Today the tables have turned. With hard facts and statistics now available to “show the proof,” we are finding that females do in fact out-perform and out-achieve males. It’s a woman’s world these days.
With so many figures pointing to women’s over-achievement compared to men’s, one relative and poignant sign of female supremacy is the percentage of men and women earning college degrees. Author and CNN contributor William Bennett said in his column, “The data does not bode well for men. In 1970, men earned 60% of all college degrees. In 1980, the figure fell to 50%, by 2006 it was 43%. Women now surpass men in college degrees by almost three to two.” These statistics may seem a little skewed here on our campus, where overall male and female student ratios have long been disproportionate, but nonetheless they stand.
In addition to trailing in terms of education and their careers, men are likewise falling behind in their familial responsibilities. As men get older, we have expected better numbers for them, but that just may not be the case. In his article, Bennett said that “men are more distant from a family or their children than they have ever been. The out-of-wedlock birthrate is more than 40% in America. In 1960, only 11% of children in the U.S lived apart from their fathers. In 2010, that share had risen to 27%. Men are also less religious than ever before. According to Gallup polling, 39% of men reported attending church regularly in 2010, compared to 47% of women.”
In a previously male-dominated society (and world), women are on the rise. In her article “The End of Men,” women’s scholar and author Hanna Rosin iterated this when she said, “Man has been the dominant sex since, well, the dawn of mankind. But for the first time in human history, that is changing-and with shocking speed.”
So if men are not achieving in the same ways they had in the past, then what are they doing?
“Today, 18-to- 34-year-old men spend more time playing video games a day than 12-to 17-year-old boys,” Bennet said. Surely, the reason men at large are falling behind in society cannot be solely attributed to video games; however that does not make those statistics, or the guys contributing to them, any more attractive.
In his article, Bennett considered blaming the media and entertainment we are exposed to, wondering if the violent nature of games and movies gives young men the “wrong” idea about what it is to be a man. Yet at the same time, we must acknowledge that the young ladies in society are subject to the very same images and media sources. Maybe the “problem” is not that young men are being corrupted by the conflicting images of manhood they see. Maybe young women are simply seizing their opportunity to have it all- be it the kids, the guy and— can we just say it? All of the jobs.
In a society with high divorce rates, it is no wonder women are rethinking their careers and degrees. Not to say that women have traditionally been dependent; rather, women are independent— by their own right and for their own reasons.
Sammy Key is a senior English and Spanish double major from Tulsa, Okla.