Your university’s science and engineering programs might be “Titled nined” if Those That Care have their way.
Title IX, or the “Patsy T. Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act”, is one of those government programs that sounds like a good idea to busybodies: mandate diversity in college sports so that just as many females as males play.
It turns out, in our horrible past, some universities that received federal funding had more males engaged in sports than females. This led to ill feelings on the part of some females who wanted to join intermural competition but found that football was closed to them.
So was born the enlightened legislation Title IX, which more or less says that athletic opportunities by sex must be substantially proportionate to the student enrollment.
All evidence of Title IX “discrimination”, or disproportionality, is statistical. Count up the enrolled males and females, take that ratio, which must equal the ratio of male to female athletes. If these ratios don’t match, the university is guilty of discrimination, and a lawyer somewhere smiles.
Let’s be clear. If disproportionality exists (in favor of males of course), there are two ways to fix it.
- Increase the number of females engaged in athletics
- Decrease the number of males engaged in athletics
Large, wealthy schools, with fairness in mind, have a go at (1) first. But after a while they, and at a start the smaller schools, opt for (2), because it’s cheaper and easy. (Cut the men’s table tennis funding, for example.) Well, losing a program or two is OK, because universities probably spend too much on athletics anyway.
Now it’s obvious to everybody that more males than females opt for science and engineering degrees—for whatever reason. But it will not be easy to attain proportionality in these fields as it was in sports.
For sports, a college could create a new program, say volleyball for females, where none existed before, thus boosting the number of females in line with option (1).
But this ploy can’t be done in science and engineering because there is no way to create a new chemistry. Unless, for example—and I hesitate to prophecy—“feminist chemistry” is defined to be “science”. (Postmodernist humanities programs had a go at these kinds of redefinitions, but their investigations appear to be on the wane.)
You can’t force matriculating females to select science and engineering as a major. But you can limit the enrollment of males.
Most universities probably—but only probably—won’t be as daring as to say “No more males in mathematics!” But they will be able to, for example, cut the meteorology program, or limit enrollment of males in electrical engineering.
I’d prefer that, if forced to by law, universities opt for method (1) and redefine science and engineering. Call English “the systematic and scientific study of literature.” Such a move would probably not only balance the proportion of males to females in “science”, but even boost it in females’ favor.
Who cares what is called “science”? It’s just a label, and often a misleading one. You often read “the science shows this” and “the science shows that.” “Science” doesn’t show anything, and can’t. A physicist might create a useful, predictive model, or a mathematician might prove a theorem, or a biologist might show what happens when organism A meets chemical B.
But those are just facts of a similar nature gathered under a description. Odd thing is that the description gets the credit, “science” is what is said to cause the results. Far better to let the facts and the people that discovered them get the credit.
So call the study of how to shelve and catalog books “science” and Those That Care can go on to care about something else.