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Discriminating against men hasn’t solved gender disparities in STEM

Terra Miley, left, from Frances Scott Key High School, Claire Kettula, from South Carroll High School, participated in Exelon’s HeForShe STEM Innovation Leadership Academy. The Exelon Foundation and United Nations Women HeForShe hosted its second annual STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Innovation Leadership Academy July 14-19 in Baltimore, July 21-26 in Philadelphia, and Aug. 4-9 in Chicago. The 2019 Academy events were tailored to the increasing number of young women who express an interest in STEM careers. The week-long curriculum incorporates a series of hands-on STEM activities centered on climate action, visits to noteworthy energy and environmental landmarks, and discussions with prominent female STEM leaders, and culminated with an academy-wide Energy Innovation Challenge, encouraging participants to identify ways to increase energy efficiency on college campuses.
Terra Miley, left, from Frances Scott Key High School, Claire Kettula, from South Carroll High School, participated in Exelon’s HeForShe STEM Innovation Leadership Academy. The Exelon Foundation and United Nations Women HeForShe hosted its second annual STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) Innovation Leadership Academy July 14-19 in Baltimore, July 21-26 in Philadelphia, and Aug. 4-9 in Chicago. The 2019 Academy events were tailored to the increasing number of young women who express an interest in STEM careers. The week-long curriculum incorporates a series of hands-on STEM activities centered on climate action, visits to noteworthy energy and environmental landmarks, and discussions with prominent female STEM leaders, and culminated with an academy-wide Energy Innovation Challenge, encouraging participants to identify ways to increase energy efficiency on college campuses. (Courtesy Photo)

Famed historian Carl Sandburg once remarked, “If the facts are against you, argue the law. If the law is against you, argue the facts. If the law and the facts are against you, pound the table and yell like hell.” Taking this aphorism to heart, the recent Baltimore Sun editorial railed against the SAVE study that found disturbing disparities in sex-specific scholarships in Maryland and across the country (“Women in STEM: The pendulum hasn’t swung nearly far enough,” Sept. 3).

If the Sun editorial had opted to argue the facts, it would have highlighted that Johns Hopkins University now offers zero scholarships designated for men, compared to five scholarships for women. At the Community College at Baltimore County, the shortfall is even worse — two scholarship programs for male students and 16 for female students. In Maryland, our study documented a stunning 16-1 disparity that disadvantages male students who now represent only 40% of the total U.S. college population.

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Or if The Sun had decided to argue the law, it would have reported on the Title IX law that bans sex discriminatory programs. The law does allow for STEM scholarship programs exclusive to women, but only if the university provides off-setting scholarships for male students. But lacking any plausible argument based on facts or on the law, the Sun editorial resorted to one-sided sarcasm and ridicule. The Sun readership surely expects better.

Everett Bartlett, Rockville

The writer is president of the SAVE Title IX Equity Project.

Add your voice: Respond to this piece or other Sun content by submitting your own letter.

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