What if Title IX Applied to Math and Science Courses?

Debra Rolison of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory thinks that would be a great idea.  Christa Hoff Sommers,  font of anti-feminist soundbites and Resident Scholar at  the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy Research, takes  a different view:

While Title IX has been effective in promoting women’s participation in sports, it has also caused serious damage, in part because it has led to the adoption of a quota system.  

Over the years, judges, Department of Education officials, and college administrators have interpreted Title IX to mean that women are entitled to”statistical proportionality.”That is to say, if a college’s student body is 60 percent female, then 60 percent of the athletes should be female:even if far fewer women than men are interested in playing sports at that college. But many athletic directors have been unable to attract the same proportion of women as men. To avoid government harassment, loss of funding, and lawsuits, they have simply eliminated men’s teams. Although there are many factors affecting the evolution of men’s and women’s college sports, there is no question that Title IX has led to men’s participation being calibrated to the level of women’s interest. That kind of calibration could devastate academic science. * * * *

There is another essential difference between sports and science: in science, men and women play on the same teams. Very few women can compete on equal terms with men in lacrosse, wrestling, or basketball; by contrast, there are many brilliant women in the top ranks of every field of science and technology, and no one doubts their ability to compete on equal terms. Yet a centerpiece of STEM [science, technology, engineering, math] activism is the idea that science, as currently organized and practiced, is intrinsically hostile to women and a barrier to the realization of their unique intellectual potential.  

Sommers’ complete doomsday predictions can be found in  this article in The American.

H/T Ralph Stein.

-Bridget Crawford

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