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ERIC Number: EJ870100
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 56
ISSN: ISSN-1938-9809
Stopping the "Flow of Co-Eds and Other Female Species": A Historical Perspective on Gender Discrimination at Southern (U.S.) Colleges and Universities
McCandless, Amy Thompson
Forum on Public Policy Online, v2009 n2 2009
The interrelated nature of gender and racial constructs in the culture of the southern United States accounts for much of the historical prejudice against coeducation in the region's institutions of higher education. This essay offers a historical perspective on gender discrimination on the campuses of Southern universities from the attempts to bar women from the state flagship institutions in the 1890s to the efforts to exclude them from the public military colleges in Virginia and South Carolina in the 1990s. It notes the similarity of the arguments employed for and against gender integration and racial desegregation. In both cases, access was only the first battle in the war against unequal treatment. Coeducation did not bring an end to gender discrimination anymore than racial integration ended racial discrimination. Men students often banned women from clubs, activities, and buildings. Faculty ignored their presence in the classroom and/or graded them more harshly. Administrators put quotas on their admissions and imposed restrictions on their mobility. This was not unlike the discrimination experienced by the first black students in integrated classrooms. Although the campus climate in the 21st century is less chilly for both women and African Americans, traditional prejudices seem to justify the continued existence of separate women's and historically black colleges and universities. Opposition to coeducation on today's college campuses is more likely to come from women who argue that historic patterns of discrimination remain alive and well. (Contains 55 footnotes.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: South Carolina; Virginia