Why men are disappearing on campus

Second, labor-market shifts have played to women’s interests and strengths. Even in 1960, women played a large role in healthcare and education. Demand for workers in these service industries has increased far more than in historically male-dominated fields such as automobile and steel manufacturing or coal mining. In general, the importance of physical strength has declined as a credential for employment.

Third, women have, on balance, outperformed men academically. There are more men failing to graduate from high school than women. About half of women entering a four-year college graduate in four years, compared with only about 40% of men. The average collegiate grade-point average isn’t tracked regularly but, according to data from 2009, it’s about 3.10 for women, versus 2.90 for men. Men are also more likely to have disciplinary problems in college from things like bar fights or fraternity hazing.

Fourth, there are about 1.24 million more men who are incarcerated than women, largely preventing them from attending traditional college. Scholars such as Charles Murray have long demonstrated that expanded government entitlements following the Great Society era have reduced traditional family formation, reduced incentives to excel both in school and on the job, and increased crime.