Finding romance is never easy, but some female students at GW say that thanks to a double-digit gender imbalance, finding a boyfriend may be just as hard of an assignment as acing an astronomy exam or churning out a term paper.
Female students on campus outnumber their male counterparts 57 to 43 percent – a gender discrepancy that mirrors a national trend – according to a recent New York Times report. As more and more women enter higher education at a time when fewer men are finishing college, this pattern is becoming increasingly common, the Times’ article states.
Several students interviewed said that finding romance at GW due to this gender imbalance can be tough. But one women’s studies professor said the solution to the imbalance is likely less than ideal.
Barbara Gault, a research professor of women’s studies and executive director and vice president of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research at GW, said that while the gender imbalance might affect women’s social lives, admitting less-qualified male students shold not be the solution.
“On the other side of things, there are some colleges that have tried to even out the gender imbalance by admitting more men who are less qualified,” Gault said.
Several female students interviewed said the unequal ratio often means more work for women in search of a relationship.
Freshman Elisa Rosoff said she has found dating at GW more difficult than at her high school, the Phillips Exeter Academy.
“I didn’t realize there were more girls than guys, I just thought, ‘Wow the pickings are pretty slim here,’ ” Rosoff said of her dating experience. “However, perhaps the reason I’ve found so few mature college guys is simply because there aren’t all that many guys.”
Rosoff said that because male students have more females to choose from, they are able to “date up,” while female students often have to settle for less-than-ideal relationships.
She added that figuring out where to look can also be important.
“I have met the most ‘eligible’ guys in small-sized classes though, and have found that the relationships that come from meeting at a bar or frat party are, more commonly than not, extremely shallow,” Rosoff said.
Freshman Erin Poteet – a resident of the Mount Vernon campus – said dating has been hard living on the Vern, where it seems like there are fewer males. She said the guys she has dated so far are ones she has met off campus at places like nightclubs.
“The guys that I’ve gone out with, none of them go to GW,” Poteet said.
In light of the gap between females and males, several female students identified persistence as key to finding a boyfriend at GW.
Student Alana Rubenstein said female students at GW often have to be proactive in seeking relationships.
“You meet them and then you have to be the one to pursue it,” Rubenstein said.
Freshman Rachel Gomez said she met her boyfriend at Colonial Inauguration over the summer and that although she knows some people who find it difficult to find relationships, others have had success.
“Most of my friends either have a boyfriend back at home or are in a relationship here,” Gomez said.
Gault added that residual inequality in the work force and the fact that men with only a high school diploma can often earn more than women with a bachelor’s degree contribute to the larger numbers of women in higher education.
And, while some female students say the dating scene at GW is tough, others say there are potential relationships out there, despite the gender imbalance.
Freshman Sarah Hasenfuss said that although she is not actively seeking a boyfriend at the moment, her friends have not had much of an issue finding relationships.
“I wouldn’t say it’s difficult, but it is harder than my high school,” Hasenfuss said. “If you’re looking, you can find them. They’re out there somewhere.”