February 17, 2006

Gender Gap once again

A very good Salon article about the "gender gap" in college and the possibility of future (or present) affirmative action policies to "correct" it.

One interesting point that this article makes very well that I haven't quite seen so well articulated is that this whole gap issue could be a result of a rather simple economic fact—men don't benefit from a bachelor's degree as much as women do.
young women might be more motivated to pursue higher education because, consciously or unconsciously, they sense that there are real economic advantages at stake. Her examination of a Department of Education sample of more than 9,000 high school students, interviewed over a period of eight years, revealed that women with bachelor's degrees earn 24 percent more than women without, while young men with bachelor's degrees experience no significant economic gains. For practical proof of her hypothesis, one need only consider that most well-paid, skilled, blue-collar professions continue to be dominated by men -- while minimum-wage jobs in hospitality and service remain the province of women.
An interesting and revealing quote shows what at least some of the people worried about this gender gap are really fretting about:
"[A]s more and more women substitute careers for having babies, I've come to see that we're looking at a population crisis. The most educated women have the fewest children -- this is not rocket science, it's just the way things work. We need women to have 2.1 children [in order to maintain the U.S. population], but the recent Census Bureau reports show that American women with bachelor's degrees average only 1.7. You can do the math -- if we continue this way the white population is headed for extinction."
In other words, women, if you can't keep your heads out of those books, we're going to be overrun with brown people. Good fucking god. Please, someone tell me I didn't just read that.


  1. NOT THE WHITES!!!!!1

    who will buy all the country music?

  2. Anonymous12:32 AM

    It's a weird, weird quote.

    But I don't completely understand your reaction to it.

    Every now and then I hear minority activist types complaining that white people have no concept of race--i.e. they don't understand or validate minority race members' feelings of solidarity with their race, and they don't fully understand what it's like to be thought of as a "black person" instead of just a "person".

    And the quote seems to come from someone who actually does identify as a "white person" rather than just a "person."

    But you equate "white" with "not brown."

    I understand that this makes zero sense, because I'm a bit drunk. But I'm curious.

    Maybe I should be doing something besides reading blogs on a Friday night.

  3. anonymous--I'm not sure where you're going with the first part of your comment, but as for equating white with "not brown," I do in this case because most people that I've read about who are concerned with demographics and birth rates and stuff (e.g. Mark Steyn) aren't worried about the Japanese or Chinese any more—both nations actually have falling birth rates, I believe. No, these demographer-demagogues are worried about Arab nations and India. I suppose I should have made that clear, but I was being flippant, after all.