Men study abroad and volunteer less than women

I’m on a trip with Winthrop University in Guatemala. I’m the only dude.

A few theories as to why this is the case:

1. This trip arranged and led by Kelly Campbell at the Village Experience was billed as a trip with Kelsey Timmerman, and the ladies love me.

2. I’m told that about 70% of the students enrolled in Winthrop are girls. So that means our group of 7 would only have to have two dudes to strike the right proportion.

3. Dudes suck.

Yeah, so number one is ridiculous, but I had to say it. Guatemala is the big seller here.

We’re left with a combination of 2 and 3.

I think what we’re witnessing here, and what I witness visiting countless universities, and volunteering in my community is that dudes are just way less engaged.

Nationwide women represent two-thirds of students involved in study abroad programs.

Data from the Department of Labor shows that 29.5% of women volunteered compared to 22.3% of men, and a story in Duke’s newspaper offered some interesting finding as well:

The under representation of men in study abroad also corresponds to DukeEngage programs. In 2011, 59 percent of student participants were female and 31 percent were male. Peer institutions with civic engagement programs resembling DukeEngage reported similar numbers, with women comprising two-thirds of participants, DukeEngage Executive Director Eric Mlyn said. He attributes the discrepancy in DukeEngage specifically to male attitudes towards charity work.

“There is a sense out there that civic engagement work may not be the kind of career preparation that men think they need to undertake to get the kind of careers that they want,” Mlyn said. “But I think that the keen, cross-cultural experience we’re giving to students is in fact just what potential employers want—whether that’s Peace Corps or J.P. Morgan—and we need to do a better job of getting that message out there.”

Whether as local citizens or as global citizens, women are just plain better glocals.

I’m trying to represent my gender well, as the sole dude on a trip with seven female students and two female leaders, but it ain’t easy. These women are pretty impressive.

What’s your theory on why guys are less engaged glocals?


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