A friend claims this is true, and that from the 30’s through the 60’s many women entering college were lined up in gymnasiums by the health/gyymnastic dept. of the college, and made to go through a general medical checkup, and among the procedures was a front and back full frontal nude photo taken of them to diagnose potential skeletal problems.
When I was at Villanova, the school would every year publish a book containing names, majors, and photos of all the new freshmen. The school called it the “meet book”, because it was supposed to help new students meet their classmates, but the students called it the “meat book”, because older students would often get ahold of copies and use them to scout out “fresh meat” in the dating pool. I can only imagine how much more… interesting… the meat book would have been at Harvard circa 1940.
A co-educational school is term (rather dated, nowadays) for a school that admits both men and women. Since the trend was more towards previously-male schools opening their doors to females than the reverse, “coed” also came to be used to refer to the female students themselves. There’s no good reason for the term to still be used (after all, there’s no special term for a male college student), but it is.
How old are you? When I was in high school a decade ago a really popular tshirt, for some inexplicable reason, was “Coed Naked XYZ” where XYZ was some sport; for instance Coed Naked Volleyball, Coed Naked Soccer, etc etc.