Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 62.djvu/14

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of the women as regards the relative numbers pursuing the several subjects offered by the curriculum, seem to be closely similar to that obtaining in the courses in women's colleges, so far as statistics are available and elective conditions comparable. It will be understood of course that these rough classifications refer solely to elective work taken in the broad sense, and not to such courses as are specifically prescribed for every academic degree.

One inevitably questions what this tendency means, what its final outcome is to be, and whether it is to be regarded as a welcome sign or not. It is clear, as regards the first point, that two influences are predominantly responsible for the general result. The first is found in the disposition to mold collegiate work from the earliest possible moment in such a manner as most effectively to assist in the preparation for a professional career. The second is found in the tendency to cultivate established tastes and to foster spontaneous intellectual interests.

The efficacy of the first consideration in the case of men is not open to doubt. In those parts of the country where collegiate coeducation is the prevailing system, the great mass of the young men are expecting immediately after graduation to enter upon a business or professional career, and this intention frequently leads them early in their college course to desert the humanities and the more purely cultural studies, so called, in favor of what they, or the faculties of the professional schools, consider the branches of immediately practical value. Literature and the classics rapidly surrender their claims upon these young men to economics, political science, constitutional history, physics, chemistry, biology, etc. In every large undergraduate body there is naturally always a considerable group of men who conceive of their educational opportunities in a more liberal manner than this, and another group cherishing more or less definite intention of graduate specialization in some of the departments of collegiate work other than those allied with the professional schools. Taken together these groups supply a considerable masculine leaven to what might otherwise in many of the courses in the humanities be a hopelessly feminine lump.

The women taken in mass are also widely controlled by professional considerations. However it may be in the colleges exclusively for women, there can be no reasonable question that up to the present time, at least, large numbers of the women in coeducational institutions have been looking forward to self-support. Or, at all events, if this were not an explicit purpose in their collegiate course, it was a very comforting possible consequence, exercising an indirect influence over their selection of studies. By common consent medicine and teaching are the two professions really open to women. Consequently the average college wo-