Sex in Education


Font size: AAA

Although Oberlin had been admitting women and men for decades the virtues of coeducation were still hotly debated. Dr. Edward H. Clarke's very popular book Sex in Education or A Fair Chance for Girls (1873) used human physiology to demonstrate that college life and education would have an adverse effect on a young lady's physical, if not mental, development.



The next year Johnston wrote an article countering Dr. Clarke's argument. Johnston's evidence: she went down the list of her female classmates from the class of 1856, demonstrating that they had all lived happy, healthy and productive lives. In response to the charge that coeducation makes women too masculine and men effeminate, Johnston counters that, if so, considering the accomplishments of Oberlin alumni, there should be more masculine women and effeminate men.

Last updated:
February 28, 2018