Saint James College Seminary
SPECIAL REPORT: Women Lead Men in Degrees
Report from Saint James College Seminaries
Institute for Women's Studies
For the first time ever, more women
than men are graduating with
Ever since colleges and universities began operating in
the United States, men have predominated in earning
masters and doctoral degrees.
But, no longer.
As our researchers cull through the voluminous reams of
data collected during the 2010 census, a major paradigm
shit began to come into focus: women surpassed men
in graduating with advanced degrees.
Starting back in the 1980's, women began to outnumber
men overall as college enrollees.
This new reality will also precipitate significant societal
changes ... both in terms of the workforce ... and in the
During our weak economy, the gender with the best
academic preparation is poised to receive the best jobs
More women have held bachelors for some time: Starting in the year 1996, women
surpassed men in total numbers
earning bachelors degrees:
approximately 20.1-million women
hold bachelor's degrees as
compared to roughly 18.7-million
men. This creates a "degree gap"
with men lagging by nearly 1.5-million.
Now, women have pulled ahead
in masters and PhD degrees as
well: The new numbers indicate
that for the first time in history,
10.6-million women have earned
advanced degrees compared to men,
who stand at 10.5-million. These numbers are based on total adults 25 years of age and
Women now lead men in all
total education categories:
According to the Current Population Survey, of
total adults over age 25, women also lead men
in numbers having graduated from high school.
The latest statistics available are from March
2010, but show 87.6% of high school
graduates to be women as opposed to 86.6%
for young men.
Demographics are not equal:
In terms of bachelors degrees, the numbers we
have been reviewing are from the total
population, but tell a different story when
broken down according to ethnicity:
- Only 14% of Hispanics in the U.S. have
- 20% of African-Americans
- 33% of non-Hispanic whites
- 52% of Asian-Americans have bachelors
Changes in American family structure:
During the 1950's, the norm was for women to be employed in the home, raising children,
with all the responsibilities and, often, inequities, that were associated with this reality. Men
went to work in business and industry and were the wage-earners. But, as women gain ever-
increasing success in earning advanced college degrees than men, the entire system
appears to be in a state of reversal.
Currently, the male unemployment number stands at 9.3%.
On the other side of the coin, only 8.3% of women are
Statistically, half of the American workforce is comprised of
women...although that number seem certain to continue to
skew in favor of more total women working, at least in the
achievement, the research team here at The Women's
College Seminary's Institute for Women's Studies uncovered
an interesting statistic: during this time of collegiate upward
mobility for women, the number of stay-at-home mothers
is dropping. As verified in by statistical date, in fact, since
2006, the trend has been steadily downward. To illustrate
the point, in 2010, a full five million fewer mothers stayed at
home to raise children than in 2009. Translated, this
amounts to only 25% of households of married couples had a stay-at-home mom.
To shine an even brighter light on the topic, since 1969, the number of households with
women remaining at home while the husbands worked in the marketplace has dropped by
According to Dr. Kreider in a recent interview, "We're not saying the census definition of a 'stay-at-home' parent is
what reflects families today. We're simply tracking how many families fit that situation over time." Kreider. She points
out that, just as the statistics change, so too does the overriding definition. For example, the Census Bureau defines
a stay-at-home parent of either gender as being based on a stereotypical picture of a "breadwinner-homemaker"
family that was common in the 1950's. This view was not based on an accurate view then and is not based on a
picture that is truly accurate across the board today.
As Saint James College's Institute for Women's Studies researchers continued their review of literature project, they
discovered many sources indicating that a popular notion is apparently in error: In 2003, the term "opt-out moms"
became popularized following an article by New York Times writer Lisa Belkin. When Belkin coined the term, she was
alluding to high-achieving Princeton women who interrupted their careers to stay and home and raise their children.
However, according to demographer Diana B. Elliott, the co-other of a 2009 Census Bureau report, the concept of a
large group of mothers opting out of professional lives to become stay-at-home mothers seems unsubstantiated.
Quoted in a Washington Post article at the time, the Census Bureau's Elliott said, "...with the nationally representative
data, we're just not seeing that"
In fact, when all the data is digested, one thing comes into focus: the majority of stay-at-home moms are not wealthy
hyper-educated women who are able to indulge their maternal prerogatives at all but are, rather poorly educated
young women. The statistics revealed in the census demonstrate that some 20% of today's stay-at-home mothers
don't even have the benefits of a high school diploma.
Another fact that has emerged is the startling revelation that 12% of mothers who stay home to raise their children live
below the federally-established poverty line.
CONCLUSION: Back to the matter of
women having better employment
prospects than men:
Which brings us back to the current statistical reality that better-conclusion of Saint James College Seminary's Institute for Women's Studies statistical review is that, with an
educated women have more jobs during economic downturns than
men who statistically are increasingly entering the marketplace with
less education. The Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that since
the recession began in 2007, male jobs have declined 6.9%
whereas the number is only 2.6% for women. This translates to the
following significant fact: "For the first time in history, there are
about as many women on U.S. payrolls than men. The
increasing number of women earning advanced degrees, not only will they pull ahead of men academically but in this
and future recessions, women will be better insulated against joblessness than their male counterparts.
Institute for Women's Studies
those who are stay-at-home mothers tend not to be professional women who postpone their
careers in favor of remaining at home and raising children. Instead, the statistics indicate that
those who are stay-at-home moms tend to be young foreign-born Hispanic women who have not
been able to achieve college degrees.