California’s Prop 16 would allow discrimination against women

Proposition 16 seeks to repeal the provision of the California Constitution that prohibits discrimination and preferential treatment on the basis of race and sex in public education, employment and contracting. That provision was put there by Prop 209 in 1996.

Little has been said about how this repeal effort could have the unintended consequence of furthering discrimination against women in college admissions.

Reports of discrimination against women in college admissions have been widespread since at least 2006, when Kenyon College Dean of Admissions Jennifer Delahunty Britz wrote in the New York Times, “The reality is that because young men are rarer, they’re more valued applicants. … The standards for admission to today’s most selective colleges are stiffer for women than men.” A year later, Henry Broaddus, dean of admissions at the College of William & Mary, acknowledged that his institution gives preference to men: “We are the College of William

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