After midnight on a rainy night last week in Chapel Hill, N. Bathed in a neon glow, they splashed beer from pitchers, traded jokes and belted out lyrics to a Taylor Swift heartache anthem thundering overhead. As a night out, it had everything — except guys.
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The experience has grown tiresome: they slip on tight-fitting tops, hair sculpted, makeup just so, all for the benefit of one another, Ms. Women have represented about 57 percent of enrollments at American colleges since at leastaccording to a recent report by the American Council on Education.
Researchers there cite several reasons: women tend to have higher grades; men tend to drop out in disproportionate s; and female enrollment skews higher among older students, low-income students, and black and Hispanic students. In terms of academic advancement, this is hardly the worst news for women — hoist a mug for female achievement.
And certainly, women are primarily in college not because they are looking for men, but because they want to earn a degree. But surrounded by so many other successful women, they often find it harder than expected to find a date on a Friday night.
Andrew, who had a large circle of male friends in high school.
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Jayne Dallas, a senior studying advertising who was seated across the table, grumbled that the population of male undergraduates was even smaller when you looked at it as a dating pool. Needless to say, this puts guys in a position to play the field, and tends to mean that even the ones willing to make a commitment come with storied romantic histories.
These sorts of romantic complications are hardly confined to North Carolina, an academically rigorous school where most students spend more time studying than socializing. The College of Charleston, a public liberal arts college in South Carolina, is 66 percent female.
The gender gap is not universal. The Ivy League schools are largely equal in gender, and some still tilt male. But at some schools, efforts to balance the s have been met with complaints that less-qualified men are being admitted over more-qualified women.
In December, the United States Commission on Civil Rights moved to subpoena admissions data from 19 public and private colleges to look at whether they were discriminating against qualified female applicants. Students interviewed here said they believed their mating rituals reflected those of college students anywhere. But many of them — men and women alike — said that the lopsided population tends to skew behavior. Lynch said.
Want to hang out next week? As for a man's cheating, "that's a thing that girls let slide, because you have to," said Emily Kennard, a junior at North Carolina. Kennard, however, said that she does not personally tolerate cheating.
Faculty members and administrators are well aware of the situation. Stephen M. Also, he said, more young men than women in the state opt to enter the military or the work force directly out of high school.
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And the university feels obligated to admit the most qualified applicants, regardless of gender, Mr. Farmer said. The phenomenon has also been an area of academic inquiry, formally and informally. Bogle, a sociologist at La Salle University in Philadelphia, wrote in an e-mail message.
Translation: more partners, more sex. Women on gender-imbalanced campuses are paying a social price for success and, to a degree, are being victimized by men precisely because they have outperformed them, Professor Campbell said.
In this way, some colleges mirror retirement communities, where women often find that the reward for outliving their husbands is competing with other widows for the attentions of the few surviving bachelors. Since that is not her style, Ms. Deray said, she has still not had a long-term relationship in college. As a fashion merchandising major, she said, she can only hope the odds improve when she graduates and moves to New York.
At colleges in big cities, women do have more options. She has tended to date older professionals in the city.
But in a classic college town, the social life is usually limited to fraternity parties, local bars or coffeehouses. And college men — not usually known for their debonair ways — can be particularly unmannerly when the s are in their favor. Several male students acknowledged that the math skewed pleasantly in their favor. Ivey himself said that his own college relationship lasted three years. Several male students from female-heavy schools took pains to note that they were not thrilled with the status quo.
This year, he said, he finally found a serious girlfriend. Indeed, there are a fair of Mr. Lonelyhearts on campus. And perhaps still elusive.
Many women eagerly hit the library on Saturday night. And most would prefer to go out with friends, rather than date a campus brute. But still. Must be nice. Fashion The New Math on Campus.