Statistics say young women more mature than young men

By Rebecca Rosenberg |

When Flagler College junior Jillian Flowers first applied to college, her father told her that men were getting a leg-up from some admissions departments.

“[Some schools] are trying to do affirmative action for men,” Flowers said.

The admissions department trend, reported on in USA Today, Time, and other newspaper and magazines, was the result of a nationwide shift in the education levels of men versus women. The Wall Street Journal reported that 34 percent of women ages 25-34 have a bachelor’s degree, while only 27 percent of men the same age do. Some claim these statistics support the theory that young women are more mature than young men.

Flagler College sophomore Lauren McClemens has noticed in her classes that young women seem to have better attention spans than young men, giving them a natural leg up. According a handout written by William McBride and posted on the University of Arizona’s website, McClemens’ theory is correct. He says females, especially young girls, have longer attention spans and are able to follow transitions in conversations and lectures more easily than males.

McClemens also noted a difference in participation levels in her Flagler classes.

“Girls are more prone to answer questions,” McClemens said.

Flowers agrees.

“The guys in my class tend to just sit there while the girls do all the talking,” she said.

This viewpoint is not limited to females, or even to students. Flagler College professor Bruce Flickinger, who taught at an all-female liberal arts college prior to his experience at the co-educational Flagler College, said his female students are overwhelmingly more successful than their male counterparts.

“Female students have been more disciplined overall with regard to study, have been more engaged with issues from an existential perspective, and have been able to master the material covered in class and research above that of a majority of my male students,” Flickinger said.

If young women really are better students than young men, does that mean that men should benefit from affirmative action, as Flowers’ father told her, in order to increase their representation at colleges? Flowers says absolutely not.

“It’s annoying,” Flowers said. “If you can’t get into college it’s not my fault.”

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