In the 1950s, the reasons for men and women attending college were quite different compared to the culture of today.
Men entered college with the intention of being future leaders in society, as well as breadwinners to support a family. Conversely, young women who enrolled recognized their options were limited and some attended to secure their future by finding a husband.
In the present day, for the most part, men and women both have the equal right to go to college and study what they desire. College can be the key to a successful future; however, gender related challenges do lie inside and outside the walls of college campuses.
One of the largest challenges for women on campus today is security. Sexual assault is an issue that’s growing throughout the nation. The New York State Coalition Against Sexual Assault stated that approximately one in four women will be sexually assaulted while in college.
One issue for men is that some sports are not available to them, as they as for women. At Pierce College, the current sports offered to men are baseball, basketball and soccer. While women have the option of being on a basketball, soccer, softball or volleyball team.
Additionally, another issue for women is that science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs tend to see more men than women. The U.S. Department of Commerce found in 2011 that only one in seven engineers were women. Subconsciously planted into the brain lies the gender bias that men are strongest in math and science and women in humanities and the arts, so it is only natural that in some cases, a women could feel too judged and uncomfortable to break that barrier.
Another issue men might encounter in college pertains to body image and self esteem. A low self esteem can lead to an addiction to alcohol, cigarettes and drug use.
A survey from www.nationaleatingdisorders.org found that over the past three decades men are now 43 percent dissatisfied with their bodies compared to the original 15 percent. This is certainly not just an issue that women deal with as people may think.
One common issue for both male and female students is mental health issues, which are a growing concern. Approximately one out of every four college students suffer a mental illness, according to a statistic on www.heathline.com.
Specifically, the most common disorder on campuses is anxiety. The Association for University and College Counseling Center Directors found that anxiety accounts for approximately 41.6 percent of college students, depression 36.4 percent and relationship issues 35.8 percent. The pressure to do well in college may take a toll on any student, as the heavy workload college requires may be too much to handle.
One challenge for all students is having the finances to go. It’s not just the classes that need paying for, but also textbooks, school supplies, backpacks, food and aside from community colleges, dorms. Money can easily influence the decision of which college to attend and for how long. It’s also the most common reason for a student to drop out.
Ultimately, everyone in all likelihood faces their own individual challenge. Some of the challenges between men and women are shared, despite the percentages. Whether it’s juggling homework with a job, not getting enough sleep, eating poorly or something as simple as not finding a place to park, the trials in college exist.
The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost
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