A Major Threat To American Science

Some important articles lose audience because of faulty please-don’t-read-me headlines. Christina Hoff Sommers’s article in The American, “Why Can’t A Woman Be More Like a Man?,” featured today on Minding the Campus, is surely one of these. Sommers, author of Who Stole Feminism?, argues that the “title-nining” of science education now looms as a serious threat. Gender feminists, with the connivance of some university administrators and uncomprehending congressional committees, argue that only “hidden bias” can account for the disparity between women and men in science, thus requiring use of Title IX as an “implacable hammer” to force equity. One of the successful pioneer efforts to combat evidence-free “hidden bias” with evidence-free findings occurred at M.I.T. (See my 2002 column on the disaster here).Title IX evolved into a quota system as Judges and bureaucrats demanded “statistical proportionality” between male and female athletes in schools. Unable to attract women to athletics in the same proportion as men, universities were forced to eliminate male teams to create a dubious equality. The same procedure in science, Sommers argues, would be a national disaster. “There is no question that Title IX has led to men’s participation being calibrated to the level of women’s interest,” Sommers writes. “That kind of calibration could devastate academic science.”

John Leo

John Leo is the editor of Minding the Campus, dedicated to chronicling imbalances within higher education and restoring intellectual pluralism to our American universities. His popular column, "On Society," ran in U.S.News & World Report for 17 years.

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