University Gender Ratios Heavily Skewed to Female

University Gender Ratios Heavily Skewed to Female. Currently university students in Australia are 55.5% female, 44.5% male — or 25% more females than males.

All areas of study except engineering (16%), information technology (19%), architecture (41%), and management and commerce (49%) are majority female, with education (76%) the most female-dominated.

At the risk of boring readers with the bleeding obvious, wouldn’t there be an outcry if the situation was reversed? In fact there used to be more males at university than females a few decades ago, and there was a big outcry that the situation required correcting to equality. Now … only crickets.

Do females do better at university due to some inherent statistical advantage perhaps? Not the obvious ones — males brains are on average about 10% heavier than females. Studies demonstrate a correlation between brain size and intelligence, with larger brains predicting higher intelligence. (Note that although male bodies are bigger on average, male and female bodies have about the same number of parts so the extra weight isn’t just because bodies are bigger.)

This is of course an area of research where only certain answers are politically correct, but the IQ situation is basically that females perform better on verbally based tests while males do better on mathematical and logic tests. The makers of IQ tests simply balance the mix of questions in IQ tests so that 16 year old males and females get the same average IQ. Why 16? Well female brains generally stop growing about that age, while males brains grow for a  couple of years longer. Adult males do a couple of points better on average on IQ tests than adult females.

brain_weight_age

Average brain weight for males and females over lifespan (Wikipedia).

Given that about half the population goes to university nowadays and the students are nearly all 18 or older, it would not appear that the prospective male university students could be any stupider than the females, on average.

Maybe high school and university life is skewed to advantage verbal skills, against logic and mathematics? (And isn’t that compatible with the rise of political correctness at Australian universities?)

Other than that, having ruled out the most obvious biological factors, perhaps a cultural factor is giving females an advantage in 21st century Australian universities? Just maybe… Gosh, wouldn’t there be an outcry if females had bigger brains, did better on IQ tests on average, yet were underrepresented in universities by 20%?

hat-tip Matthew