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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 66.djvu/470

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466
POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

HIGHER EDUCATION OF WOMEN AND RACE SUICIDE.
By A. LAPTHORN SMITH, B.A., M.D.

MONTREAL.

EDUCATION on the continent of America, and more especially in the United States, has reached a point of perfection which hardly leaves room for any further development.[1] At first sight, this would seem to be a very satisfactory state of affairs and, to the ordinary observer, the question of still higher education would seem to be deserving of all praise. 'You can not have too much of a good thing' they say, and the very highest possible degree of education for women is none too good or too great for them. But to those who look beyond the present and only a little way into the future a great danger is gradually arising, a danger which will go on increasing until it brings about a revolution the signs of which are already beginning to be seen and which will effectually put an end to the evil which is to form the subject of this paper. The author will limit himself principally to a discussion of the harm resulting from too high an education of women, because on that part of the subject he has had exceptional opportunities for observation and for drawing accurate conclusions; but, incidentally, he will take the liberty of questioning the advisability of affording higher education freely to the people at large, of the male, as well as of the female sex.

The author regrets to be like a voice crying in the wilderness, a note of warning against what the majority of people consider to be an unalloyed blessing; and some will no doubt say that he is going back to the time of the great preacher who said 'he that increaseth knowledge increaseth sorrow.' And yet all the facts on which his conclusions are based are known to many thousands, and even millions, of people in America, and even, though to a lesser extent, in England, where the same disastrous results are following the same apparently innocent cause. The author would crave the indulgence of his readers, if, at times,-he is obliged to speak of delicate matters in rather a plain way; but where this has to be done he will endeavor to do it in such a manner as not to offend the sensibilities of any scientific reader.

In the human race, as among every species throughout creation, as every well-informed person knows, there is constantly going on


  1. The American boy is generally admitted to be the smartest on earth, while the American girl is still more clever and brilliant than her brother.