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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Shift in gender politics causes academic change

    Nicole Santa Cruzeditor in chief
    Nicole Santa Cruz
    editor in chief

    In the race to success, women are catching up and sometimes even exceeding the male population.

    In terms of university faculty and staff, even Harvard is jumping on the bandwagon and aiming to appeal to women faculty members.

    An article published by The Boston Globe on June 13 reported Harvard University will expand child-care and academic grants to support female and minority faculty and staff.

    This development was sparked by Harvard President Lawrence H. Summers, who said in a conference last year that the rarity of women in science is explained by difference in math ability as well as women’s unwillingness to combine family with a career.

    Summers’ remarks, along with complaints about his management style, led to his resignation, effective June 30, according to the article.

    Summers’ resignation fueled two task forces, an inundation of recommendations and a new position for faculty development and diversity, the Globe reported.

    Although this is a triumph for Harvard – and higher education – this situation outlines a shift in gender politics the past generation.

    Even if sour attitudes about gender exist, women are still there to break it down – and break it down hard.

    In the 2004-2005 school year, women earned 764 more degrees than males at UA. Does this mean that women need to take a step back and relax since we are obviously putting more effort into a college education? Even though women are dominating and widening the gender gap in colleges they still haven’t caught up in professional fields, although they’re close.

    A federal study released June 2 said women now account for about half the enrollment in professional programs such as law, medicine and optometry, which is up from 22 percent a generation ago.

    Maybe the ’60s really did have an impact on the world, and birth control made more of a change than we could have ever imagined, but why the decline in male education?

    According to the study, the number of women enrolled in undergraduate classes has grown more than twice as fast as it has for men. It is important to note that the percent of women in the U.S. hasn’t changed in recent years either, thus a boom in college ladies was not influenced by birth rates.

    Thanks to this study I can finally explain why, in each of my classes, it seems the female-male ratio is unbalanced. Trust me, I have noticed this situation and wondered if it contributes to a potential damper on my dating situation.

    Are males intimidated by all the women surrounding them in their classes? Maybe women are being too distracting for their own good. Whatever it is, women need to keep on working hard so that some day, issues like child care for faculty at universities won’t be an issue. Women should keep going at this rate, or even faster, and not be afraid to demand reflection of their influence on the population.

    At the same time, males need to step it up and start learning again. What is education without equality?

    Nicole Santa Cruz is a journalism senior. She can be reached at editor@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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