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JAMA 100 Years Ago
March 7, 2007


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2007;297(9):1007. doi:10.1001/jama.297.9.1007-b

The system of education which provides for the teaching of boys and girls and of young men and young women together has been in vogue in the United States for some time, and until recently appeared to have found favor with all classes of the community. A section of the general public, however, has, during the past two or three years, evinced a change of attitude on the subject and there is a tendency to question the benefits of coeducation. Dr. G. Stanley Hall voices these objections and expresses the fear that girls brought up with boys will lose some of their feminine charm, while the boys, on the other hand, will take on some feminine characteristics. At the same time that America is inclined to doubt the merits of coeducation, Great Britain is adopting it with some degree of enthusiasm. Experiments in this direction are going on in different parts of England, and a large public school is to be opened soon at which the system will be given a thorough trial. Of course, it is difficult, indeed impossible, to state off-hand and definitely what the results of coeducation in America have been. On the whole, it may be said that the result so far as the woman is concerned, will compare favorably with that in other countries, and it may be asserted also that the American man as yet has exhibited no such marks of effeminacy as will warrant the fear that the vigor or vitality of the nation is endangered. Viewed from a purely medical standpoint, there are certain features of coeducation which at least require consideration. . . . During the period of adolescence, coeducation perhaps might well be abandoned, but the whole matter requires much further consideration from a medical standpoint before dogmatic statements can with fairness be made.

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