Utah lagging in number of women in college

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  • No minorities
    Jan. 27, 2010 5:37 p.m.

    From the numbers I have seen. Across the nation white males and white females go to school at a similar %.
    Minority women do go to college and minority men don't.
    Utah is lilly white.

    On a related side note. It is actually ironic that title IX is meant to prevent gender discrimination with college scolarships. It essentially says that because 57% of students are female and 43% are male, then 57% of athletic scholarships go to females and 43% go to males.

    The thing is, athletic scholarships are one way minority men go to school. So title IX doesn't stop discrimination, it just moves the discrimination to minority men. Ironic that now the discrimination isn't just about gender, title IX made sure race was involved too.

  • Kim
    Jan. 27, 2010 1:36 p.m.

    "In Utah, about 49 percent of enrolled college students are women, as opposed to 57 percent across the country"

    Reporter bias aside - this article could easily have reported that "U.S. men underrepresented at colleges".

    It all depends on your point of view.

  • Emily
    Jan. 27, 2010 1:21 p.m.

    Gender stereotypes aside, there is a significant disparity between men and women's numbers in science classes. Weber State's engineering program, for example, has less than a dozen women declared as majors; a contrast to the nearly 100 men in the program. Now, while there is an arguable evolutionary basis for the theories of difference between gendered behavioral and cognitive processes, that does not seem to be enough to account for this significant differential.

    The social and cultural environments may account for some of this phenomenon. While my own background was very supportive of both the sciences and humanities, I question whether that is the case for most people. Is our culture more supportive of men in the sciences and women in the arts and humanities? If so, it is a disservice to BOTH genders. I do not like that it seems to be so, but my own observations, and the data I have, lead me to conclude that there is much work to be done before we are looking at an equitable society.

  • re mp | 11:21 a.m. Jan. 27, 201
    Jan. 27, 2010 12:31 p.m.

    "While typical male "passion" might be for buying parts from radio shack to see what they can slap together, many of my fellow women engineers are extremely passionate about actually solving problems in the world, which is why we entered the field in the first place".

    Okay and this is all well and good. Men and women have different motivations, different passions, but both contribute to the world, in their different ways.

    As the French say .. "viva la diference"

  • Mark
    Jan. 27, 2010 12:18 p.m.

    I am a former student of Dr. Madsen who is one of the greatest educators in the state. Having worked with Dr. Madsen I can say without reservation that her research and findings are above reproach. I've attended four universities in my educational endeavors and have never found a more honest, ethical, and unbiased professor, and that includes my graduate school professors as well.
    Dr. Madsen is sincerely driven by nothing more than a desire to help others acheive greater satisfaction in their lives. She is not a feminist as many comments on this board have tried to portray her. I have been in her office and have witnessed the care put into her research, the unbiased lengths she goes to in an effort ensure fairness in her grading, and also the time taken to console one of her children who had a bad day at school.
    Whether or not a woman plans to pursue a career outside the home or pursue the most important of all careers, that of a mother; a four year education can assist and lead to a more full life for a woman and her family.

  • Mark
    Jan. 27, 2010 12:01 p.m.

    I'm surprised at the knee-jerk reaction that many people are having to this article. It has nothing to do with women choosing certain majors over others, nor is it about men bashing, nor is it saying that women should leave the important roles of mother and homemaker. The study being conducted is simply trying to assist women in Utah to understand how their post secondary education can help them in life, regardless of whether or not they choose a career or remain in the home.
    I discovered during my studies at UVU, BYU, and SUU, that many young women in Utah seem to regard college as a place to simply find a husband. When they get married they drop out of school. My own wife had that same attitude. While my wife possesses two assosciate degrees, one in early childhood development and another in general studies, trying to get her to finish her bachelors has been difficult. She is a perfect wife and mother and my children and I are extremely blessed to have her. The addition of a bachelors degree would bless our family even more. Even though she is a stay at home mother.

  • Anonymous
    Jan. 27, 2010 11:42 a.m.

    women in utah are more likely to get pregnant not once but multiple times-- making it more difficult to go to school since they qickly become caregivers at a younger age.

  • Hey People
    Jan. 27, 2010 11:23 a.m.

    Why worry about the sex ratio? If some in the legislature get their way, we may all be restricted from attending university, (except those in Utah).

    Seems Senator Buttars is introducing a bill to make it so kids only get to go to 11th grade in Utah public schools. If the bill becomes law, Utahs may not have much opportunity to go to any out of state schools.

    Utah's will be dummer. It not an attack on men or women, but on men and women, on all of us.

  • mp
    Jan. 27, 2010 11:21 a.m.

    re: women make fine:

    To those of you saying that women engineers are not as "passionate" as their male counterparts, I beg to differ (again). While typical male "passion" might be for buying parts from radio shack to see what they can slap together, many of my fellow women engineers are extremely passionate about actually solving problems in the world, which is why we entered the field in the first place. I decided I wanted to actually fix problems instead of whining about them. That too, is passion, and is due of respect as colleagues in the field of engineering from our male counterparts.

  • Lincoln said it couldn't be done
    Jan. 27, 2010 11:10 a.m.

    This article brings a quote from Lincoln to mind.

    "You can fool some of the people all of the time, you can fool all of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time".

    I guess this is one of those times where all the people couldn't be fooled. Utah actually has a closer sex ratio than the rest of the nation.

  • re: women make fine 9:45 a.m. J
    Jan. 27, 2010 10:30 a.m.

    I am just wondering, why did you go into engineering?

    Where you a bright student so your counselor steered you to take engineering?

    When you were in high school, did you choose to associate with a group of friends who talked about Star Trek, mathematical induction? What makes computers work? Did you have friends who went to radio shack bought parts and built kits with their own money and it was their own idea?

    If not thats okay, but this is a geeks way of life. No girls of whom I am aware of personally are/were geeks.

    There are women in history who were, Marie Curie for example.

    Not that women can't be geeks, but there are far fewer, and it is the geeks who built the subject of engineering in the first place, and it is the geeks who went into the field before educators started steering students to take this or that field.

    It is the geeks who have made the scientific discoveries throughout history.

    I could be an interior designer if I chose to be, but I could never be passionate about the subject. I don't like watching sports either. I am an engineer.

  • Missing the point....
    Jan. 27, 2010 10:19 a.m.

    Every comment here, and the article itself is missing the point! The REAL bias in UT isn't against a certain sex, but against anyone from a lower SES! I worked myself to the bone (I am female) to complete 1 degree--with government help, thank you! I then worked myself to the bone to finish another...just to be able to afford to live in UT...which in the end I chose to leave because the cost of living is so out of whack compared to what people bring home. One of the MAIN reasons that people are not going to college in UT is because of the cost of tuition compared to what they bring home and the assistance the state doesn't give! My own sister has had to drop out of a UT college because the Board of Regents, with their infinite wisdom, determined that she had too many credits (even though the univ. still requires 2 more years from her) to get the in state tuition rates! Talk about bias! She, like me, has fled the insane state of UT...to another state where hopefully they'll care more about their students!

  • Why no diversity?
    Jan. 27, 2010 10:14 a.m.

    If the reporter thinks women are lacking in the higher education, she should notice the lack of diversity among women in college.

  • "Good" = TROLL
    Jan. 27, 2010 10:00 a.m.

    Nice try: "...Every woman stood to say she was there for a hubby..." CLEARLY a troll who is playing to ridiculous stereotypes to get the unwary all worked up. Don't bite. Troll: Take a hike.

  • mp
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:58 a.m.

    @ Woman Make Fine Engineers But:

    As a young woman pursuing a master's degree in engineering (at Utah State), I can tell you that the women that I know in engineering are just as passionate, if not more so than the men.

  • Feminazis attack
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:55 a.m.

    Feminist better get on this they can't have more men in college than women, even if its a really small amount. All men need to know how horrible they are. (sarcasm)

  • Divorced Mother
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:52 a.m.

    If I didn't follow the council of prophets, I would be struggling big time now. I got an education before getting married. Unfortunately, marriage went down the hill and thanks to my degree I don't have to be begging some child support to my kid's irresponsible good for nothing dad. Thanks to my degree, my kids and I can live with dignity and have what we need. I encourage all women to get an education. It's your life vest!

  • RE: Women make fine engineers..
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:45 a.m.

    As a woman engineer, I went into the field, because I LOVED the subject matter. Women engineers maybe less geeky as the guys (not all though), but there is still the passion and drive.

    I also agree with GAG, I graduated with my MS in engineering and it makes me stomach turn to read that a girl thinks she was raised to be better suited for humanities. Our state/culture needs to realize that women are just as capable as men to excel in math and sciences. We need to stop discouraging our girls from excelling. I don't know how many times I was told, "girls don't like math" when I was in elementary school. Luckily I had enough sense to say, "I do and I am a girl"

  • To: To: Flawed Analysis
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:41 a.m.

    Edit: the article says 49% of Utah's (not UVU's) students are women. UVU's ratio is lower (44%). So, Utah as a whole is fine vis-a-vis its 18-24 female population. UVU should be seeking to know the gender mix of its constituent base and, if 44% is below that, why Utah's women are avoiding UVU to go elsewhere in the state.

  • You have GOT to be kidding me
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:34 a.m.

    I am a woman with a BA and MA and a gape-opened mouth about this ridiculous article. I'm far more concerned as to why the rate of MEN getting an education is slipping nation-wide. Don't they deserved all the 'benefits' cited in this article that supposedly women receive?

    Madsen says that apparently women don't recognize the benefits of education. Are you SERIOUS?! Find me ONE person who thinks education isn't beneficial. The issue of who goes to college and who doesn't is FAR, FAR more complex. Not everyone enjoys or appreciates the college experience. This study has grossly oversimplified the question and now is wanting to waste more money to support a bias.

    Lastly, the study says there is a 'dearth' of women in college. 'Dearth' means 'scarcity.' If the authors of this study can't even use that word right, what else have they misconstrued and misrepresented?! Ridiculous.

  • .
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:29 a.m.

    Enrollment in Universities by men should start to increase now that the educational benefits by the military are so good.

    Its about time we "support our troups" by deed, not just waving the flag and saying empty slogans.

  • plainandfancy
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:27 a.m.

    Another thought its that many of the majors that were dominated by women ie: fashion design, fashion merchandising, home economics, clothing and textiles, and interior design have been dropped from the Utah universities. They have to go elsewhere to train in those areas.

  • Angie
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:17 a.m.

    Mr. Good, you think that there is no point in educating women? What happens when the men, that are suppossed to provide for the family and uphold their preisthood do otherwise? I know so many women that are now destitute because their so called husband made other choices. They have no choice but to use welfare and work medial, low paying jobs, leaving them little or no time to spend with the children that need them. It is possible to work, be married, and raise children. Maybe the you men should be a little more supportive and encourage the women to finish their education and, if needs be, use it when time gets tough, and one it will.
    I am a mother of 6 boys. I am raising them to be good to women, to take their repsonsibility as huband, father, and patriarch of the home seriously. Both my husband and I are in school so that we can increase out income to help them get through school and missions. And, for your information, I am the provider for my family. So, those precious tax dollars you mentioned above, were not wasted now were they?

  • re Good | 8:38 a.m. Jan. 27, 20
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:13 a.m.

    "So women stay at home and stop wasting my taxes since you're only going to get married and never use your education".

    Huh? What cave did you crawl out of? Women shouldn't get educated just because their goal is to get married? and perhaps not enter the workforce?

    I don't agree with everything Brigham Young said, but he was spot on with what he had to say about womens education. (I got this from the Journal of Discourses).

    Brigham Young believed it is very important for women to get an education because they are the ones who will be raising the kids, and smart mothers tend to raise smart kids.

    I would add to this, that women deserve to be educated for their own sake, regardless of whether they work outside the home. Education raises the quality of life.

    Socialized education is one of the smartest things our society has done. Now everyone can get an education, not just the children of the well to do. We are a richer society as a result of this socialism. Both materially, and as individuals.

  • Honorary degrees.....
    Jan. 27, 2010 9:11 a.m.

    should be given to all the moms in Utah. They are the ones building our nation. they are the ones securing our future.

  • To: To: Flawed Analysis
    Jan. 27, 2010 8:55 a.m.

    The previous poster's comments make complete sense. What you need to look at is the BASE or the total college-age population in Utah.

    The fact is... the US Census dept says that women make up 49% of all Utahns 18-24 years old. In this light, the 49% of UVU's students who are women is entirely balanced given our population (assuming 18-24 as the relevant "college-age" base). Make sense to you now?

    However, this sad, mysandrist article takes the reverse stand and compares the 49% from Utah against the 57% national figure and laments the lower number! HELLO! Sheeple, the 49% is fine. It's the 57% figure that's the problem! The darn article completely overlooks the national trend that is pushing men away from college. Instead, the story is about a study to "understand how to better encourage more women into college" and it laments "the dearth of female college students". This may have been true 30 years ago. But people are now being fed a party line and agenda that completely violates the facts. Come on author Wendy Leonard. Use your college education and critical thinking skills.

  • To DBW and Anon statistician
    Jan. 27, 2010 8:48 a.m.

    I agree with you both.

    The real imbalance exists nationwide with a 57% female college enrollment rate.

    If we want to spend money on something, it should be to find out why more men nationwide are not enrolling in college.

    Utah, at 49% female enrollment (51% male), is actually closer to the ideal if we want direct proportionality to the population in general.

  • Women make fine engineers but ..
    Jan. 27, 2010 8:43 a.m.

    Modern educators have been struggling to try to interest girls in the hard sciences for a few decades now, but they haven't had much luck.

    I went to Utah State University and majored in Electrical Enginering, graduated in 1995. There were a few girls taking engineering but not many. The girls that were in our classes were intelligent and on average got better on tests than most all of the guys.

    However there was a difference. The guys that were taking engineering were mostly geeks, not socially inept, but they loved the subject. During mealtimes our discussions centered on exciting engineering or math or physics topics. Not so with the women. They seemed to be taking engineering "just because" they had to choose some subject so they chose engineering. Yet they were quick studies and did real well so far as understanding the concepts and getting good grades.

    Women make fine engineers. Give them a task and they can do it. But their excitement level of the subject doesn't rise to the level of the mens.

    If anyone wonders why most discoveries in the hard sciences is by men, its beacuse discoveries are made by people with passion.

  • Good
    Jan. 27, 2010 8:38 a.m.

    There is no point in educating in Utah anyway. They all should all be at home and not in the workforce so there is no point in wasting my tax dollars on them. At BYU, I remember that my bishop asked the whole ward how many of us were there to just get married. Almost every woman stood up and agreed that's why they were. i know BYU doesn't take tax dollars, but I bet women at all universities in Utah this is true of women.
    So women stay at home and stop wasting my taxes since you're only going to get married and never use your education.

  • D&C 132
    Jan. 27, 2010 8:22 a.m.

    Read me to see the Church's stance on this issue.

  • Jansey
    Jan. 27, 2010 8:20 a.m.

    49% to 51% sounds about as equal as you could possibly get.

  • re Gag | 7:27 a.m. Jan. 27, 201
    Jan. 27, 2010 8:19 a.m.

    You are citing an exception to the rule, and using this to claim the rule is not valid.

    Even when I went to high school, most boys who took an extra science took physics and most girls took biology. This seems to be pretty much the norm, even today.

    Don't most rules have exceptions?

    Your logic is flawed, what "Hard Science" did you earn a Ph.D. in anyway?

  • Boys and girls think differently
    Jan. 27, 2010 8:00 a.m.

    The psychology of men and women is different. Examples: At young ages, before anyone tells them what to like, boys play agressively, like to play soldier, or cowboys and indians, while girls prefer to play house and with dolls. Women are attracted to men, men are attracted to women.

    Why do we suppose that women have to be interested in the same kinds of subjects as men? To me given all the other differences in men and women, it would be surprising that this is so.

    Yet modern educators beat their "heads against the wall" trying to interest women in subjects they just aren't interested in. Physics vs Biology for example.

    I like a society where all students are given all the opportunities, and are encouraged to pursue their interests what ever they may be.

    We don't need to be disapointed if the boys and girls like different subjects.

    I tutor all my kids in mathematics. I find the math education offered in the schools isn't up to my standards.

    My girl gets the same tutoring as my boys. Yet I will not try to push any of them into going into engineering, or interior design.

  • Anon
    Jan. 27, 2010 7:54 a.m.

    As a statistician, I can say that the analysis is either flawed, showing bias, or the article is far from complete. One would consider,however, that the distribution between male and female attendees should be similar to the distribution of males and females in the general population. At typical college age, that would be about 49% women and 51% men. That would lead to the question of why men generally in the US are not attending college as much as women. Are we failing our boys or is it just a normal fluctuation?

  • Ernest T. Bass
    Jan. 27, 2010 7:51 a.m.

    We need wives and moms at home where they should be.

  • JJ
    Jan. 27, 2010 7:34 a.m.

    According to the article, 49% of enrolled college students in Utah are women. That is practically equal to male enrollment and close to ideal. Why would we want to be more like those states that have a serious problem with too few men relative to women attending college? Perhaps the article should be written with less of a gender perspective and more about getting young people (women and men) to attend college.

  • Gag
    Jan. 27, 2010 7:27 a.m.

    "Perhaps culturally, women are better prepared to handle courses offered in the humanities" She has got to be kidding... as a woman with a Ph.D. earned 28 years ago in a "hard science", I cannot believe there are still 20something women around with such a backwards attitude. Parents, help your children get a degree that will enable them to earn a living, regardless of gender. who pays someone with a degree in gender studies?

  • To: Flawed Analysis
    Jan. 26, 2010 10:15 p.m.

    Are you for real? "That total is always 100% regardless of the breakdown of men and women" Nice work sherlock! Of course it totals 100%!

    The point is Utah is different. More men (proportionally) attend college. Yeah, that's the question and the mystery...but why? What is it about Utah that makes it different? Are women starting and dropping out? If so, why? Why would men in Utah be more likely to attend and complete college (versus other states).

    Yor post makes no sense.

  • MMM
    Jan. 26, 2010 9:34 p.m.

    I would be interested to see the statistics on the gender demographic of college enrollment over the last 10 years for Utah and the rest of the U.S.. Historicizing the information would give us a better grasp of whether this enrollment level is typical.

    Also enrollment does not equate to graduation, how does the gender demographic of enrollment compare to the gender demographic of graduating classes?

  • What's the problem?
    Jan. 26, 2010 9:32 p.m.

    Did we really spend tax dollars on this study? Shouldn't we be glad that we have nearly an equal percentage of men and women within the state that are college educated? Shouldn't we work toward making sure more people in general (both men and women) get higher education? Maybe something is going right in the state when equal numbers of men and women see the benefit of a college education. Maybe there is a problem in the rest of the nation with men not seeing the benefit of college that Utah men see.

  • Flawed Analysis
    Jan. 26, 2010 9:29 p.m.

    The analysis is flawed. You can not simply look at a percentage of current attendees. That total is always 100% regardless of the breakdown of men and women and it really does not tell you what is going on really or the real issue.

    What you have to explore is how many college age men and women are attending college vs not. It might just be that more men in Utah go to college versus other states, and have nothing to do with the women at all. As the percentage is only a percentage of the total number of students attending.

    This data needs another scrub and presented more accurately in the correct context.

  • rgw
    Jan. 26, 2010 9:19 p.m.

    Maybe all the Utah women are leaving the state because they don't like the animosity between the state and private school.
    Or, maybe Utah men are more likely to go to college in Utah than in other states.
    Or, any number of reasons. We don't know. It sounds like they don't know. So, they pick a reason that will be in their best interest, funding for female education in Utah to educate them about those bad men?
    Who knows, but follow the money!

  • DBW
    Jan. 26, 2010 8:44 p.m.

    Why is the 57% female-enrollment rate of the rest of the nation considered normal? It seems that an alternative question that should at least be addressed is how likely men and women are to attend college.

    Having the enrollments close to 50% each would seem to be ideal, so long as the rate of individuals getting higher education remains high. This data is not provided in the article, so any discussion about bias is itself biased. (It may be true, just there is no support within the article.)

  • Julie
    Jan. 26, 2010 7:40 p.m.

    "more guys walking around on the other side of campus...hard sciences"
    I am the proud mother of a daughter at a Utah University that is majoring in the "hard science" field. There is only one other woman student in her department. I wonder why there are not more women there, when the job reports always indicate that Engineers are needed and the post graduation pay is high. There are scholarships and grants available to men and women in this field. This area of study takes a lot of math courses. I encourage other Moms to let your daughters see the opportunities in these "hard science" fields.