sexism in college

There are no all-white schools so why is it alright to have all-female schools? Can they be sued for discrimination, and can I get a sex change operation (Male to female) and be accepted?

I believe most female oriented schools will admit men. Is there an exclusively female college that denies men entry you can cite?


There are also a few all-male private colleges: Morehouse College (Georgia), St. John’s University (Minnesota), Hampden-Sydney College (Virginia), Wabash College (Indiana), and Deep Springs College (a two-year college in California).

I’ll leave it to the legal eagles to explain why sex discrimination by private colleges is legal.

Race and gender are subject to different levels of scrutiny in terms of whether discrimination on that basis is legal. Here is a website explaining the difference.

Essentially, sometimes there can be a legitimate reason to discriminate based on sex. The cliche example is hiring locker room attendants. It is much harder to justify discrimination based on race.

I went to a women’s college (Agnes Scott) that did have a few male students - a few male high school students took classes there, and many of the area schools allowed cross-registration. So I could take classes at Emory or Georgia State or Georgia Tech, and those students were welcome to attend class at Agnes Scott. I do believe most women’s colleges have something similar, so it’s not like the classrooms are complete no-men-allowed zones - there just aren’t any full time residental male students, for various reasons discussed in the links above.

Keep in mind that all single-sex colleges remaining in the US are private institutions.

If I had a sex chance, could Smith college not allow me post-op?

If it was only a chance? Probably:p Anyway, there was an article in the NYT Magazine a few months ago which would have a huge relevance to this thread. Wish I had held onto it!

That cliche is just begging the question. The only reason sex discrimination in hiring locker room attendants is justifiable is because locker rooms are segregated by gender. If locker rooms were also segregated by race, would it be then justified to discriminate hiring attendants based on their race?

Here you go. (Summary: “At the nation’s elite women’s colleges, there is a new kind of gender trouble: students who enter as one sex and become another.”)


I attended Texas Woman’s University from 1989 to 1994. It is the largest public university primarily for women in the United States. While I was there, the population was approximately 93% women, 7% men. Men were welcome into any of the graduate programs as well as certain undergraduate programs such as nursing, physical therapy, and occupational therapy (the bachelor programs that TWU happened to excel in). Currently, they make up 10-15% of the student body.

According to the Wikipedia entry, all programs were opened to men in 1994:’s_University

No, the reason why sex discrimination in hiring locker room attendants is justifiable is that the rationale for allowing facilities to provide a place for women to shower and change clothes without the presence of men is clear to most people.

I don’t know about the others but St. John’s is partnered with The College of St Benedict which is an all-female school. Although they have two administration setups, they are, for all intents and purposes, one school that just happens to split in two.

I don’t think there are any actual all black colleges in the U.S. There are only historically black colleges which are different. They may hay have a 99% black student population but whites can attend as well and often do with cross-over classes with other schools. My home state of Louisiana has Grambling with a once famous football coaching program and a handful of white students have joined over the years.

The same is true for my university of Tulane which which was split into male and female colleges in the liberal arts divisions. The practical differences were negligible for all everyday purposes. We had the same classes and most of the same dorms for example. Harvard has as a similar system.

… and in 1800, the rationale for allowing whites to dine in a different part of the restaurant from blacks would be similarly “clear” to people. If this is really the best answer, then it’s just cultural. Given how culture shifts with time, this seems to be a poor basis for legal argument, which is structured around the ideal of unshakeable precedent.

Gives groman a cookie and an “I used begs the question correctly” button. Wear with pride. :slight_smile:

Considering the balancing tests that underpin most discrimination cases, where is the harm to boys who can’t attend Smith? How does that compare to the benefit to women in general (insert benefits of a women-only college here)? I guess Michigan may have changed the analysis a bit, and I assume that some arguments could be made that the need/benefit for same-sex education are no longer valid in the 21[sup]st[/sup] century. But I don’t think that given that, it raises to a constitutional harm. There is the legislative path (i.e., withholding Federal funds until they admit men), but I don’t think there is a realistic chance of that ever happening.

Are there any proven benefits of single-gender colleges?