A new piece in Forbes by Richard Vedder, graduate of Northwestern University and the University of Illinois, and an economic historian who has turned his attention to the economics of higher education. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute.
A good case can be made that males are discriminated against on college campuses, and the discrimination has grown over time. Men are vastly outnumbered in America’s universities—in the fall of 2016, there were 2,667,000 more women studying than men. Not only are they significantly outnumbered, men are often disproportionately harshly treated in campus disciplinary actions, often being denied rights routinely and constitutionally provided all Americans off campus. Colleges spend millions on Women’s Studies programs, but never a dime on Men’s Studies. Special efforts are made to get women to study in the STEM disciplines, where men are numerically dominant, but no such effort is made to increase the number of men in other fields where women significantly outnumber men. Over 80 % of obstetricians doing their residency are female: are there any efforts to lure men into obstetrics? All-women colleges are much more prevalent than all-male schools. Arguably, a War Against Men exists on American college campuses.
This, of course, is a radical change from the early days of higher education. In the first two centuries of colleges in America, well into the 19th century, America’s colleges were all male. In the 1869-70 academic year, nearly a century after the nation achieved independence, there were more than three males studying in American universities for every female. And while female participation increased over time, even 80 years later (the 1949-50 academic year), 70 % of students were male. Women surpassed men in number in 1979, and for the last generation or so there have been roughly four females studying for every three males.