There’s something missing at NSU — Y chromosomes.
“Women make up 70 percent of NSU students while men make up 30 percent,” said Liza Romansky, director of undergraduate marketing. She also said that 68 percent of fall 2010’s incoming undergraduate students were women.
Romansky said that one has to look at the history of women to understand the gender difference at NSU and other colleges with similar demographics. She said that in the 1950s and 1960s, women only took courses that would prepare them for a homemaking career and got married within a year or two of graduating high school. It wasn’t until the late 1960s and 1970s that women started expecting more and started taking more challenging courses in high school. This led to more college admissions for women, which led to more female graduates.
Romansky said that this trend continues.
“That trend leads us to today, where you see women fully integrated into college programs as well as professional positions in the workforce that historically have only been [occupied by] men,” she said.
However, Romanky said that men still make up the majority of students in technical fields such as computer, engineering and automotive repair.
“Men are still out there,” she said. “But women are coming to traditional college formats in greater numbers than they ever have.”
This is why NSU has more women than men, said Romanky. She said that at colleges with many science and technical degrees, such as engineering, the male to female ratio will be closer to 50/50. NSU does not have as many of these male-dominated degrees creating a 70/30 ratio.
Bernhadine Barthelmy, sophomore marketing major, said she believed there are more women in college because women plan more.
“We plan ahead of time, and we pretty much figure out what we want to do by the time we finish high school so we have a better mindset. And most men figure out what they want to do as the time comes,” she said.
Romansky said that the gender gap is much smaller in NSU’s professional programs such as law, osteopathic medicine, dentistry, and pharmacy. She said that women outnumber men in traditional undergraduate degrees such as psychology, education, humanities, history and communications.
Romansky said these numbers will eventually balance.
“As women’s roles in the world become more standard, I think that we will see men’s numbers start to rise because the women’s numbers aren’t rising as drastically as they have in the past 30 years,” she said. “We’ve had such a dramatic rise, and you can’t keep that dramatic rise going indefinitely. It’s a natural progression.”
Linus Nangwele, doctoral student in conflict analysis and re-solution, said he believes that women are awakening to the fact that they can do what men can do if not better.
“I think women have come to the realization that men can no longer, even in patriarchal societies, put women down. That time is over and out,” he said. “I think this will provoke a challenge in men to stand up and try to catch up with women. I think the momentum that we have now in the women is not going to slow down or diminish. They are on the go. They are on the move and in the right direction.”
Romansky said that NSU’s gender ratio will even out as NSU grows.
“The more degrees that are traditionally male-focused programs are offered here, the more we expand things like computer science, engineering and other technical degrees, we’ll see a change,” she said.