Two more Japanese medical schools admit to rigging entrance exams against women

Two more Japanese medical schools admit to rigging entrance exams against women

In the wake of revelations earlier in the year that a major medical school in Japan rigged its entrance exams to exclude female applicants, two more universities have admitted to manipulating exam scores to favour male applicants.

Tokyo-based Juntendo University and Kitasato University recently acknowledged that the passing threshold for entry to their medical schools is lower for men, according to a report from The Asahi Shimbun.

The revelation will undoubtedly intensify the debate over the prevalence of sexism in Japan’s education system. In August, Tokyo Medical University admitted to deliberately marking down the exam results of female candidates because of a perception that women tend to leave the medical profession to start families.

The reason this time around is the view that men are somehow at a disadvantage compared to women. “Women mature faster mentally than men, and their communication ability is also higher by the time they take the university exam,” Hiroyuki Daida, dean of Juntendo’s medical school, told The Asahi Shimbun. “In some ways, this was a measure to help male applicants.”

Juntendo University also pointed to a lack of dormitory facilities for women as a reason why they deliberately blocked their entry. “At that time, we judged that the measure was reasonable at our university’s discretion," Juntendo University President Hajime Arai.

 "We won’t do it from now on after being pointed out that our measure was inappropriate.”

For its part, Kitasato University will set up a third-party committee to address the issue.

The sexism scandal highlights how women are underrepresented in Japan’s medical profession. In response to the initial revelations of Tokyo Medical School, Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology opened a probe into the entrance exam procedures of 81 Japanese universities.