Women-only STEM programmes under attack as discriminatory

Female-only science programmes, launched by many universities to redress gender imbalance in such fields as computer science and engineering, are coming under growing legal attack in the United States as sex discrimination against men, writes Teresa Watanabe for the Los Angeles Times.

The United States Department of Education has opened more than two dozen investigations into universities across the nation – University of California, Berkeley, UCLA and University of Southern California, as well as Yale, Princeton and Rice universities – that offer female-only scholarships, awards, professional development workshops and even science and engineering camps for middle and high school girls. Sex discrimination in educational programmes is banned under Title IX, a federal law that applies to all institutions, both public and private, that receive federal funding.

A new study released recently found that 84% of about 220 universities offer single-gender scholarships, many of them in STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. That practice is permitted under Title IX only if the “overall effect” of scholarships is equitable. The study, by a Maryland-based non-profit advocating gender equity on college campuses, showed the majority of campus awards lopsidedly benefited women.
Full report on the Los Angeles Times site