Data on Gender Segregation in Occupations (2012)

Teaching Arlie Hochschild’s The Managed Heart in my sociological theory class recently, I was looking for data on the percentage of flight attendants today who are male. I found a nice post on the issue by Mona Chalabi (“Dear Mona”) on the FiveThirtyEight blog. Answer: In 1980, 14.3 percent of flight attendants were male; in 2012, 24.2 percent.

Chalabi also provided this really helpful graphic showing the percentage of U.S. workers who are male in a huge number of job sectors, from least male (kindergarten and earlier school teachers – 2.3%) to most male (boilermakers – 99.8%).


Title IX at Wake Forest University

I find Title IX endlessly complex and fascinating. I am teaching the Sociology of Sport this fall and the more I dig into the issue, the less I feel like I know and the more I want to know. In response to a class discussion, a student forwarded me the following email from our university president. I know I got this email also, but can’t find it.

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Nathan O. Hatch <>
Date: Fri, Feb 24, 2012 at 1:16 PM
Subject: Action required on Title IX training
To: broadcast-all@xxxxxx

Dear Students, Faculty and Staff:
On April 4, 2011, the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights issued a “Dear Colleague” Letter (DCL) addressing issues of sexual violence and misconduct on college campuses. The DCL gave colleges and universities guidance on how they should address these issues on their campuses. One of the DCL recommendations is that schools implement preventive education programs regarding sexual violence and misconduct, including information about available resources and the school’s policies and procedures for responding to complaints. We have created a website that includes educational materials for faculty, staff and students that can be found at
The Wake Forest Sexual Misconduct Policy includes information about how to report incidents of sexual misconduct, resources available to students and information about sexual misconduct hearings that occur on campus. We take these matters very seriously, and there are a number of programs and resources in place to support our entire campus community.
We have also recently named a new Title IX Coordinator, Angela Culler, Assistant Vice President for Employee Relations and Compliance, who is available to speak to victims of sexual misconduct. There are also several Title IX Deputy Coordinators available to assist in these matters, including Charlene Buckley (Office of Dean of Student Services), Betsy Hoppe (Schools of Business), Barbara Walker (Athletics), Shonda Jones (Divinity School), Ann Gibbs (Law School), Brad Jones (Graduate School of Arts and Sciences) and Doris McLaughlin (Human Resources).
Wake Forest believes in the importance of making all employees and students aware of this information and the University’s Sexual Misconduct Policy. We ask that you make time in the next two weeks to visit the following website, review the information and complete a short test to certify that you have read and understood this important information.

Please provide your Wake Forest network username and password when prompted. (For assistance with your user name and password, please visit the Information Systems Service Desk located at The Bridge in the Z Smith Reynolds Library.) Every employee and student must complete this training as promptly as possible, and no later than March 9, 2012.

Wake Forest University is firmly committed to providing all individuals with an environment that is free of sexual harassment and sexual violence. Thank you so much for your assistance in achieving this important goal.
Nathan O. Hatch

Men: Choose Your Car Wisely

From the Chronicle of Higher Education’s “No Kidding” Column (5/22/09):

IS THAT A BENTLEY IN YOUR POCKET? Men who drive luxury cars are found to be more attractive than those who drive subcompacts, says a study published online in March in the British Journal of Psychology. Study participants were shown pictures of a model of the opposite sex in two different cars: a silver Bentley Continental and a red Ford Fiesta. While men found the model equally attractive in both settings, women rated the model as “significantly more attractive” when sitting in the Bentley. Noted the study: “It would appear that despite a noticeable increase in female ownership of prestige/luxury cars over recent years, males, unlike females, remain oblivious to such cues.”

By the way, I drive a Hyundai. No kidding.

Title IX, Properly Understood

As a sort of follow-up to my previous entry on college athletics, a few thoughts on the infamous and badly misunderstood “Title IX.”

(1) “Title IX” is actually part of the Education Amendments of 1972 to the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It specifies, quite uncontroversially, I hope: “No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance.”

(2) Although most visible in higher education, Title IX also applies to elementary and secondary schools, as well as to federally-funded education programs in correctional institutions, health care institutions, etc. and to federally-funded programs such as internships and school-to-work.

(3) Although most notable in sports, the original Title IX legislation did not even include a reference to athletics. Rather, the Education Amendments of 1974 called on the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare to develop guidelines for the application of nondiscrimination regulations to intercollegiate athletics. But Title IX also — and perhaps more importantly — applies to bands, clubs, health facilities, dorms, dining halls, etc.

(4) I said there were two, but there are actually three tests that are used to determine compliance with nondiscrimination by sex in intercollegiate athletics. According to a 1979 document from the Office for Civil Rights of Office of the Secretary of Housing, Education, and Welfare:

(a) Whether intercollegiate level participation opportunities for male and female students are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments; or


(b) Where the members of one sex have been and are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletes, whether the institution can show a history and continuing practice of program expansion which is demonstrably responsive to the developing interest and abilities of the members of that sex; or


(c) Where the members of one sex are underrepresented among intercollegiate athletes, and the institution cannot show a continuing practice of program expansion such as that cited above, whether it can be demonstrated that the interests and abilities of the members of that sex have been fully and effectively accommodated by the present program.

Reasonable people can certainly disagree about whether men and women should receive equal numbers of athletic scholarships for Division I and II athletics. But this is just a small part of the overall purpose of Title IX, just as scholarship-granting intercollegiate athletics is a small part of the overall purpose of colleges and universities.

Considered in the context of the larger purpose of Title IX and higher education generally, I favor a broad interpretation and strong enforcement of these statutes when applied to the very specific case of college sports and scholarships. And I say this as someone whose opportunity to play college baseball was taken away due to cutbacks in men’s sports back in the 1980s. Participation in college sports, for both men and women, is a privilege, not a right. But if we’re going to have them, it is a privilege that should apply equally to men and women.

College Sports — Yay or Nay?

The New York Times last week ran an excellent series of articles on the chase for N.C.A.A. scholarships, the scarcity of athletic aid, and the challenges facing coaches and scholarship athletes

The articles confirmed my uneasiness about “big time college sports.” On the one hand, I am an avid fan of many college sports and like the college athletes who I know from class or campus. On the other hand, I don’t know that I would want any of my children to play sports in college, at least in Divisions I or II. The academic sacrifices seem too great.

The series has articles called “Expectations Lose to Reality of Sports Scholarships,” “It’s Not an Adventure, It’s a Job” and “Divvying Scholarship Dollars Can Divide a Team,” as well as interesting data on the maximum number of scholarships available per sport and the actual average value of scholarships by sport and gender.

Check it out and see what you think: The Scholarship Divide

Girls Gone Wild. . . What’s the attraction for women?

I think we can understand the attraction of “Girls Gone Wild” to men. Men, after all, are pigs. But what’s the attraction for the women (or, rather, “girls”)? Is this sort of soft-core porn exhibitionism empowering for these women? Or is it just more of the same?

Listen to the author of Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture, Ariel Levy, on “Fresh Air” with Terry Gross from Tuesday, November 28th.

Kids are Funny, Part Deux

More conversations in the household —

10 Year Old Son: There are too many girls in my Sunday school class.

Father: How can that be? That’s like saying there are too many flowers.

5 Year Old Son: Boys and girls are enemies.

Father: What?!

5 Year Old Son: Like England and France.

I don’t know who writes these kids’ material, but some of it is pretty dang funny. Of course, beneath the humor lurks an ugly reality: from an early age boys and girls are taught to think of each other as different and hostile genders. I am always amazed to find — as I did in my son’s kindergarten class this year — separate sign-in sheets for boys and girls. Is this necessary? Or lining up for lunch in two different lines: one for boys one for girls. I can see having kids line up by gender if they are waiting to use the bathroom, but for lunch? These practices go on totally unquestioned in the schools.

And those are the more mild forms of gender differentiation. See Barrie Thorne’s book, Gender Play: Girls and Boys in School.

Gender Relations

One of the most consistent complaints I heard from undergraduates at Our Lady’s University concerned the poor gender relations on campus. Two major components were that men and women did not form real friendships often enough and dating did not take place between students. The two dominant ways men and women related to one another was (1) drunken hook-ups and (2) getting engaged to marry. Nothing in between.

Students often attributed this to OLU’s Catholic heritage, single-sex dorms, and policy of not allowing people in opposite sex dorms overnight (“parietals”). This led many of them to believe that if these pathologies were eliminated, gender relations would improve.

I always maintained that the state of gender relations was a generational issue, not attributable to the particular characteristics of OLU, So I defended single-sex dorms and (to a lesser extent) the parietal policy. Recently, one of my students here at Wake Forest offered some support for my position in an essay she wrote for class. The following is an excerpt:

An observation often made about seniors graduating from Wake Forest is that they are either engaged, almost engaged, or have never dated anyone in college. Why is this the pattern? Is it what students want? In the [campus newspaper] there was an article that expressed both a male and a female perspective on this issue. Both acknowledge that this was the common pattern at Wake Forest. As the girls put it, “people either don’t date at all, or are picking out rings.” . . . The other extreme found at Wake Forest is that people don’t date, but rather just hook-up on the weekends or after parties. The girl in the newspaper article asks, “Why is there pressure to randomly hook-up and not commit to one person?” This is definitely due partly to the pressure that is put on marriage. People don’t want to date someone if there is going to be a pressure for them to get married.

Wake Forest is not a Catholic university, it has co-ed dorms, and students are allowed in each others’ rooms overnight (provided that they are not actually sleeping — aside: this seems to be a self-defeating policy since I don’t think the kids are staying over to sleep). So, something more general is going on between men and women (or, perhaps more accurately, boys and girls) today. Even the commonalities in the language used on the different campuses — “ring by spring,” “hooking up,” “friend with benefits,” “walk of shame” — suggests that this is to some extent a generational issue.

But as I think about this further, I increasingly believe that saying it is a “generational issue” does not fully explain the situation. The student bodies at OLU and Wake Forest are very similar: predominantly white, upper-middle class, and suburban. So, social background may play a role. Also, both OLU and Wake Forest are largely residential campuses with no real “town-and-gown” relationship with the surrounding community and, hence, a limited social life for students. These characteristics — common to many private colleges/universities — may play a role. And the role of alcohol in the social lives of students surely has a profound effect on the way men and women relate to one another socially. I didn’t notice any major difference between the gender relations on-campus and those among students who lived off-campus; alcohol seemed to be a common denominator impeding improved relations.

One final observation, about OLU only since I don’t know what the case is at Wake Forest yet: as much as students complained about the poor gender relations on campus, no one seemed to do anything about it. I think it was easier for the students to point to the single-sex dorms and parietals than to change their behavior. Plus, if the milk is free, why buy the cow?