Skip Navigation

Scholars Day 2007, Wednesday, April 11

Sex and Education -- Dr. Edward Clarke's 1873 Learning Claims

The historical origins of American higher education reflect a gender divided terrain: men directed and occupied the core of university life; women existed on the periphery of the early academic community. Even as women did begin to access the academy, their scholarly pursuits were shrouded in lingering doubts about their intellectual and physical abilities. In the latter 1800s, a leading opponent to higher education for women was Edward Clarke, M.D., a Harvard educated physician. In his book, "Sex in Education or a Fair Chance for the Girls", published in 1873, Clarke frames his oppositional theories, claiming women’s scholastic endeavors would damage their reproductive capacities. This presentation traces women’s entrance into the academy with a particular focus on the 1873 conclusions Clarke advanced concerning woman’s learning efforts.

Presenter: Barbara LeSavoy (Faculty)
Topic: Women's Studies
Location: 120 Hartwell
Time: 3:05 pm (Session IV)