We read constantly in the press about about efforts by the Establishment to hunt down and bayonet the last redoubts of male dominance. For example, the New York Times is currently worked up over astronomy departments being too male. As we all know, he who controls the astronomy department controls the world!
But in reality, the Big Three of powerful professional schools — law schools, medical schools, and business schools — opened up to women students a long time ago, with near sex equality occurring in enrollments with relatively little resistance over the course of the 1970s.
From the New York Times:
More Law Degrees for Women, but Fewer Good Jobs
By ELIZABETH OLSON NOV. 30, 2016
Women currently occupy nearly half of all the seats in American law schools, gaining credentials for a professional career once all but reserved for men. But their large presence on campus does not mean women have the same job prospects as men.
New research indicates that female law students are clustered in lower-ranked schools, and fewer women are enrolled in the country’s most prestigious institutions. …
This means women “start at a disadvantage” that may well continue throughout their professional lives, Ms. Merritt said. Despite the high numbers with law degrees, women hold fewer than 20 percent of partnerships at law firms and are underrepresented in the higher echelons of law, including the ranks of judges, corporate counsel, law school deans and professors.
Ms. Merritt and Kyle McEntee, executive director of the nonprofit group Law School Transparency, decided to examine American Bar Association data and other official statistics to see why fewer qualified women made it into the legal profession’s highest rungs even though there has been general numerical equality in law school enrollment for more than two decades.
They found that the disadvantage for women was created by more than overall numbers; it began even before law school, when a smaller percentage of female college graduates applied to law school compared with similarly credentialed men.
Even though women earn 57 percent of college degrees, they account for just under 51 percent of law school applicants. And when they do apply, they are less likely to be accepted. For 2015, for example, 75.8 percent of applications from women were accepted compared with 79.5 percent of applications by men, according to figures from the Law School Admission Council, which collects data on the gender and ethnicity of applicants.
There is also a gap depending on a law school’s national ranking or its job placement success, according to the study.
Over all, 49.4 percent of the country’s nearly 114,000 law school students are women, but that percentage drops at the top 50 nationally ranked schools. Top-tier schools, in the 2015-16 academic year, enrolled just over 47 percent of women as students compared with lower-ranked or unranked law schools, which enrolled 53.5 percent women as students, according to study data. …
In contrast, the lowest-performing schools — the ones that listed fewer than 40 percent of their graduates in jobs that require bar passage — had noticeably higher female enrollment, at 55.9 percent of students. …
One reason for the gender gap, Ms. Merritt and Mr. McEntee said in the report, was that the national rankings have become so important that the 50 highest-ranked schools “increasingly stress LSAT (Law School Admission Test) scores over other admissions factors as they fight for better rankings. This disadvantages women, who have lower LSAT scores (on average) than men.”
Women score an average of two points lower than men on the LSAT, which is still the key admissions number.
Women who take the LSAT average about a quarter standard deviation lower than men who take the LSAT. When you get out to the Top 14 law schools, that’s starting to make a noticeable difference.
Here’s a graph from the Law School Admissions Council on LSAT score distributions in 2011-12:
As part of the 21st Century effort to make graphs harder to read, girls are blue, boys are red. When you get out to, say, 170, the fraction of males is notably larger than the fraction of females.
It’s Larry Summers 101: men have broader, flatter IQ distributions than women. The left end of the bell curve doesn’t take the LSAT, so there are more men who do very well on it.