The Timeline of Progress
The progress made in the realm of coeducation and women’s higher education during the 1960s and ‘70s is outstanding. While some institutions decided to admit women very early on, even before these movements, the ratio of males to females participating in undergraduate education was still at 2.3 to 1 (Golden, Katz, and Kuziemko 2006). In other words, there were more than double the amount of men as there were women attending undergraduate institutions. However, once we hit the 1960s, this statistic began to change drastically and rapidly. By 1960, the statistic had changed to 1.55 males for every female in an undergraduate program. By the time 1980 rolled around, the statistical difference between males and females attending universities became completely insignificant (Golden, Katz, and Kuziemko 2006). While this sort of progress is impressive, the real question still at hand is why it took so long at all and what the hurdles were that slowed the change in many colleges and universities. In the next two sections, I will answer these questions by looking at the process of becoming coeducational through the lens of two different institutions: Harvard University and Washington and Lee University.