Battle of the Sexes
Published: Friday, May 4, 2012
Updated: Thursday, May 3, 2012 21:05
There are over 100 more male students than there are female students at Lyndon State College.
54% of LSC students are male, which is opposite of the national average for college gender ratios.
The current national average shows most undergraduate colleges as having nearly 60% female students (edweek.org 2011).
“I think every guy wishes the ratio was not as predominantly male at Lyndon,” says Ian Sullivan, a senior majoring in social science and secondary education. “Though it’s always good to have a few guy friends on campus.”
He says that he feels that his male and female peers perform similarly academically.
“There are some girls that are very driven, and some procrastinate and wait till the last second. It’s the same way with guys though,” says Sullivan.
The gender split can also be seen department by department.
The greatest percentage of females in a department is found in pre-nursing, with 97% females.
For example, mountain recreation management is 82% male students, with the greatest percentage of males in any department.
“I think part of that has to do with the field itself,” says Thom Anderson, mountain recreation management department head. “It’s probably more attractive to men. I’m guessing.”
Anderson says that though many people see it this way, the field is not just for men.
“We want to have more women in our department,” says Anderson. “We need both genders because we are leading all kinds of different groups.”
Anderson says that the males may sometimes think that they are better but that the woman perform equally to their male counterparts, and also usually take on more leadership roles in the classroom than the males do.
“We have plenty of females doing that and they love that, and they’re awesome at that,” says Anderson of the women stepping up as leaders.
Nicole Pfahl, a mountain recreation management major, says she does not mind being in the gender minority in her department.
“I feel like they appreciate and respect me more. I feel like I was underestimated at first. Then you kind of have to prove yourself worthy” says Pfahl.
After pre-nursing, the department with the highest percent of females is psychology and human services. This department is 88% female.
Margaret Sherrer, department head and professor of psychology and human services says, “I think the gender split among our department majors is very similar to academic departments at other colleges and universities that offer degrees in the so-called 'helping professions' such as social work, human services, and nursing which tend to attract females in higher numbers than males.”
Sherrer says she is more interested in attracting qualified students to the program than whether they are male or female.
“I think Admissions has a similar attitude about attracting interested students regardless of gender,” says Sherrer. “Again, I think this is a larger societal issue with respect to the female domination of the helping professions.”
According to Sherrer, the fact that it is a predominantly female department does not mean that the males in the department do any worse academically or practically.
“We've always had outstanding male students who are strong academically and are also very skilled in working with clients in the field,” says Sherrer.
Mariah Ogden, who is a senior majoring in psychology and human services, says of the gender difference, “It doesn’t really matter to me. I’m here to learn, not to meet a mate.”