Gender Ratio and Getting a MR Degree

It used to be the norm for people to joke about young women attending post-secondary education in order to get a MRS degree (in other words – marry someone who was going places and who could support them for the rest of their lives).  The times they are a changing!  These days most campuses are heavily skewed towards the fairer sex and one would think that logically this would be a great selling point to advertise to young eligible men out there.

Creative Motivation

Since it appears to be less and less common for young males to pick up a book these days I am unashamed to say that as a teacher, I will use any tool at my disposal when it comes to motivating the semi-apathetic boys group.  I occasionally point out that while I am not great at math, certain ratios make a lot of sense to me.  For example, most campuses on Canada are currently sitting around the 55% female mark at the moment.  The incentive doesn’t end there however, if you are bright enough to enter post-secondary and look for a “target-rich environment “ like my hunting buddies used to say, the ratios become even more skewed.  In basic arts and humanities, women make up 60% or so of most classes, and if you go into nursing (my mom – a career nurse – claims that there is a huge demand for male nurses) or education you can count on their being roughly five young ladies for every one of your mars-inhabiting brethren.  I figure if numbers like that don’t make sense to 15-17 year old boys, there probably isn’t much hope!

All joking aside, while this idea might be crude, it is certainly viable.  More women than basically at any point in history are now the breadwinners for the traditional family unit and this number appears ready to grow.  If women shamelessly played the odds game at post-secondary institutions for years, should men feel bad about at least considering it as one of the benefits to going to school?  While I would NEVER claim in any way, shape, or form, that someone should base their choice for a partner entirely on post-secondary education level, it is a useful social filter in some ways.  For better or for worse, many ladies will assume that a guy that is in school and knows a few big words is at least worth talking to.  At the very least it is an easy icebreaker to talk about student life and what classes someone is taking.

Competitive Instincts

The other interesting dynamic that I’ve noticed in several professional faculties such as nursing and education is that there is definitely an underlying current of competition that exists in most classrooms.  It is my purely hypothetical theory that this is due in part to the fact that the average age in these faculties is substantially higher than it is basic arts and science courses.  I think it is plausible that because these students would be closer to the idea of “settling down” and/or leaving post-secondary study (a major milestone in life) they would be a little more focused on long-term relationships and zeroing in on potential partners.  When you combine that armchair psychology with the female-to-male ratio in these faculties, you often find yourself with a “Bachelor-esque scenario” where women’s natural competitive instincts may kick in to a young gentleman’s advantage.

Why Didn’t The Bouncer Let The Boys In?

Ladies, I’m not sure what to tell you.  Sorry, this is the price you pay for all those years of pushing for equality and being more academically driven than we are ;).  If you want to stack the odds in your favor there are a still a few bastions left where the mere sight of women is usually enough to cause several stumbles and pulled necks.  Check out several of the trades-based careers, or certain engineering faculties across the country.  In addition to hopefully finding a pretty face, you’ll get an education that should lead directly to a great career as well!

As a teacher I can definitely say that teacher-teacher partnerships hold a lot of advantages.  Summers off anyone?  Early retirement?  Yes, please. 

Male students out there, have any of you taken notice at how we are fast becoming endangered species in some campus buildings?  While there are definitely some potential problems down the road with this trend, you’re crazy to ignore the potential benefits to you right?  Ladies, is it disappointing to walk into a class and see a lack of eye candy, or is it “all business” in the classroom anyway?

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11 years ago

While there are obvious “odds” advantages to taking an educational path favored by the opposite gender, there are some downsides too. Tech isn’t that friendly to women, sadly, and nursing isn’t that great for men. There’s just a lot of hostility. Besides, if you want to marry a nurse be a doctor or an EMT if you don’t want to pay for medical school.

11 years ago

I think that’s a bit of an oversimplification W. I know for a fact that nurses love having a male nurse on staff, and while I don’t know how that translates into treatment within the faculty, I’m betting that some of the practical need for men’s physical strength (on average) would trump any minor gender role issues. Becoming a doctor seems like a lot of work just to ask a nurse out on a date!

LOL at your comment about teacher-teacher partnerships…

In all honesty, I knew a few girls who went to college for that MRS degree. And my own husband jokes that if I get one more raise or high-profile client, he’s going to quit his job and let me be his sugar mama.

11 years ago

Great article. Thanks for sharing.

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