Oct 1st, 2019, 02:33 AM

Where Are All The Men?!

By Lauren Nanes
Where are all the men? Image credit: Rob Curran on Unsplash.
Where are all the men? Image credit: Rob Curran on Unsplash.
The ongoing gender gap at AUP

On September 24, 2019 President Celeste Schenck sent out a community-wide email to all AUP members addressing, among many other things, the ever-present gender gap that has uniquely defined AUP's student body for years. With the attendance currently a little over one thousand students, what President Celeste Schenck describes as the "clear and enduring gender gap" persists.

The ratio of students at AUP is currently 70 percent women to 30 percent men and appears to have been that way for a while. The graph below received by email from Taylor Brooks, an institutional research analyst here at AUP, displays that ever since the 2012-2013 academic school year the gender demographics at AUP have remained particularly stagnant with a 70 percent female and 30 percent male population on average.

Percent of Student Heads by Academic Year and Gender. Image credit: Taylor Brooks AUP Institutional Research Analyst.

These persisting gender demographics at AUP are not a result of admissions selectivity but are rather due to a female-dominated applicant pool. When questioned about the gender demographics of AUP applicants over email, Mr. Brooks explained that "the gender gap in the general student population follows closely along with the applicants." As seen in the graph below, the large saturation of female attendance is traceable to the stage of the application. Men, once again, average to only 30 percent of the AUP applicant pool while women average to about 70 percent.

Applicants by Gender. Image credit: Taylor Brooks AUP Institutional Research Analyst.

This enigmatic gender gap is puzzling for many students, those of which are claiming that closing the gender gap would help diversify the population here at AUP. Urszula Wrobel, a student at AUP commented, "I think there would be a better atmosphere here if there was more gender diversity. Because there are so many women and so little men, there is usually an overarching female perspective in classes." 

Gender demographics in the classroom. Image credit: Mikael Kristenson on Unsplash.

Within the classroom the gender gap at AUP is very hard to ignore. With most lectures, labs, and practicums majorly populated with women, there are few instances where female dialogues do not outnumber the male ones. As of now, our only explanation as to why AUP is a female-dominated school is due to more females applying. The next question, why are there fewer male applicants? Urszula Wrobel surmised that "studying abroad in Paris is a very romanticized idea which maybe appeals more to a female rather than male demographic." Another student at AUP, Tom Youngblood, attributes the majority of the AUP male population to transfer programs; "I know that a large incentive for guys at my university [USC] to attend AUP for a year is because they could then possibly be admitted back into USC." 

There are a lot of questions regarding the demographics at AUP left unanswered. Explanations as to why the gender demographics at AUP remain so heavily female weighted have not been found yet - and the question still remains: What efforts are being done at AUP, if any, to finally change this "clear and enduring" gender gap?