Category Archives: Sex and gender

Probing UVa’s Gender Gap: Is It an Admissions Problem?

First-time, first-year applicants, offers and yields by gender, 2016-2021. Click for more legible image.

by James A. Bacon

As highlighted in our last post, the University of Virginia admits significantly more women than men. The split in the undergraduate student body is roughly 54/46. My aim in pointing out the disparity was not, as some readers presumed, to argue for special preferences for men; admission to UVa should be based on merit. I was exploring the question of whether the goal of achieving “equity” (whether defined as equal “outcomes” or equal “opportunity”) applies to all under-represented groups, including men, or just to so-called “marginalized” groups favored by progressive ideology.

Having documented that males are comparable to females in academic aptitude, at least among those who take the SATs, I suggested that some other factor might account for the disparity in their numbers at UVa. One possibility is that more women than men apply to UVa. All other things being equal, one would expect more women to be admitted if more women applied. Another possibility, which I raised in a previous post, is that UVa is suffused with subtle but systemic anti-male bias.

In this post, we’ll examine the role of the admissions process. I will delve into the issue of campus culture in a future post. Continue reading