Sometimes it’s really hard to believe the academic word works the way it does, and I’ve highlighted many of the surreal aspects of higher ed. A recent article highlights just how bizarre the endless emphasis on “must have more females in STEM” obsession in higher ed today is:
It really is amazing watching admin (and the faculty who eagerly do their bidding) bend over for the prospect of a female, particularly one who shows talent and interest in an ‘under-represented’ field, not that there’s a study showing what the proper representation should be. I grant that far fewer females than males go into most STEM fields. In my graduate mathematics cohort, we had 20 students, and only three were female. All three had full ride scholarships, of course…and all three dropped out by the end of the first year.
Still, it’s amazing the bonuses and benefits for being a female going into STEM, and while I personally have never seen an admin look at such a student lecherously, I’ve noted a weird gleam in their eye at scooping another prospect with the right set of (self-identified?) genitals.
So, yes, the title of the article caught my eye, and I bookmarked it for later review.
With responses ranging from “squirming in discomfort” to “completely discouraged from studying science and engineering,” a nationwide poll group of high school-age girls revealed Tuesday that the nation’s young women are being utterly creeped out by scientists twice their age constantly attempting to lure them into the study of science, technology, engineering, and math.
I know not to trust polls outright, and I read the above line before saving the link. Some time later I track down the origin of the poll, to see if it’s at least a little credible.
“They’re always hanging around our classrooms and sending us targeted messages online—they sometimes even offer us money if we’re into their sort of thing. It’s so desperate,” said 13-year-old…
The targeting of girls starts in the public school system. Any female child showing aptitude has all her relevant information passed on to the guidance counselor, who “helpfully” passes it on to the state higher education system. These kids come out of high school with the STEM path all laid out for them—how can you turn down all the scholarship money and other benefits? Everyone is all smiles, doing everything they can to make STEM a warm, comforting environment.
It sounds nice on the surface, but, at the risk of drawing ire from feminists, “guiding” female children like this into a STEM career is every bit as questionable as steering them into an early marriage and childbearing.
And this of course assumes it even works as planned. All too often (much like the female grad students I started with), the female ends up dropping out of the program, and fast. Now there’s a big problem: the scholarships for being a female STEM student drain away if she’s no longer majoring in STEM. As yet, a female hasn’t decided to become male while remaining a STEM student, but in today’s lunatic world, we can’t rule this problem out as occurring at some point, and I wonder what would become of xer scholarship?
Most STEM programs/schools are expensive, and so this poor student has now been guided into her own destruction—some scholarships are only “free money” contingent upon completing the program. Admin gets bonuses for luring in female STEM students, but doesn’t necessarily care what happens after they sign up. With any luck, the student has only wasted a year of her life, but it could go much worse.
Even if she graduates with her STEM degree, there are problems, as there’s a big push to reduce STEM standards so the females will do better. Her degree when she graduates won’t even be worth as much as she was told, because it’s quite reasonable to believe a “female friendly STEM” degree isn’t quite as attracting to employers as previous (hard) degrees were.
I really, really, hate the idea of identity politics infesting so much of higher education, as the capacity for evil is great while the potential for good is effectively nil.
At long last, I check where this strange study is coming from: The Onion. This is a phenomenal parody site, though it’s been years since they “got me” with one of their fake articles. The last time they got me was with an article talking about a wide range of Hollywood stars, including legendary lothario Jack Nicholson, “coming out” as homosexuals.
Higher education is now so bizarre that even the most ridiculous Onion piece about it can be as credible as something about Hollywood.
This is not a good sign.