Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Who is worse off on Australian campuses?

It's been known for some time that women are doing much better than men in higher education. But I was surprised to learn by how much. This is how things stand in Australia:

International education consultant Alan Olsen said about 603,000 domestic female students had obtained higher education qualifications between 2000 and 2009, almost 50 per cent more than the 404,000 completions by their male counterparts.

50% higher! How did it get to this? One reason is that government policy back in the 1990s continued to list women as a disadvantaged group in higher education, even though women were already a majority of enrolments. One researcher, Ian Dobson, noted that in 1995 a government equity paper decided to keep listing women as a disadvantaged group, despite higher female enrolments, because men were still the majority in engineering. Dobson was sceptical that women could be thought of as being victims of gender privilege when they were numerically superior on campus. But proponents of the idea of continuing female disadvantage won the day:

Proponents of this view react adversely to the use of analytical material which demonstrates female numerical superiority in higher education. Tanya Castleman, for instance insists that the complex and entrenched dynamics of gender and culture privilege' are working against women in their participation in higher education. Such advocates fail to explain how women could have advanced so rapidly to overtake male student numbers in total at a time of great competition for university places.

Tanya Castleman was so "oppressed" by the "complex and entrenched dynamics of gender privilege" that she is now Head of the Deakin Graduate School of Business.

Let's be clear: at a time when women were poised to slaughter men in the field of higher education, feminists like Tanya Castleman were continuing to insist that it was men who were privileged. And it was her view which the liberal state chose to follow.


  1. Hmmm.....

    I'd be curious to know the statistics for growth in the liberal arts versus engineering departments.

    Women have always gone to college, and they have always been in the artsy fartsy worthless majors.

    So if engineering is predominately male....Why not expand engineering schools? Expand enrollment in engineering?

    Or are we expanding liberals arts at the expense of engineering.

    So say you have 100 men applying for engineering and 50 available spots. Say you have 100 women applying for 80 liberal arts spots.

    That could make difference in the numbers of women versus male enrollment.

  2. May I suggest it's because women major in easier subjects?


  3. Gee, ya think that the "complex and entrenched dynamics of gender and culture (and race) privilege" are never gonna go away and will always mean everyone else needs a leg up on those eeeevil white males no matter how badly the white males are doing?

    Does Tanya Castleman have a husband, brother, or sons, I wonder?

  4. @ Anonymous: What would you classify as a 'worthless' major? I am completely anti-feminism, by the way, but still, the way you said that implies that *only* engineering, etc. majors are worthwhile. I'm not going to college, but if I did, I would apply for an 'artsy' major such as music, creative writing, etc. And I wouldn't call those either feministic or worthless. Music and writing, if done for God's glory and not made a career out of, can be very pleasurable for both those doing them, and those reading the books or listening to the music. Also, the problem is that these colleges are co-educational (men and women go to them). It would be better to have men's colleges and women's colleges, like they used to. But another problem is that everyone thinks they *have* to go to college to be successful. I am teaching myself violin and writing by reading books. However, just because women are 'the weaker vessels', does not mean that men should look down on them for being such. It's how God made us, just like he made men to be stronger.
    And men need to stand up (like the author of this blog is doing :) and protest against feminism, instead of taking it lying down, as they do for the most part.

  5. Laura Elizabeth, I have a hard science degree. Yet I work in an "Artsy Fartsy" area, that I greatly enjoy and use to spread a good message.

    There is no artsy fartsy degree that is worth the money that a four year college costs. Not to mention the brainwashing, drinking, sex that goes on at said college campuses when obtaining said artsy fartsy degree. And you don't learn any discipline in comparison to an engineering degree. Discipline leads to success in Artsy Fartsy careers, not the degree.

    I won't go into where I got my 'training', but I think I paid 200-400 dollars a class for several years. I went straight to the source based upon several people who had "advanced degrees" in the subject from top colleges.

    It's a waste. A complete an utter waste.

    I'd allow my child to major in History if they wanted to become a History Professor. But to get the professor position, they would quite literally have to be one of the top people. Those jobs are very competitive, and to achieve those levels you have to be smarter than an engineer. How many people are that smart?

    Unless you plan the be the world's foremost expert on an Artsy Fartsy subject, and are ok being a professor.....The majors are worthless.

  6. BTW, as an ex-violinist. You can't teach yourself violin.

    Get a teacher.

    There's something to be said about the pursuit of excellence, professionalism.

    I think you need a bit more of that in your personality.

    Doing things half-assed while waiting to get married is not what God intended.

  7. As a uni student I can tell you that Unis are a female sanctuary. Women dominate and they know it. This is seen at how relaxed they are which has the unusual side effect of them being very flirtatious and dressed like they are going to clubs.
    It frustrates the few males there that are straight so much they can't concentrate and end up dropping out.
    Theres a darkside to the whole thing in that they advocate so hard for foreign students like Africans that there is an increase in these smug girls getting accosted or worse. Not that i wish it upon them. But they reap what they sow.
    Its interesting to note that these incidences are hushed up by the unis and were even directed back at Aussie males

  8. "because men were still the majority in engineering."

    Glad to see that at least MIT is leading the way.



    (and don't forget Larry Summers, and the good woman who almost puked at his asinine suggestions)

  9. Tanya Castleman was so "oppressed" by the "complex and entrenched dynamics of gender privilege" that she is now Head of the Deakin Graduate School of Business.

    Oddly reminds me of the feminist calls for sexual harassment laws and rape allegations with the whole idea of sexual liberation and the sexualization of women. Their motto can be summed as: "Lust and objectify me but only if I allow it!"

  10. @Anonymous:
    "I'd be curious to know the statistics for growth in the liberal arts versus engineering departments."

    Well, it's not engineering, but it still illustrates the point admirably:

  11. Doesn't really surprise me. It's the same situation in the States and in Germany (where the men hide out at the technical unis). College is for girls now.

    I've never understood why more women don't go into the STEM subjects. Lots of good husband material in those classes, and little female competition. ;-)

    This is seen at how relaxed they are which has the unusual side effect of them being very flirtatious and dressed like they are going to clubs.

    In the States, they dress in what my husband calls slunge (half-slut, half-grunge): like super-short pajama bottoms, extra-tight t-shirt, hair up in a mess, flip-flops, and smeared makeup. I live in a college town, and they walk around downtown like that even in the middle of the day.

  12. "So say you have 100 men applying for engineering and 50 available spots. Say you have 100 women applying for 80 liberal arts spots.

    That could make difference in the numbers of women versus male enrollment."

    As an aside this points to a very real world statistical issue known as Simpson's Paradox, well known by statisticians but really should be known to the General public as it shows that accurate stats can still give a totally false picture. Probably the best example is "The Berkley Gender Bias case" and this was in period when men did well and truly outnumber women in post grad studies, undertand Simpson's and you will see that the "Outcome" for Women will get worse statistically even when in reality it's better than ever.


  13. No one here is really addressing the question as to why women are doing better than men in higher education.

    Here's are some possible factors:

    A recent increase in demand for skilled trade workers, providing an alternative outlet for male high school graduates.

    The switch from exams to internal assessment in high schools and universities (headmasters in boys schools in New Zealand say boys prefer exams to internal assessment, while girls prefer more projects and essays).

    Left wing ideology in schools and universities putting off right wing males from wanting to go to university (it certainly made me think twice about going)

    It tends to be easier for women to find evening and weekend work (such as bartending or waitressing)to support themselves during study. A lot of male dominated jobs like building labouring are difficult to fit around daytime study (interestingly night school study used to be much more popular than it is today).

    Easier university entrance requirements - there are more high IQ and low IQ men, but there are more moderately smart women. Low IQ men aren't smart enough to go to university, while high IQ men will get in anyway. So it's the more numerous, moderately smart women (and slightly more studious) women who benefit the most from easier access to higher education.

  14. Anonymous,

    Study generally requires domestic attitudes such as patience or consistency, traits more often associated with women, rather than men who are often more assoicated with insight or energy. Uni requires long attention spans and a focus on busywork. Guys who are generally more restless are also more likely to get bored with this, espeically if the subject matter is highly pc, and so it generally doesn’t appeal to them as much.

    So if you go to the bar at uni during the daytime there will likely be more men there than women. If you see people playing computer games they're more likely to be guys than girls. Additionally the study environment of uni is quite lax, this goes hand in hand with generally slipping work ethics and standards. Consequently the bar and computer games frequently call people away and guys seem more likley to take this up than women. It is known that guys who are generally more rowdy and agressive than girls require a greater degree of discipline to keep them in line or on track.

    Also why should people study? Men will frequently do it to impress a mate and set up a future, however, women are not always impressed by solid career men these days, and will often prefer sexy or fun guys, ie they will reward short term traits over long term traits. So men will be encouraged to take up sporting or other cool non study pursuits and men who do work hard will receive less payoff or encouragement.

    Also there may be a general disolusionment at the social scene at times and people might withdraw to their computers and tv's and generally disengage, which of course also takes away their desire to excell in external areas such as study. Much in the same way that in the past a women might withdraw to her romance novels and bon bons.

    With the factors of indulgent parents, fairly easy to get low wage employement, welfare systems and a popular short term do what feels good mindset and avoidance of competition, its easy for middle class kids to not engage that seriously in study, drop out, or hover in career limbo for a long period.

    Additonaly I would say that women these days are far more the centre of social attention and are thus likely to be encouraged to excell and overcome obstacles.

    Alternatively guys are told much more to restrain their impulses, whilst generally not receiving guidance in how to do this, and are thus frequently unsure about how they should behave which leads to difficulties. Both sexes are also more likely to be raised by activist mothers and absent or disengaged fathers, which no doubt creates greater confusion for men over women. All of these comments are beginning to sound very much like the movie Fight Club.

    Having said all that the ratio of men to women is only about 45%-55% or 40%-60% so it isn’t that disasterous, and someone has to do our increaslingly bureacratic and risk adverse middle class work. Consequently it isn’t the end of the world if young women do it, provided they still have children.

  15. Jesse,

    Some good observations in your comments but also some complacency:

    "Having said all that the ratio of men to women is only about 45%-55% or 40%-60% so it isn’t that disasterous, and someone has to do our increaslingly bureacratic and risk adverse middle class work."

    The problem with women dominating universities is that they reinforce the prevailing leftist ideology (if only because they tend to be less hard-headed).

    In liberal arts subjects you'll find a ratio of about one right liberal to about 20 left liberals and about one conservative to about 50 liberals. This is an appalling ratio in elite academic institutions that once encouraged free intellectual inquiry.

    Since the liberal left got into power via the universities the conservative right is never going to stage a comeback unless it re-establishes a presence on campus and more talented right-leaning men put politics and the intellectual inquiry ahead of trying to be 'herbs' bad-boy hedonists or cash-cow materialists

    The reality is that whoever controls the universities controls the culture.

  16. Anon,

    I'm someone who is trying to do that very thing of taking the fight to left wingers in the liberal arts faculties. I totally agree with the difficulties involved in this, however, the dominance of left wing group think does make them lazy and facile in their arguments and assumptions, which in turn makes them less effective in reaching out to the broader community. A sector which is not totally dominated by women or the left.

    Unis are important, but can you really say they control society? How much impact on society does an academic, who focuses on gender issues, have compared to say a corporate ceo at a Macquarie Bank? In my experience liberal arts academics are frequently frustrated because they feel that not that many people really take them seriously, and that they don't feel they have sufficient impact on society. This doesn't mean they have no influence but it seems a lot of this left stuff is accepted by people on the privso that it won't actually impact society that much. When it does start to impact a lot of people roll their eyes and start to walk away.

    So for instance today treating women well is seen as important and necessary, and there's a convergence of left wing and main stream views there. However, most or many women don't really like to be labeled as a "feminist", because its seen as being strongly anti-male, a stance many don’t really want to adopt. If treating women well turns into men must be totally destroyed or repudiated, then a lot of people turn away, and this can becomes clear in their attitudes.

    Environmentalism again is seen as important as pollution is viewed as an example of large scale social irresponsibility or "littering", but again people don't want to adopt the left wing view of closing down industry or capitalism unless its demonstrated that there are very strong reasons to. In Australia as we see with the carbon tax, the left wing’s easy arguments and assumptions are coming back to bite them.

    Right politics today largely exists and thrives because of the left's overreach of their positions and the provable failure of their arguments. It is because of the left’s very dominance of institutions such as the universities and the self reinforcing group think that such institutions create, that they’ve felt emboldened to take such overextended and vulnerable positions in the first place. So in that sense the left's strength, dominance in one sphere, can also become their weakness, in that become divorced from the broader public.

    This doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t fight them on every front, or that the left’s power isn’t very great, but it does mean that there’s no one single institution from which you can control or totally dominate and change society from. I do believe that aspects of popular democracy do matter very greatly and that people out there aren’t that enamored with universities at the moment.

  17. Among cultural institutions the universities are by far the most important in terms of setting the dominant ideology in society.

    For examples, schools tend to be left wing because teachers learn leftist ideology while at university and then pass that ideology on down to kids. Ditto the media industry, producers learnt leftist ideology at college and then make left-leaning films.

    Similarly when only a small elite went to universities in the 1950s, only a small minority of the population were left liberals (many were economic leftists of the trade unionist type, but social liberalism was pretty rare until the late 60s)

    Admittedly, left liberalism is not the dominant ideology in the private sector which is dominated by right liberalism, but even there its influence is increasing rather than decreasing when it comes to social issues.

    Also the fact that the mainstream right is only willing to take on the left over economic issues, shows the extent to which to it has ceded power to the left in the social sphere.

  18. It might be the case that a total break is needed then? I have to say I've been going to church this year and its been a wonderfully free from left wing influence zone. It may be necessary to increasingly or totally divorce ourselves from left wing uselessness and the church, a good one, can give the tools, confidence and backing to do that. At the end of the day I find being in left wing environments demoralizing or insulting but generally speaking I’m more put out emotionally than practically. If I can tune out or ignore the crap then it really doesn’t get to me or impact on me so much.

    If you’re personally strong in your life people will look at you and want to replicate what you’re doing. Consequently if left wing ideas lead to personal and collective weakness and destruction people will increasingly catch onto that and look to viable alternatives as they’re presented.

  19. Not true.
    Saying that men fail because women dress scantily is a cop out.
    If you want your qualification, there's no reason you can't stay in your room to study when the women become tiresome or a distraction.
    And yes, it became an amazing coincidence that on days of exams, female residents would have problems that required my attention.
    I tried not to be in on those days. Seems to have worked, got my degree.