Elsewhere Unequal gender ratio at U.S. universities causes social confusion

The Lariat (Baylor U.)

(U-WIRE) WACO, Texas-Home alone Saturday night with a tub of Blue Bell and season five of Friends? No need to wallow in self-pity. Three out of every 25 girls have to be dateless at Baylor University. With a current 12 percent gender gap between the sexes, Baylor’s campus is part of a national trend toward an unbalanced male-to-female ratio.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, the gender breakdown of colleges that receive federal student aid in 2003-04 was 57.4 percent women and 42.6 percent men, compared to Baylor’s current 56.4 percent women and 43.6 percent men in fall 2005.

“Nationally, more women do go to college than men,” James Steen, associate vice president of admission and enrollment services, said. “Women are usually more organized and goal oriented. They are earlier to apply and pay their deposits.”

The Baylor recruitment process is gender blind, Steen said, but the university does aim for a normal distribution, keeping “shaping goals” in mind. The entering class of fall 2005 saw an increase in men from the previous freshmen group.

According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, female enrollment increased from 42 percent in 1970 to 56 percent in 2001. Additionally, women have met and surpassed men in degree attainment over the past three decades.

Some point to differences in the way women learn and the current educational methodology geared toward this feminine way of thinking as a possible reason for the growing gap.