"I believe females should be 51% of engineering students (the same proportion as females in the state)" a dean of engineering told us recently.
He reflects the thinking of most people in education. And there is now a national movement to boost female engineering enrollments to half. But what does the evidence indicate?
Some problems with this position:
1. It is based on "belief" and not evidence and science.
2. Most people with this position do not believe there is anything different neurologically and hormonally between women and men that affects their learning.
3. If wrong, it will lead to even greater shortages of skilled workers, a shortage that will jeopardize our safety, lower our standard of living, and make your retirement plan worth less.
The basis for the "belief" is that women, though now successful in other previously-male-dominated professions, have some how been raised wrongly. It's been 30 years since parents of girls have been almost universally feminist, since teachers have been almost universally feminist, and yet somehow these feminist parents and teachers have been chauvinists with girls. Go figure.
Can women be half of all engineering students? Yes, it's easy. Cheat. Raise GPA requirements, lower test score requirements, and grade only on female friendly assessments like essays and oral reports. Coming up: two other views. But go ahead and comment now!