderstood that this was also the mechanism that forced boys to “grow up” into adults (i.e. stable partners with which to raise offspring.)”

    That is a big pet peeve of mine. I absolutely hate the way men have been infantalized in society. Men are rarely portrayed as sophistcated or smart in popular culture. Men in popular culture are overgrown dopes like Bill Simmons or Jimmy Kimmel or the dope in the movie Knocked Up. If you watched TV you would think every man in America is a bad beer guzzling, video game playing moron. There is no adult culture for men anymore, just leftover teenage culture.

  40. Sugerfree,

    All of the women at my work have pictures of their children all over their offices and elementary school projects and the like but no pictures of their husbands of any kind. Not even a group family shot. I am not talking about the divorces here, I am talking about the married ones. The married ones without children always talk about their husbands and have pictures of them. It seems that once they have children, their husbands have served their purpose and no longer rate so much as a snapshot.

    1. I’ve noticed that as well. I think that as a woman in the workplace to have pictures of your children portrays you as a loving mother.

      And this tends to humanise women and make more relateable, especially if they are in senior positions.

      However, the presence of a husband in the family picture would undermine a woman’s authority and autonomy and if she is in a senior position at work it would be to her detriment (subliminally male colleagues might be thinking that she should be at home looking after her husband, allowing him to make the money instead of emasculating him)

      The husband’s presence would signify his authority within the household and therefore (probably subconsciously) reduce her influence at work.

      However, if there are no children, then it’s okay to have pictures of the husband as she then comes across as a loving wife. She is seen to be fulfilling a female role that is acceptable and won’t tarnish her authority and influence in the workplace.

      But not children and husband together. That puts across a completely different message altogether.

  41. Bachelor’s degrees…big deal. IN what market-demanded specialties?

    I suspect there will just be a lot more college-educated stay-at-home moms…not an end to mostly-male full time employment…

    Otherwise, I will second the welcoming of our new gyno-centric overlords.

  42. John,

    I think thats more a case of Jimmy Kimmel and Bill Simmons being idiotic. I don’t think there is any dearth of intelligent males on the big or small screen.

  43. John,

    Ouch. That’s one of the reasons I went and got my balls clipped. I always want to be the most important thing in my wife’s life.

  44. LIT,

    When did (or will you) get out? BNE ’91 myself.

  45. i’m a youngin’, graduated ’06, but don’t worry, the ratio was still as crappy as ever.

  46. oops, forgot to include the degree, BSME

  47. Speaking as someone going back to college to pursue a business degree I approve of these findings!

  48. Let’s not forget, there are reasons to go to college other than to increase one’s earning power.

    Like, understanding the world around you better. Being literate in your culture. Expanding your knowledge of that which is outside your direct experience. Shotgunning beers. You know…culture.

  49. LIT,

    The ratio may have been bad, but you were competing against a bunch of nerds and geeks.

    For some reason, that didnt really help me any.

  50. Anecdote: I have a class with just one female student in it.

    She’s the only one who started her lab report early and came into office hours to get feedback.

    The plural of anecdote is not data, but I’m still pleased to see her analyzing data.

  51. “The plural of anecdote is not data, but I’m still pleased to see her analyzing data.”

    Does your wife know about that? Does her father?

  52. joe,

    Too true. Since I graduated, no one has duct taped me and thrown me in a fountain. Ah, college (LIT – library fountain in case you are wondering).

  53. Not only do girls study harder and get better grades than boys; high school girls now take more math and science than do high school boys.

    !?!?!?!? This is news to me and the only real bombshell in the whole article. Jonathan waits until penultimate sentence to drop it.

    As mentioned. Getting a bachelors degree doesn’t say much. What degree and where you got it are critical to knowing it’s value.

    High School has traditionally been the breaking point. Girls have always outperformed boys in elementary school. Boys start getting serious after puberty. Math and Science has always been male dominated. When I was in college you couldn’t beg or bribe women to become engineers. High school girls taking more math than their male counterparts is news. When engineering colleges star graduating, or even accepting, more females, that’s when the world will have tipped.

  54. John, normally I’m all about the snark on this forum, but I’m not dumb enough to so much as chuckle at what you just typed.

    No offense, but the realities of my job simply don’t allow that.

  55. I think the fetish secondary education has for college is really hurting a lot of kids. I know a lot of my buddies who were just plain not cut out for college, but they went anyway. They eventually dropped out and got jobs in various trades, but only after some gut wrenching consternation about not living up to expectations.

    I think that this is overwhelmingly a sign of the uselessness of public secondary education. Whereas high schools used to bear some of the burden of making students employable, a diploma now represents very little in the job market. I don’t mention it on my resum? and no employer has ever asked to see it; it is assumed that just by virtue of being able to speak in complete sentences and not seriously injure myself putting on clothes in the morning, I possess competence equivalent to or greater than a high school education. The responsibility for making students employable has therefore devolved upward, to colleges whose purpose used to be instruction in more specialized forms of knowledge. Of course, it still is, it’s just that they’ve devolved the actual expertise even further up, to graduate programs. The actual net outcome of all of this is the requirement of greater and greater financial outlay in order to attain wage competitiveness on the job market (in many cases, the cost is higher than the pay it eventually secures). I would go so far as to say that if there is any single thing that has contributed most to blocking mobility from the working to middle classes in America, it is public secondary school itself.

  56. joe,

    Is it necessary to go to college or get a degree to understand the world better, be literate in your culture, etc.? I haven’t been in college for some time, and yet I’ve improved myself since graduation day.

  57. thoreau,

    Have you ever noticed that feminists constantly assert that they have a sense of humor, but many feminist blogs are little more than lists of things that they don’t find funny?

    It’s sort of like a vegan talking about how much they love food.

  58. Sorry Thoreau. Don’t mean to put in you a spot.

  59. That imbalance defined the world in which all but the youngest of today’s adults grew up. The education gap bolstered the presumption that men would dominate the professions and other elite careers; that men would boss women, instead of the other way around; that men, with their college-turbocharged earning power, would be the primary breadwinners; that, educationally speaking, men could expect to marry down.

    Nah–the preponderance of men in college was a result of the expectation that men would be breadwinners, not a cause of that expectation. Both my Great-Grandmother and Grandmother were college educated in the early part of the 20th century. But neither were career women (nor did they ever expect to be). My Grandmother did teach elementary school for a few years before marrying, but that was it.

    I think Rauch completely misses two likely sea changes. First, during the last decades of the 20th century, when women had lower educational achievement and lower pay, this was considered a problem with the system not women. Now that imbalance is reversing, but the tendency (which Rauch exhibits) is to take the system as a given and consider this a problem with men. The potential sea-change that we might begin to the reframe the problem as one of trying to figure out how the system is shortchanging males rather trying to figure out what’s inherently wrong with males.

    Another possible sea change is that college degrees might no longer be required for high-level jobs. I’ve known a number of extremely good software people who lacked university degrees. There is no reason why this might not happen in other fields, with, perhaps, certification exams requirements coming to replace degree requirements. Personally, I think that would be an excellent thing.

  60. Does anyone have any numbers on how many of those degrees are in things that really shouldn’t be in an academic institution… like elementary ed.

    I agree with those who expressed that most people would do just fine attending a vo-tech. To lure them to pay out mass amounts of money to learn something in 4 years that they could have learned in 2 is just wrong.

    Joe, I agree with your comment about learning more about culture and the world around you, etc. But without such a focus on college, that would allow cultural events to leak out into the surrounding community instead of trying to make cultural events into some sort of only-for-the-educated events.

  61. I’m not sure what the exact ratio at ASU is (and I don’t care about looking for the number, either), but there is never a shortage of eye candy. Especially when summer hits and all of the ladies have to walk all the way through the campus to get to the pool… in their bathing suits.

    Oh, and I graduated in ’07 (BSEE), but I figured I’d hang out a little longer and get an MSE because of the beautiful “scenery”.

  62. Also the libertarian movement will continue to be 95% male (as noted previously) and soon we will all turn cosmosexual

  63. I don’t like the way this trend is going. Not necessarily women outnumbering men in college, but the general trends in our higher-education system as far as what we are educating ourselves in.

    Everyone seems to be getting degrees in sociology, psychology, marketing, “elementary ed” and other horse-shit that doesn’t make money and is not in any kind of economic demand. Any degree that requires a high degree of mathematical proficiency or critical thinking using deductive logic is in decline while “professions” that are about useless subjectivity and how everyone is feeling today are in vogue.

    The value of a college education is going to decline, it has to really, at least in this country’s labor market if these trends continue. A marketing major who minored in psychology is pretty useless and at best no better than some guy who can work a saw and micrometer and can put in ten hours a day when I need a new reactor, refinery, car, microchip, or crop. That is where the money is and it isn’t going anywhere no matter what the government tries (physical things are always more valuable than abstract things in the end).

    I don’t know what the breakdown is of who is getting degrees in what by sex, but if the men continue to soak up the math and tech in in-ordinate numbers compared to women, (Larry Summers, go home) they will still dominate the payscale in the labor market becuase those skills in the end are far more valuable than the soft-sciences and fluff degrees that don’t put food on the table or make anything useful.

    Its that reality that makes China ascendent and the USA in decline, we don’t try to make our world anymore. Instead we emote with our psychology degrees and mind-meds while paying the Chinese to actually design and build all the stuff we REALLY want for Christmas.

  64. Everybody’s Smart! YAY!

  65. Eric Hannekan,

    I’ve improved my knowledge of the world considerably since I left college, too.

    But I’d say that 90% of the practices that allowed me to do so I picked up while I was an undergrad. You don’t just learn stuff in college; you learn how to learn, and that there is so much to learn.

  66. Oh, and I’d like to take this opportunity to repeat a quote that I’ve said many times before.

    I was recently told by a friend’s girlfriend that “I think everybody should go to college so everyone can get a better paying job.”

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is the direction our country is going.
    We’re doomed.

  67. Warren,

    I graduated high school in ’88 and the girls were already outperforming the boys in math and science. My school was heavily focussed on math & science and there were way more girls in the top 10 of my graduating class than boys. But engineering seems to be a field that appeals to men more than women, so I wouldn’t expect to see a lot more women doing it.

    In other words, math & science != engineering.

  68. I believe is was P.J. O’Rourke who said they you cant really understand what is wrong with the education system until you have screwed an el ed major.

  69. Reinmoose,

    I’d say that every college town in the country is more worldly and cultured than it would otherwise be because of the presence of the college. The college itself provides a “supply” and the presence of college kids creates a “demand” for culture, which result in more culture “leaking out in to the community.”

  70. Danny,
    Which ASU did you go to?
    How many women were in your classes?
    Are you working as an EE today?

  71. All of the women at my work have pictures of their children all over their offices and elementary school projects and the like but no pictures of their husbands of any kind. Not even a group family shot. I am not talking about the divorces here, I am talking about the married ones. The married ones without children always talk about their husbands and have pictures of them. It seems that once they have children, their husbands have served their purpose and no longer rate so much as a snapshot.

    John, I’ve always wondered about that. It seems odd to me too. Perhaps I’m just a bitter male.

  72. Most women won’t stop taking time off work to have children.

    Look here: http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=77

    Most men don’t want to raise kids full-time and the economic incentives aren’t sufficient to change that preference.In 2005, the average college educated female earned around $10,000 more than the average high school educated male. That $10,000 is less than the cost of daycare in most cities. Most families will prefer to have the woman stay home and care for young children to “save” the $10,000, rather than have a father stay home and “save” $20,000 ($10,000 of her additional salary plus the $10,000 of daycare cost). If her additional $10,000 of salary is absolutely necessary, many families will go to a scenario where the woman works part-time.

    If the economic incentives were enough to change these choices, we would already see a huge increase in the number of stay-at-home dads already. The youngest parents are NOT leading a matriarchal revolution.

  73. Everyone seems to be getting degrees in sociology,

    Invaluable in advertising.

    psychology,

    You need these for market research.

    marketing,

    Important if you’re seeking finance for a new product.

    and other horse-shit that doesn’t make money and is not in any kind of economic demand.

    Noticing a pattern here? America is a nation of salesmen. Our forte for the last thirty years has been getting other people to do the gruntwork of making things, then selling them and then skimming the cream from the top. The real problem is that lately we’ve been selling mostly to ourselves. I wouldn’t disparage the more intuitive professions, though; they may be less scientific, but there are movements in the data out there that imply vast profit to be taken, but that involve variables too complex for rigorous testing.

  74. All of the women at my work have pictures of their children all over their offices and elementary school projects and the like but no pictures of their husbands of any kind. Not even a group family shot.

    That’s just as true of the men in every place I’ve ever worked.

    I chalk this up to people wanting to remind themselves of why they even bother coming to work.

  75. I’ve known a number of extremely good software people who lacked university degrees.

    The problem with your theory is that you’ve picked one of the very few fields in which it’s possible to easily teach yourself. I know LOTS of self-taught software types (such as myself). I don’t anyone self-taught in any other field.

  76. If you watched TV you would think every man in America is a bad beer guzzling, video game playing moron.

    man, if people believe what they see on tv they’re bad beer guzzling morons.

    hal – if marketing doesn’t make any money, where are all my marketing budget dollars going? outer space?

    the whole only the physical is real / we must make things to be things thing is an outdated, 19th century view of a 21st century landscape. (like communism.)

  77. “I was recently told by a friend’s girlfriend that “I think everybody should go to college so everyone can get a better paying job.””

    There is some logic to that. If you assume that college actually does make someone more productive, a big assumption I know, then everyone going to college raises productivity. Since productivity over the long term equals real wages, it is then true that everyone going to college would over the long hall get everyone a better paying job by virtue of everyone being more productive.

    If anything your snark is more poorly thought out than your friend’s girlfriend’s statement. You seem to imply that her statement is akin to saying “if our employers would just pay us all more money, we would be so better off.” That is obviously not ture. But, neither is the statement that there are only a finite number of high paying jobs and sending everyone to college will exhaust the supply of them.

  78. Warren,

    I’ve taken everything at the main (Tempe) campus.

    On average, the EE classes had about 5 women. If I had a class with Civil, Industrial, or Bio-Engineering the number shot WAY up.

    And I am working as a EE at a government contractor. I find it hilarious that all of my intelligent friends from high school and college (save the EE’s) end up working for American Airlines or something when they get out of college. It is a strange labor market out there!

  79. I’d say that every college town in the country is more worldly and cultured than it would otherwise be because of the presence of the college. The college itself provides a “supply” and the presence of college kids creates a “demand” for culture, which result in more culture “leaking out in to the community.”

    No doubt, particularly at rural schools. But it’s not like I’m advocating the elimination of universities, just a reduction in their enrollment. It just propogates the idea that “culture” isn’t for the masses. I’m not arguing against the further education of kids after high school. I just think it’s a mistake to lump them all into “college,” because it confuses the ability to tell one person’s capacities from another.

  80. Danny: Tempe is proof that god loves us and wants us to be happy. I’m surprised there aren’t more traffic accidents at the University & Mill intersection.

    I’m heading back to ASU in Fall ’08 to finish my degree.

  81. it is amazing, as a sidenote, how quickly people get collectivistic-tastic as soon as things like gender comes up.

    i mean, am i weird for not giving two shits about what men on tv appear to be? or if they’re graduating at higher or lower levels from whatever?

  82. John –
    no

  83. joe,

    Kids should still be encouraged to got to college if they want to, but they should also be encouraged to go to vo-tech or to apprentice in a trade if they want to. Instead the trades are an implied dead end. And let’s face it. Most of the guys, and girls, that go to college because it’s expected of them don’t take advantage of the cultural opportunities beyond Pimp and Ho Parties.

    As for that wider cultural experience you speak of, maybe if secondary eduction wasn’t so wrapped up in standardized testing, kids could get some of that exposure earlier in their educational career. But that’s a rant for another day.

    HAL-9000,

    I get your point, but my marketing degree from a directional school has served me pretty well. Bullshit and hype is in very high demand these days.

  84. Danny,
    Thanks. For comparison, I got my BSEE from RIT in 96. There was at most two women in any core class I took (class size 12-20). ME’s generally had five or more women in a class, and Industrial was even higher (I think the Chem Es were on par with the MEs but they had their own building).

  85. Reinmoose,

    In a society where the masses are expected to go to college, like ours, how does the transmission of culture through colleges deny it to the masses?

    I think you’ve got a point about different abilities, but I’m feelin’ you on the other part.

  86. am i weird for not giving two shits

    The main point of interest judging by the comments here is how it affects the male’s chances of getting laid. Oh wait, it’s the same in every other thread too.

  87. J. Rauch writes:

    “But they will lead. Think about this: Not only do girls study harder and get better grades than boys; high school girls now take more math and science than do high school boys. If there is a “weaker sex,” it isn’t female.”

    If that is so, then it necessarily follows that women no longer need affirmative action, “diversity,” contract preferences, sexual harassment laws, antidiscrimination laws, shield laws, etc., if they ever did, because they have proven themselves more than capable of succeeding in what used to be called a “man’s world.” All in all, this is further evidence that it is individual effort and market forces, not government mandates, that lead to success for men and women.

    Funny though, I suspect that NOW will not see it that way.

  88. In a society where the masses are expected to go to college, like ours, how does the transmission of culture through colleges deny it to the masses?

    I guess you could say that it will eventually lead to masses who are more cultured if more of the masses go to college, where they become cultured. I grew up in a small college town, and I definitely saw the effects of the college on the town. No argument here. I just don’t like the attitude. I personally know a lot of half-wits who are in college, and I don’t appreciate society propogating the idea that they are somehow more cultured because they attend a cultural institution.

    Also, like Matt J, I reject the idea that people who attend college necessarily become more cultured in any way other than meeting people from other parts of the country to drink with (which is not valueless). They most certainly CAN because the opportunity is there, but it doesn’t mean that a large quantity of them do.

  89. hal – if marketing doesn’t make any money, where are all my marketing budget dollars going? outer space?

    the whole only the physical is real / we must make things to be things thing is an outdated, 19th century view of a 21st century landscape. (like communism.)

    The concept of making physical things for physical value will be true until the end of time. Look at the clothes you are wearing, the computer you are using right now. Those foreigners invested a lot of time and effort to make and deliver such handy products to you. What do you do that they want back in return? WHat do you make that a Chinese guy would pay you money for?

    But oh wait, we give them money for the junk we buy from them…ha! Giving them printed paper might make us feel better, and maybe the foreigner is still enough of a sucker to take it. But really all we do that way is mooch off the economic value and credit that long-dead people worked hard to accumulate for us, or float a loan on some toddler somewhere to pay back the bank of China in thirty years. I hope the toddler doesn’t get a degree in therapy, he (oh wait, its gonna be a she!) is going to need much better earning power in twenty years to pay for all our lazy asses marketing Chinese junk to ourselves today.

    Now that’s 21st Century thinking!

  90. the computer you’re using. why are you using it? where did it come from? who bought it, and why?

  91. or on a different tack, what do forex traders make? or any commodity market, really.

    they don’t manufacture shit, yet they have the nicest joints in manhattan. if they’re all neros fiddling their time (and our lives) away, then they’ve been nero-ing it up for quite some time.

  92. The concept of making physical things for physical value will be true until the end of time.

    That’s what I do. Ads are a physical thing that require a manufacturing process. Graphic designers, re-touchers, printers, directors, photographers, caterers, editors, fabricators, grips, make-up artists, acrors, models, animal handlers, travel agents, hotels and on and on make a living off of my ideas. It always blows my mind how many people get work based off something I came up with on my couch between bong swats.

  93. It always blows my mind how many people get work based off something I came up with on my couch between bong swats.

    Now that’s an advertising agency attitude if I ever saw one…ads = ideas?

  94. I might find being a Cabana Boy a viable alternative in the global economy afterall…

  95. I am not disparaging all these fields per se, or people who get degrees in them and are practitioners of the respective arts the degrees reflect. It is worth commenting on the subjectivity of a lot of these fields though if the bong-hitting comment is literally true (ha!).

    More I think about it, the more I think college and a college degree have kind of supplanted the high-school diploma as the certificate of basic competence as an employee of anything, and not just some specialized field.

    Way things used to be, if you had a high-school diploma it demonstrated some basic things about the individual to an employer. Things like punctuality, social conformity (“team player”)functional literacy, etc.

    Public education is so bad now a diploma isn’t really a gurantee of any of those things at all. Look at how much of the class load is remedial for the typical freshman or even sophmore undergrad compared to even just twenty years ago – ugh.

    So the more I think about it, a “marketing” degree or whatever isn’t the point. The point is a certificate to give to an employer that says “I can read, no really! I can read! I can even do basic algerbra and don’t think Spinoza is a band on MySpace!”

    That’s what I am thinking more and more anyways.

  96. I was recently told by a friend’s girlfriend that “I think everybody should go to college so everyone can get a better paying job.”

    This, ladies and gentlemen, is the direction our country is going.
    We’re doomed.

    I’ve generally found that gullibility is not necessarily a bad thing in pretty young women.

  97. Part of what you’re observing, HAL-9000, is that high school is now seen almost entirely as preparation for college, rather than for a job. It doesn’t provide a complete education, because it’s not supposed to.

  98. Rauch needs to fix one bit of economic illiteracy. Women can’t have a “comparative advantage” at both breadwinning and childraising. They can have an *absolute* advantage at both, but one’s comparative advantage is always what one does at lower cost *compared to someone else.*

    So yeah, women might get better at both, but some degree of specialization will occur because men’s comparative advantage, however slight, will still be at one or the other.

  99. Now that’s an advertising agency attitude if I ever saw one…ads = ideas?

    Now that’s a client attitude if I ever saw one. What pray tell do ads = ?

    Key benefits are, obviously, key. But, it’s the ideas that make people want to pay attention to those benefits or understand what those benefits could mean to them. And if my idea involves a giant cake shaped like an armadillo then a baker is about to get some work he/she wouldn’t have had otherwise.

  100. Johnathan Rauch wrote:

    Radical Islam,

    a.k.a. Islam

    in particular, abhors feminism.

    You’re shitting me. Such an absurd statement can come only from bigoted Islamophobia.

  101. As far as public systems go, the French system is actually quite fair in this particular regard.
    When kids enter high school, they go into 1 of 3 tracks (I changed the names to make it easier)
    trade bound
    “technical” college bound
    academic college bound

    Basically, they divide “college” into two seperate institutions. The “technical” college is supposed to be for math/science related fields mostly, but turns out to be something in-between our vocational schools and college. Then the academic college track sends kids to study philosophy, psychology, french, and other “intellectual” studies.

    Now, having attended both, I can tell you that the type of students between the two are dramatically different. The “technical” college turns out to be like post-high school and the “academic” college is more like a good university.

    Not advocating public systems like this… just sayin.

  102. Radical Islam,

    a.k.a. Islam

    Yes, very good. More like that, please.

  103. “bin Laden” snarked:

    Yes, very good. More like that, please.

    Are you implying that OBL is not Islamic? How?

  104. Don’t question me, infidel!

    Just keep spreading my message.

  105. What pray tell do ads = ?

    An expense

  106. thoreau,

    When I was taking business and psych classes the plural of anecdote was “case studies”. I’ve always wondered why anecdotes were called case studies, at that time (I’m way too old) it was mostly male profs and male students.

    ~~~

    I have noticed that, now in my 40’s, that I rarely have anything to talk to my “fellow” men about, this past xmas season I had two “anecdotes” that really drove all of this home.

    While having guests from my wifes company, the “men” were astounded that I actually own, and read books. I was actually mocked for having the letters of a number of founding fathers on my shelves.

    No such reaction from the women, who were both more literate, and capable of holding discussions of a higher level than football and beer.

    While at a neighbors house, I had to listen to a man and his son discuss how making the son read was “feminizing him”, and I remember a certain Faux news commentator mock Obama as being “girly” for belonging to a book club.

    Among the people I meet on a daily basis, women are running about 7 out of 10, for being able to hold intelligent conversations. The men I meet are running about 2 out of 10, and about 3 out of 10 seem to have some sort of self imposed retardation.

    Among young people I have met through my work over the past 4 years, in and out of R & D, I would say the the number of young men I have interviewed who understand that learning is a lifelong process rate less than 50%, among young women it has been well over 75%, and these are almost all college grads.

    Just anecdotes, but it is scaring the bejesus out of me.

    Ho hum.

  107. joe:

    How is OBL un-Islamic?

    Better yet, how is *ANY* “radical” Muslim un-Islamic?

    (Just watch: joe will dodge those questions. Instead, he will take the low and easy route of more mockery and snark. It really is the best he can do.)

  108. He’s not.

    He represents a minority strain of Islam that you both work very hard to convince people is the One True strain of Islam.

    There is one person on this thread declaring that some Muslims aren’t really Muslims. That would be you.

  109. BTW, that’s what called “pre-buttal.”

    When I post an answer that refutes your assertion it even appears on the page.

  110. How the heck did and college grad pie-chart breakdowns by sex with associated commentary degenerate into Muslim identity issues with associated crying and insults? Oh-boy.

  111. How is OBL un-Islamic? Better yet, how is *ANY* “radical” Muslim un-Islamic?

    The is that, as with any religion, there are different authoritative viewpoints.

    1) There’s the straight Koran/hadith viewpoint, which is (albeit often contradictory) very violent at points and could be read as an endorsement of violence.

    2) There’s the viewpoint of certain Islamic clerics who denounced bin Laden’s actions as un-Islamic.

    3) There’s the viewpoint of militant clerics who have endorsed bin Laden.

    4) There’s the viewpoint of doubtless millions of Arab reactionaries who think of bin Laden as a folk hero for the same irresponsible reasons that our own reactionaries here in America sympathise with people like Lynndie England.

    5) Finally, there’s the viewpoint of moderate and liberal Arabs (often in the Western world) who consider themselves Muslim from a cultural standpoint but regard bin Laden as a dangerous reactionary figure.

    Since all of these viewpoints are defensible as “Muslim” (at least, to the extent that most anybody can claim to follow any religion and advance a reasonable argument that they do), whether or not bin Laden is Islamic or not depends on what authority you’re relying on, which is as dicey a question in Islam as in any other religion followed by as many people.

  112. Sometimes seems like there are few parents of teenagers on this site (as opposed to posters who seems to be stuck in teenagerhood), but a big driver behind the push to go to college is its perceived reflection on the parents.

    Kids today are accessories that validate a parent’s lifestyle and choices. The parents pay a lot to live in nice suburbs in nice school districts, so Little Johnny sure as shit better get accepted to a top-tier university.

    My own teens attend a high school that announces where you are going for college at graduation when they hand you your fake diploma. Talk about putting the non-college bound in an uncomfortable situation.

    I get lots of funny looks when asked, “Where are your kids going?” I’ve been getting this question since they’ve been in junior high. I respond that there are two perfectly good community colleges within 10 miles of the house, and if they want to go there while working to pay their way, they can stay at home and save going into debt.

  113. Since all of these viewpoints are defensible as “Muslim” (at least, to the extent that most anybody can claim to follow any religion and advance a reasonable argument that they do), whether or not bin Laden is Islamic or not depends on what authority you’re relying on, which is as dicey a question in Islam as in any other religion followed by as many people.

    So, obviously, the only way to get at the truth is to take the opinion of someone who is not a Muslim, has never been a Muslim, is openly hostile to Muslims, but has read books on the subject.

    In accordance with that reasoning, I, joe, declare that Jesse Helms represents the one true path of conservatism.

  114. I’ve read books! Books, people!

  115. I’ve improved my knowledge of the world considerably since I left college, too.

    But I’d say that 90% of the practices that allowed me to do so I picked up while I was an undergrad.

    Wow.
    Like being a voracious reader?
    Insatiable curiosity?
    Socializing with intelligent and informed folks?
    Skepticism?
    Questioning your own assumptions and conclusions?

    What practices are you talking about? Of the ones I listed, only the last came after High School. I did attend a quality H.S., for what it’s worth.

  116. How the heck did and college grad pie-chart breakdowns by sex with associated commentary degenerate into Muslim identity issues with associated crying and insults? Oh-boy.

    SuprKufr is an ignorant racist, threadjacking jerk. Some took the bait. That’s how. Let’s just get back on topic. It’s been an interesting discussion.

  117. I agree with Lawrence, there is an active anti-intellectualism push in male culture. Of all my male friends, I’m the only one that reads books. Most of them rarely stray outside of sport and fitness magazines or trade rags.

    Kinda sad, but oh well! It gives me an advantage 🙂

  118. Lawerence,

    If it wasn’t for my considerable literacy about sports, I would have a hard time holding a conversation with a lot of men. My wife hates it that I chat so well with women. But the truth is that there are very few men out there I can talk to about anything beyond sports.

  119. Mr Rauch,

    You are a faggot. Go work for NOW and leave this place for straight men.

  120. I get lots of funny looks when asked, “Where are your kids going?”

    I am an engineer in a Fortune 500 company. You should see the looks on my co-workers faces when I tell them I didn’t send my to now-adult children to college.

    I told my kids they could live at home as long as they wanted, but that they were on their own regarding college. My 29-year-old daughter just completed an AA while being married and having 2 kids of her own. My son has not completed any post-high-school education.

    I assume they are happy unless they say different.

  121. kinnath –
    We want everyone to be educated, not happy.
    duh

    /snark

  122. But I’d say that 90% of the practices that allowed me to do so I picked up while I was an undergrad. You don’t just learn stuff in college; you learn how to learn, and that there is so much to learn.

    Joe,

    Not meaning to pop your bubble but, I believe that’s what kindergartens for…Let alone Elementary….Let alone High school.

    You were in an education system what, around 13 years before you say you “really” started learning.

    I think education in of itself is failing.

  123. “The problem with your theory is that you’ve picked one of the very few fields in which it’s possible to easily teach yourself. I know LOTS of self-taught software types (such as myself). I don’t anyone self-taught in any other field.”

    You’re kidding right? There are non-university educated, self-taught people in every field where it is permitted by law. There are self-educated business owners in all kinds of industries.

  124. [quote]More I think about it, the more I think college and a college degree have kind of supplanted the high-school diploma as the certificate of basic competence as an employee of anything, and not just some specialized field.[/quote]

    this does sadly seem to be true.

    i think one of the problems with early education is that socialization has always taken up a huge portion of any amount of learning processes, and in a hypermedia environment that’s only becoming more difficult.

    the other side of that is a weird sense of entitlement; anecdotally speaking, it’s maybe a lack of a valuation for a sense of “work”?

    on the other hand i know 20 year olds who put themselves through school, put in long hours and basically complain about a lot of the same things everyone else here has, so perhaps it’s just that jackasses are plentiful?

  125. COMMENT BY “B” GETS AN F.

    MINUS

  126. I’ve heard somewhere that while women are more likely than men to have a college degree, men are more likely to have a degree in engineering or the sciences (with the exception of medicine, which is about 50-50).

  127. An expense

    Now I see why you’re a former advertising client.

  128. I would argue that there are two major reasons that women outnumber men in college:

    1) women are much more likely to take majors that are economically suspect
    2) credentialism

    With respect to (2), I’ve found that in female-dominated hierarchies, like government bureaucracies or HR departments, credentialism is the standard order of business, much more so than in male-dominated hierarchies, thus it should be no surprise that women perceive a greater need for credentials than men do.

  129. As someone who is married to one of those well-educated women (college, medical school, and residency), I don’t see a real problem. What you’ll see is more of what our marriage represents — a high-earning woman, with a man whose financial incentive is to stay at home and take care of the children, yard work, house work, etc. so their high-earning spouse can concentrate on earning the big bucks.

    With the danger, of course, that the man might ignore the housework and spend inordinate amounts of time on H&R. 😉

  130. I agree with Slocum.

    I’ve got a degree in computer engineering but I could never go through with being in the rat race and dying for my job.

    I’m now an English as a Foreign Language Teacher and although I’m better than 90% of other teachers out there (student survey based) I’ve never had any training in teaching methodology or the English language; I’m completely self taught.

  131. “As someone who is married to one of those well-educated women (college, medical school, and residency), I don’t see a real problem. What you’ll see is more of what our marriage represents — a high-earning woman, with a man whose financial incentive is to stay at home and take care of the children, yard work, house work, etc. so their high-earning spouse can concentrate on earning the big bucks.”

    BEst of luck to you, prolefeed. I was a doctor’s “wife” for 13 years, shelved my career to stay home and raise the kids, tend to the house, etc.
    Doctors work in environments where nurses and clerks jump at their bidding. They hate to come home to a place where that doesn’t happen.

    You have not lived until you’ve had “You don’t respect my money!” screamed in your face.

    It’s very easy to go from being the doctor’s “wife” to being the doctor’s “bitch.” Have an fallback plan, just in case.

    Oh, and at the divorce, the kids decided to come with me.

  132. Wow Tom,

    That is a story. I don’t think it is healthy for a man to be a stay at home dad. That is not fair I know but there is just too much societal baggage associated with it. I just can’t believe that a woman whose husband stays home really respects him and doesn’t feel guilty as hell for not staying home with her kids. Again, I am not saying that is how it should be, but I think that is how it is.

  133. So what is the general consensus about being a house-husband? If you can find a good enough woman, is it worth it? Or should I plan on working at something part-time?
    🙂

  134. John,

    It doesn’t help to have in-laws constantly whispering to her that “he’s just using you.”

    I am closer to my kids than ever for doing it, and I wouldn’t trade that part of it. It really does depend on the woman. It can work great in the short-term, but in hindsight I should have gone back to working outside the home as soon as they started school.

  135. Here is a related op-ed that makes the same point but with different data and from a different perspective.
    Gordon
    —–
    Gender pay gap myths and 2008

    The Op-Ed Commentary below was published in the Forum section of The Washington Times on Sunday November 18, 2007.
    Gordon E. Finley, Ph.D.
    —–
    http://www.washingtontimes.com/article/20071118/COMMENTARY/111180005/1012

    Article published Nov 18, 2007
    FORUM: Gender pay gap myths and 2008

  136. Forgive my ignorance on the subject, but it occurs to me every time I hear this well trodden argument regarding math/science scores, that math/science are not the full measure of intellectual ability or even reasoning and logic. So much is made of these and yet their existential importance is never really expanded upon. I for one have an IQ of 149 and barely passed Math, Chemistry, and certain parts of Physics. I feel this measure of testing is more a way to avoid the rather unpleasant politically incorrect blowback and excuses that can result from testing children on cultural history, philosophy, and literature than actual scientific data.

    Furthermore, while women can make a conscious attempt to adapt to the role of a provider or equal partner economically in “marrying down”, I doubt that they would be able to resist the primal urge to seek the best provider. And in our society that would mean seeking the most successful male. So while a woman might not need to marry an affluent husband, she would most definitely still want to for reasons that date back thousands of years.

    What kind of gap this would create … hmmm. Rich, successful women only want other rich successful men. And the rest of the women also only want rich, successful men, who are at a disadvantage due to the fact that the majority of women are educated and affluent and are not in their market pool (think their shit don’t stink). Eh, who cares. I’ll be dead by then.

  137. I’m not sure where you went to kindergarten, Ailowen, but I assure you that most of them do not, as a matter of fact, get into issues such as the historical and cultural antecendents of phenemena we’ve been taught to accept without question in our daily lives.

  138. I would go so far as to say that if there is any single thing that has contributed most to blocking mobility from the working to middle classes in America, it is public secondary school itself.

    In more ways than one. Most K-12 education imparts little knowledge or appreciation for civic matters (e.g. history), vocational skills (e.g. communication), tools with which to understand the natural/medical world (e.g. basic biology and chemistry), academic-y pursuits (e.g. philosophy), or simply seeing the world as a learning experience (e.g. critical thinking).

    Moreover, by emphasizing college as the most valid next step in life, the typical U.S. high school drives home a message central to the educational experience of many in “the system”: that their life course and that of their family and friends is second-rate and not valued by mainstream consciousness.

    Personally, I maintain that the most valuable thing I did with my time was daily reading and posting to an online forum. I learned to interpret and internalize what others were saying, research relevant facts, develop my own opinions, and prepare cogent written expositions of my own viewpoints in comparison to other views. (It was not H&R. A Diablo II forum, actually, though there were discussions of other topics too.)

  139. “with my time” = “with my time in high school”

  140. The problem with your theory is that you’ve picked one of the very few fields in which it’s possible to easily teach yourself. I know LOTS of self-taught software types (such as myself). I don’t anyone self-taught in any other field.

    Not to nitpick, but “easy” here can be defined many ways. To me computers and programming are more often picked up because many people find them fun and rewarding (and also because they are convenient ways to spend time and focus one’s mind during the bleakness of middle and high school), but the material is not really easier to learn inherently.

    Also, computers are something children tend to grow up with these days, so it’s something many many people are exposed to even if their parents have no personal interest in that field. A plumber’s daughter will grow up knowing a bit about plumbing and also a bit about computers, just because those are both in her life. Thus, if she has talent and interest for programming and painting, she may only discover she’s good at programming because opportunities to fiddle around with paint never came up. (Maybe that’s a bad example because many children paint in school. Substitute something else like geology or carpentry for painting.)

  141. 149. AMAZING THAT THE MAJORITY OF 140+ IQers POST HIER.

    149. GREAT. CONGRATS.

    HAVE A COOKIE.

  142. Windtell,

    I’ve never had any training in teaching methodology or the English language; I’m completely self taught.

    I am of the opinion that the mainstream educational culture is not exactly strictly devoted to effective instruction. Maybe that you kept clean of that culture helped you end up teaching effectively? In addition, you self-learned language because you were good at language (i.e. you were able to when many people can’t/don’t [whichever…]). Personally I think any native of mainstream English who needs to be taught how to use the language will never “master” it or they would have done so on their own.

    P.S. Nice handle.

  143. Ha! College is a joke. If, like me, you went to a non-elite school and studied pointless, squishy, humanities nonsense, you would know just how worthless the whole exercise is. Career training? What a joke.

  144. Reinmoose, (re the comments about the uselessness of most college degree programs): A-men! How many of these “better educated” and soon-to-be “bigger earners” are Women’s Studies or Gay and Lesbian Studies majors, etc.? These “disciplines” (along with EVERY School/College/Faculty of Education) are worthless and only exist to give semi-moronic boys and girls (mostly girls in these programs, sorry gals) a way to “earn” a college degree.

  145. A generation from now, the female lawyer with her male assistant will be the clich?.

    A generation from now, the robot lawyer with its female assistant will be the clich?.

    P.S. But when they’re looking for lube oil and coffee from Galaxybucks, who they gonna call? A man, of course! Working steadily at his IBM Selectric, with that cool little ball…

  146. The Matriarchy will inevitably be unseated by the Return of Patriarchy (the latter definitely seems more dooming for libertarianism, but thankfully I’ll be dead by then).

    Much of the “boy crisis” is a race/ethnicity/class issue, but if the only way to discuss it is to frame it as a gender issue so be it.

  147. Hmmm… didn’t read over all the comments… but how would the Tech industry factor into this? Most geeks are male… and there’s a large number of self-educated geeks who never went to college… (or never completed… meh… I’m pretty sure my year of English credits have expired by now)…

    Nephilium… just tossing a thought I’m sure has been brought up already… but my brain is just recovering from jury duty… (aka the Death of Time.)

  148. Perhaps the rising numbers of females and concurrent falling numbers of males is related to the feminizing of childhood education. The overwhelming percentage of teachers are women. Naturally they understand and reward feminine behavioral trends; little girls sit still quietly much better than little boys, aggressive competition has been removed in favor of everybody-wins, learning is discussion based instead of hands-on. These things all play to female’s biological strengths. So when the education system is run by women and better supports female students, is it any surprise that women are more likely to pursue a continuing education?

  149. SugarFree | January 15, 2008, 10:29am | #
    Men, however, ignored what the market was telling them: Their college attendance and completion rates barely rose. Why?

    Two realities with the same outcome.

    The Pill lowered the traditional barrier for regular sex, marriage. Men no longer had to be desirable enough to marry, just desirable to sleep with.

    The other is feminism. As feminism dismantled the incentive for men to succeed in society (feminists call it “male privilege”), they misunderstood that this was also the mechanism that forced boys to “grow up” into adults (i.e. stable partners with which to raise offspring.)

    Men now have no incentive to do anything with their lives beyond the minimum required to support their desired level of sexual interaction.

    Hrmm, I would agree. I get laid more now in my early 30’s than in my early 20’s. Mind you this is coming from a professional wait wait Hispanic male….

  150. A good reply from Gene Expression. A college degree is no longer rare, and thus no longer a mark of elite status. Males are still overrepresented at both the top and bottom, as Larry Summers discussed.

  151. women will not have economic advantages over men for long. Men created the conditions that allow jobs to exist. If men secede from civilization, all that job creation and everything it is connected to ranging from transportation to an effective police force will stop. Women will find themselves more and more threatened by an angry violent male population. Because don’t think for a moment that men will quietly sit at home or settle for making less than women. Some men the ones on top will benefit and have more women than ever available to them. The others will turn to a combination of lawlessness and laziness. More men will convert to islam or other religions that give them status.

  152. I agree with some of the above comments that highlight the well paid opportunities available that don’t require colege and that women shun. No any women plumbers? Yet any plumber can out-earn any of my three college educated daughters and their degrees in international studies, fine arts and telecommunications. All three managed to graduate without serious science courses, real math or economics. All graduated with high GPA’s, but to what purpose?

  153. William, I read once that an arts degree raises the lifetime earnings of a woman, and decreases that of a man. Where are all those extra women in college? On arts courses, of course…

  154. I wonder what the ratio is outside junk degrees in primary education, social work, women’s ( and ethnic ) studies, english, journalism and the arts. Until women make up a majority in the sciences and business, their degrees won’t have much effect on the economic outcomes.

  155. Article’s author treats “education” as if it was some sort of homogenized material, which it is not.

    Women graduate mostly with soft bullshit type degrees – sociology, liberal arts, education, etc.

    Some of jobs requiring diploma pay well – financial engineering, programming, highly specialist areas from design of fiber optic networks to pharmaceuticals.

    The rest of jobs requiring diploma do not pay well at all. Just because there’s theoretical education gap, doesn’t mean that there’s going to be income gap between men and women with women making more money.

  156. It’s a pendulum that has some room left to swing towards matriarchy. However, at some point there WILL be a national catastrophe that will require a decisive long-term military response. (The current Iraq affair does not qualify.) At that point, unless we have robot soldiers at the front, the tendency to patriarchy will re-assert itself. This is, of course, presuming that we don’t do advanced genetic and/or nanotechnical manipulation to produce Amazon infantry (nb if you’ve ever played the old Civilization spinoff Call To Power [Activision], think of plasmaticas).

    Or, we actually elect a woman president and she’s such a disaster that there is a huge backlash against women in politics. But that’s a thought that could be construed as trolling; suffice to say that such a woman could be from either major party, the effect would be the same in that if she screws up, it could permanently reverse or limit the feminist movement.

  157. I agree with all those who commented that it is the kind of degree (education, really) obtained, not the diploma itself.

    Waaaaay to many gals study absolute garbage in college (Hello, Communications major? Communications?! LOL) and consider themselves educated. They don’t even take the “hard” soft curriculums like Classics (“What? I have to learn Latin and Greek? Ewwww.”) or Philosphy (“What do you mean my logic is poor? You saying that makes me feel bad, Professor!”) Nah, they hang out is pathetic stuff like psych, education, communications, marketing (pathetic, unlike finance), sociology (i.e., womyn’s studies, ethnic nonsense) and then graduate into a low wage world of non-profit, receptionist, office admin jobs that don’t really need college degrees. The more ambitious get a masters degree or go off to law school for more of the same.

    When they start working and get a sense of how tough it really is to make a buck, that is the marriage wake up call. (Remember, they are still young and as pretty at that point–so people are treating them relatively well compared to their 50 year old self! Women know this too–they are aware as to how their age and beauty affect their standing, including in the workplace.)

    About then they realize how futile their “careers” really are and start looking for a self-directed guy making money. If she bags one, the woman soon announces her pregnancy ,and if her hubbty’s salary can swing it, she reluctantly “sacrifices” her career to hang out at home. For the children’s sake, of course. Naturally she really wanted to spend the next 30 years pulling that heavy-ass income wagon with the husband. But she generously gives up deadlines, bosses and quarterly results for 7-8 years of hanging out with the humans she loves more than anything in the world: her kids.

    If the husband says bullsh-t or doesn’t earn enough, then comes the part-time stuff or a transition into some child-care friendly arrangement where the work demands are much lower. (Hubby, of course, gets no such break from the pressures to produce income.)

    I have seen that pattern sooooooo many times that a different one is the one I still notice.

    In the end, all the degrees in the world do not, by themselves, translate into higher earnings and more authority.

  158. I’m SO looking forward to the highly feminized social policy juggernaut admitting it overshot and, gosh, that it will be immediately rectifying the situation by some combination of:

    -Abolishing itself;
    -Dropping its lobby;
    -Issuing a statement on unintended consequence;
    -Issuing a statement on intended consequence;
    -Adopting all the rhetoric on men’s rights it historically has on women’s;
    -Generally making stuff right by way of reducing the size of government and its grapples into the private sphere.

    The DHHS costs each person alive in America an average of $2500 a year. Because we so respect small, constitutional government and the natural ebb and flow of private life.

  159. This signals a return to way old school partriarchy (i.e. polygamy & other goodies for the top men), not matriarchy. Patriarchy rose from the matriarchal nomadic and tribal cultures of our very distant ancestors, and since no one seems to be in the mood to revert to the equitable patriarchy of the 20th Century, it’s more likely that we’ll have a short period of chaos as the world regresses to matriarchy, before the old pattern takes effect and we repeat history.

  160. No, it just ain’t gonna happen. Women will always want to marry up, and if there’s no one with whom to marry up, they’ll just pass with no spawn.

    http://mensnewsdaily.com/2008/01/17/george-orwell-women-never-condescend-to-men-poorer-than-themselves/

    They will be replaced by other groups which radically circumscribe women’s choices:

    http://www.newamerica.net/publications/articles/2006/the_return_of_patriarchy

  161. Eh, all Rauch has proved is that a college degree isn’t worth what it used to be. He should go check out the contractors and carpenters that put up the recent addition to his house. They’re (1) earning typically MORE than lawyers, and way more than journalists and other college-eddicated folk, and (2) they’re almost all men.

    What he’s missing is the fact that college used to be a “finishing school” where you learned Greek and Latin so you could properly represent your (upper) class, and where you met others in your social class to form the “old boys network,” and college is now returning to that role, except that now it’s available to those further down the social ladder.

    As he dimly seems to partly grasp in his “surprisingly” comment about college enrollments 100 years ago, it was only in the 19th and early 20th century that college became seen as a job-training institute, where practical skills were taught, and this was arguably because a newly industrialized economy needed plenty of mid-level technical managers.

    But times have changed. Computers have severely damped the need for mid-level technical managers: now what you need most is top-level managers (CEOs, CFOs, CTOs, CIOs — most of which, ah ha, are still men), and skilled labor (those aforementioned plumbers and contractors, heavy equipment operators, et cetera). The traditional role filled by the college man (as opposed to the PhD techno-wizard or the School O’ Hard Knocks practically-experienced man) is going away. Not surprisingly, so are the college men. The college women stay because they like the finishing-school aspect of college. Women are more sensitive to social status.

    What Rauch needs to explain is why the college gap hasn’t translated into a wage gap: men still out-earn women, and the proportion by which they do hasn’t changed in decades.

    I don’t doubt that men in soft professions like journalism, law or teaching are going to have to get used to being bossed by the ladies. But in oil exploration and drilling? Fishing and mining? Heavy construction? Electrical or aeronautical engineering? Not likely.

  162. “they’ll just pass with no spawn”

    Nah, they will go to sperm donation clinics, have affairs with high status guys (married or not), etc. to satisfy their need to reproduce They typically will not, however, cheapen their self-estimated status by marrying a man with apparently lower status.

    When they start to have kids without benefit of male support, look for them to demand more taxes to support the children. Not suprisingly, those without a connection or interest in such children will view such resource allocation as a load of crap and either opt out (off the books work/wealth hoarding) or attack the whole structure for the disaster it will be.

  163. I admit I skimmed to the bottom of this so someone may have already mentioned this.

    Before the Government started handing out loans to anyone for any course of study, you only went to college if you were rich, or if the prospect of the long term payback justified the investment.

    I went to a small private second tier engineering and business school in the late 70s. Prior to 1974, no woman had attended from the 1920s until they were allowed back in.

    Before that, women did attend, but they took courses in domestic engineering – which taught them how to use irons, sew, run early washing machines and so on. They could also take practical chemistry courses (how to tan, how to make soap).

    When I started, the ratio was 5:1, men to women, higher in engineering, lower in others. With no exception, all the women were seeking husbands too.

    By the time I was in Grad School in the mid 80s (big catholic univeristy in ohio), there were slightly more women than men at the school, but the ratio in engineering was worse. The women were in psych and soc and art. Most of the men in those disciplines were either low achievers or looking for easy dates.

    While the cause for the inversion has several sources (ranging from education issues to plumbers vs lawyers salaries), I think that if all the government loans went away for everything and we had to pay directly, now;
    Medicine, Engineering, Science and Law would continue, but the arts, the humanities and the rest would shrink drastically – and we would be back at about 1.1 to 1 – with less than half the people in the country going to college.

    Market distortion.

  164. Women play much more Scrabble than men, but the top competitive Scrabble players are almost all men. Men are explorers, discoverers, and rule breakers. College has largely turned into a mindless society of busy-work, rule-following, and predictable dogma.

    Boys, with access to the Internet, have an unprecedented amount of information at their fingertips and they can see the pointlessness of our education system. Why drag yourself through years and years of what is obviously garbage?

    I predict that the significance of a degree will decline greatly, even for those in the hard sciences. People will form ad hoc groups in which to pursue knowledge and seek answers in the same manner as what the university was long ago.

    The university has turned into the church and the Internet has turned into the university.

  165. FWIW I became an aerospace engineer (one step below rocket scientist) without benefit of degree.

    I started out as an electronics bench technician (’67) working for Raytheon Computer. I took advantage of every opportunity to design stuff that came my way. The microprocessor revolution (’75) was a big opportunity since you just about had to be self taught as there were no classes in it in ’71.

  166. I don’t care how high the status of women. I don’t care if they do know how to change tires. When the tire needs changing or something is broken they will still come to the men. Women may know how to do that stuff. They may be able to do that stuff. They don’t like to do that stuff.

  167. And one more part of the Frankfurt School’s plan takes hold.

  168. It’s just as likely that the marriage-family patterns will change, and that men’s college degree rates are reflective of the broad changes in society.

    Women who can control their own fertility and have their own independent income don’t have to make compromises. They don’t have to sacrifice status, power, achievement, attractiveness, and sexual desire for things like loyalty, dependability, fidelity, etcl like they used to.

    Women are changing in their sexual selection. They will “share” high-value men like celebrities, musicians, high-powered executives, etc. Since they have their own incomes and control their fertility they can have the thrill of the highest status guy around and his genes which they hope in reproduction will give male children an edge (girls need only be pretty sad but true). This is similar to the “weak” form of polygamy in West Africa where monogamy is not the case and men are uninvolved in caring for children (who are often not their own) and the few Alpha men try to impregnate as many women as possible.

    [Given that Western prosperity is based on superior mobilization of resources at the bottom — think the Wright Brothers, Philo T. Farnsworth, inventor of TV, etc. — and the ability of Joe Average to advance his own family/reproductive success by same, avoiding the cultural and genetic bottlenecks of polygamy which leaves most men losers — we can expect a lot more poverty as Western society becomes inevitably poorer as women in a matriarchy engage in “weak” polygamy.]

    This leaves men who are not the A-Listers sitting around in cubicles or whatever. “Uninvested” and not tied to society through family life.

    Just as likely is the rise of misogyny by men with no hope of a family. Serfs, peasants, and eunuchs do not fight for the sultan’s harem. The actions of the young men at VT’s shooting — leaving their female classmates to die — ought to be a wake-up call.

    Global knowledge workers make a college degree relatively worthless, since a scientist or engineer or lawyer or accountant can be hired in India or China for $10 an hour. About the rate at Best Buy’s “Geek Squad.”

    [Muslim nations generally practice “strong” polygamy, aka “hoarding of women in seclusion” so other strong men don’t steal them. Animist/West African nations often practice “weak” polygamy where a few strong men impregnate lots of women with no real structure or hoarding of women. Western nations have practiced monogamy aka “Joe Average has a shot at family” by explicitly constraining women’s sexual choices to force decisions along the qualities of dependability, fidelity, loyalty, etc. Not exciting for women but has produced the most resources and societal stability and fairness overall. I’d rather live in an Atlanta suburb than say, Liberia or Saudi Arabia.]

  169. “Men, however, ignored what the market was telling them: Their college attendance and completion rates barely rose. Why? “That’s the big mystery,” says Gary Burtless, an economist at the Brookings Institution.”

    It is not a mystery to me. From middle school through college there was a systematic shift in the teaching process to favor girls over boys and women over men.

    Boys get tired of hearing how oppressive they are, and opt out of the environment where their inputs are obviously not valued.

  170. There is a premium paid for items only when they are relatively scarce; as women begin to dominate the educational trends, they will “glut the market” for college-educated arts and soft-science majors.

    What’s the value of a bachelor’s degree in English Literature or Womens’ Studies these days?

  171. The cause of this circumstance has just recently been understood. We have known for some time that boys and girls from households making the median household income or more have the same likelihood of going to college. All of the gap exists among households earning less than the American median.

    The real difference though is between two parent and single parent households. Boys and girls from two parent households are equally likely to go to college but boys from single parent household are significantly less likely than their sisters to go to college. This accounts for the dramatic difference between black males and black females in their likelihood of attending college. Among African-Americans it is not a 50% differential; it is almost a 100% differential. Women are 65% of African-American college students today.

  172. If there was an article to show how out-of-touch libertarianism is with reality, this is it. Women are equal and even superior to men provided they have the government or corporations pay all their daycare bills and give them special privileges.

    Equality for women is a nice vision but then again, so is socialism that blinded starry-eyed thinkers to the gulags and awful economic policies to prop up this fiction that continue to harm millions daily.

    Career women “lead?” Hahahaha! Most can’t even pick up the dinner check!

  173. I am seeing more Males falling behind. I fear society and its over reliance upon genetics and not environmental variables will leave society branding Males as lazy, less intelligent, and treated as second class citizens. Unless society comes to grip with the long-term differential treatment of Males and Females from an early age I fear this problem will only worsen for all races in the future.

    I afraid only in the “most reasonable” of atmospheres of society and in an almost vacuum of other influences will Men and Women be able to resolve the coming conflict. Society is very much prone to treating Males as they have been treated for a hundred years: more and continued aggression to make them tough; little or no kind, stabilizing mental, emotional, social support, knowledge, and skills for fear of coddling; and rewarding respect only on condition of sufficient achievement, and/or status (the essentials of self-worth). Society is also still very much active in providing a protective and nurturing role for women in terms of protection from aggressive treatment from an early age, much mental, emotional, social, verbal interaction along with much development of those skills over time. This is why girls are maturing faster than boys; are able to have more stability in the classroom; and have better handwriting and motivation to write (due lower muscle tension from lower average stress). In addition, since girls are not supposed to be strong, we are given love and respect without qualification.
    I afraid until those two imbalances of differential treatment have been removed from society, Males will continue to fall behind and Females will continue to prosper. I am very much afraid the depth and long term-complexity of this problem will create in time collective suffering by Males and in turn a collective retaliation toward Females that may continue for at least as long as it has taken Males to realize their dilemma. I am afraid there will be no peace, only increased conflict.

    Complete learning theory with cognitive environmental tools to all on request. This theory has many applications, including the Male Crisis

  174. I’m not terribly surprised by these statistics. I was raised by a mother who had Bachelors and Masters degrees. My father didn’t go to college until after getting married and having two children and then only attained an Associates degree. Most of their marriage, my mother earned more than m father, probably due to level of education. However, within the last ten years before their retirements, my father’s earnings not only exceeded my mother’s but were almost double that of my mother’s income. My ex-husband lacks only 18 hours to finish his Bachelor’s degree yet, due to the nature of his work as a software expert, he earns twice that of the median household income in the United States.

    I have a son and a daughter. Although both of my children do well in school, my daughter is definitely the more dedicated and serious student, aspiring to achieve what her mother did, become Valedictorian of her high school graduating class. I have tried to raise both of my children as I was raised: namely that men and women are equal and that there are no particular roles in society that must only be filled by one gender and not the other. Frankly, I feel that if any man feels emasculated by this, then that man has more issues than what may be appearing on the surface. The question this leads to is why do some men feel the need to dominate others in order to feel in control of their own lives, in order to feel like a man?

    I wish to be treated equally to men, to other women, to other adults, period. I do not desire to dominate anyone outside of some necessary authority I must have over my two children. Bottom line: many of our problems in this world are due to the desire for power over others, whether that desire is conscious or subconscious in origin.

  175. i love your wp theme, where did you download it through?

  176. One wonders some times if people realize how dumb some things they say sound. For example Johnathan says women will not rule men but he says women will lead. Does johnathan not know that it is impossible to lead without ruling.What is the difference between women leading and women ruling?

    And Johnathan fails to inform his readers as to why men have fallen behind. He makes it sound as if women are superior instead of being the beneficerary of an educational system that handi caps boys and favors girls.

    fix the educational system so that it is gender neutral and boys will once again like school and go to colleges in greater numbers and start receiving their fair share of the wards and degrees.Johnathan seems to be ignorant of what is going on either that or he likes it when men fall behind because he is a closset feminenest.

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