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Inequality among the sexes still exists in higher learning

In college and in the workplace, it has been a man’s world for a number of years. Now, the trend seems to be shifting, with the ratio of women to men now increasing in America’s institutions of higher education.

USF is no stranger to this shift in the gender balance. According to USF’s Fall 2005 Day One Enrollment Profile, the total number of students on all four of USF’s campuses shows a higher enrollment of females than males.

The University’s total enrollment number is 42,714, with the number of females at 25,601 compared with 16,970 males, while there are 143 students not reported.

Other schools across the nation are also suffering from this new gender inequality in higher education. Some schools are attempting to close the gap by increasing the number of males they admit.

In an article in the Wednesday issue of USA Today, Mary Beth Marklein wrote of “Pomona College in Claremont, Calif., which last year received three applications from girls for every two from boys. It admitted a smaller share of females – 17 percent vs. 24 percent for boys – which helped it maintain a student-body ratio of roughly 50/50.”

This action may seem justifiable to observers, as well as those doing the admitting of students, to avoid an appearance of preference.

“If (enrollments) were to suddenly be 65/35, one way or another (a preference) would be a very reasonable question,” said Bruce Poch, director of admissions at Pomona, in the article.

Despite the pressures for equality among the sexes, some schools say they will not sacrifice quality for quantity.

Louis Hirsh, director of admissions at the University of Delaware, said in the USA Today article that, “(UD is) not about to take an unqualified male over a qualified woman.”

However, Hirsh also said that he recognizes that there needs to be a mix of males and females in various fields where each respective sex is underrepresented, such as more males in nursing and more females in engineering.

One would like to believe that an applicant should be selected on ability alone without taking into account age, sex or race. Thanks to a little device called affirmative action, that is now a more difficult task.

To avoid having students who do not meet college acceptance standards, they must have a quality education instilled at an early age.

It may seem like an obvious solution to a problem with an unreachable goal, but it is a goal that we as a society need to work towards. This is the only way we will end the cycle of having to accept some who are this gender and a few who are that skin color.