Progress gives a succinct statement of the question of co-education : "I cannot understand why women or girls and those who speak for them should want co-education. There are colleges and schools for girls nearly equal in every respect to the best of those for boys. If these girls' colleges continue to fall short of the standard of the highest universities it must be because it is not deemed well that exactly similar education be given both sexes. I do not assert that the education of a girl should be inferior to that of a boy, but I think it self-evident that if the methods of studies of Harvard, Yale and our university were conceded to be what was required for the education of girls, they would be speedily adopted in the colleges for girls. It looks as if this clamor for co-education was a part of that absurdity which is striving to beat down all the barriers between the sexes. The uses of co-education are not all clear. I can suppose that the young men in an institution where co-education prevailed would be benefited by the constant association with the other sex; that their manners would be refined, and that they would early grow out of their boyish roughness. But I cannot imagine equal benefit to the girls. I suspect no danger in co-education to the character of the students; it merely seems to me an experiment without necessity. We know that if girl students attend faithfully to their duties at their own colleges they graduate accomplished women, and what more do we want? That co-education is declared a success at several excellent institutions does not prove that it is worth while extending it so long as it is fully acknowledged that Vassar and similar places meet every requirement."
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May 06, 2017