Why are women's college allowed?

Ok, I know this might sound sexist, but why are all-women’s colleges allowed (based on this article: College remains defiantly women-only: ‘Better dead than co-ed’ http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/05/college-remains-defiantly-womenonly.html ) legally? Women have sued to make men’s colleges co-ed. So, should this be considered discriminatory? Has there been a case where a man sued to be admitted into a women’s college?

Why on Gods green earth would a man sue to get into a womans college… err forget I asked.
Mens College usually had some service or discipline which the women wanted, VMI for instance. I can’t think of a woman’s college which did the same.

And are’nt all male schools (prep schools) still in existance.

I don’t see why you’re afraid of sounding sexist.

By the by, there are exclusively male colleges.

Sixty-six all men’s colleges exist in the US, but only 3 are non-religious.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Men’s_colleges_in_the_United_States

The Supremes ruled on single-sex education in 1996 in United States v. Virginia.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-sex_education

I suspect that there’s a distinction to be made between private and publicly funded universities.

The rule in the U.S. is that private educational institutions can admit a single sex. Public educational institutions cannot do that. (Or at least such a public institution would have to pass a high bar in persuading a court that it was performing a necessary function in creating single-sex institutions.) The only cases recently when women have sued to get into men’s colleges were the two incidents a little more than ten years ago in Virginia and Texas where there were state-run military colleges which admitted only men. The court decided in these cases that having a male-only military-type institution for that state didn’t constitute a sufficient reason to run a male-only state-funded college. There’s nothing stopping a private military-type college from admitting just one sex.

Single-sex private colleges and high schools have been slowly disappearing over the past century or so. They used to be quite common. Now there are only something like three all-male colleges and less than forty all-female colleges. They have been disappearing not because they are illegal but because students and their parents just aren’t interested in attending them anymors. Single-sex private high schools are also less common than they used to be because they aren’t as popular with students and their parents.

Ignore my previous post and substitute the following:

The rule in the U.S. is that private educational institutions can admit a single sex. Public educational institutions cannot do that. (Or at least such a public institution would have to pass a high bar in persuading a court that it was performing a necessary function in creating single-sex institutions.) The only cases recently when women have sued to get into men’s colleges were the two incidents a little more than ten years ago in Virginia and Texas where there were state-run military colleges which admitted only men. The court decided in these cases that having a male-only military-type institution for that state didn’t constitute a sufficient reason to run a male-only state-funded college. There’s nothing stopping a private military-type college from admitting just one sex.

Single-sex private colleges and high schools have been slowly disappearing over the past century or so. They used to be quite common. Now there are only something like three all-male colleges (except for a bunch of religious colleges that are little-known) and about sixty all-female colleges (most of which are little-known). They have been disappearing not because they are illegal but because students and their parents just aren’t interested in attending them anymore. Single-sex private high schools are also less common than they used to be because they aren’t as popular with students and their parents.

Not all single-sex schools are really what they appear to be. Take Morehouse College and Spelman College in Atlanta. They are part of a entity called The Atlanta University Center (AUC). Morehouse is a men’s school and Spelman a woman’s school. (They are also HBCUs: historically black colleges and universities.) The AUC schools are all in one large university zone. The schools are for the most part independent.

But … The AUC schools cooperate closely. They publish a joint course catalog, have a single main library, etc. Students routinely takes classes at the other schools. So you can have men in Spelman classes, etc. (But white students are extremely uncommon, even thought there’s no official discrimination going on.)

I actually lived on the campus of a women’s college for a year, and it’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Any woman attending such a college has decided that the presence of guys isn’t a high priority for her, so they’re not going to be swarming all over you (or at least, they weren’t all over me; your milage might vary). The biggest advantages I gained from living there was that I got access to their meal plan (which was significantly cheaper than the one at my school) and their library (which had a much better science fiction collection).

My alma mater, Mississippi University for Women, was sued, successfully, back in the early eighties. I was in one of the last all-female graduating classes. Oh–the name still hasn’t changed, though. (AFAIK)

Philadelphia still has a public all-girls high school; appropriatly named Philadelphia High School for Girls. The city hasn’t had public all-boys school since Central High School went coed in 1983. There was a federal court case in the 70s, but the Third Circuit overturned the trial court an allowed it to remain all-male. Then in the early 80s there was another lawsuit; this time in state court and the school ended up going coed. How has the School District of Philadelphia manged to get away with providing single-sex education for girls, but not boys? :dubious: Is it just because no family has yet to sue the district to get their son into PHSG or force the district to found an all-boys high shool?

How did housing work? Did you get a room to yourself or have a male roommate? Or did you live off campus?

Oh, and were there restrooms for guys?

My school, Villanova, was co-ed, but didn’t have enough dorm space for all of the students (it was just assumed that everyone would want to move off-campus, despite there being pretty much no legal off-campus housing), and by my senior year, had to rent an entire dorm building from nearby Rosemont. The building was co-ed, but I think that men and women were in different wings. Villanova, being a Catholic school, would never have tolerated opposite-sex roommates or co-ed bathrooms, but I was one of the lucky ones, in a single room with one of the few attached bathrooms, so it wasn’t too relevant to me.

On the rest of campus, we just sort of mingled with everyone else, and I imagine that there were at least some men’s restrooms (there were a few male employees and visitors), but I don’t have much specific memory of them.

Chronos said:

:dubious:

Twenty years ago, the students at Mills College (Wikipedia) in Oakland, California, revolted – and won – to keep the college from becoming coed. Per a Los Angeles Times article (link):

In 2009-2010 the college has (link) 926 undergraduate women and 584 graduate women and men.

Just a reminder: Women’s colleges began because women were not allowed into colleges (or universities.) Higher education was for men only.

Things have changed. Publicly funded educational institutions are no longer allowed to discriminate by sex or race. A small number of private schools remain for women only.

I wanted to go to Mills. I would have, if my family could have afforded it. :frowning:

I’m not sure what you’re dubious about there, Irishman. I don’t know the reason why, but Villanova’s library sucks for science fiction, and Rosemont’s didn’t. Or is it just the fact that I consider books more relevant than being surrounded by college-age women who aren’t interested in me?

My sense is that “historically black colleges” are more controversial from a why-are-these-allowed standpoint than are colleges exclusive to a particular sex. But there’s no particular groundswell of hostility toward them for the same reason: if you cannot compete in the broader world, there is a definite advantage to be gained by being sheltered within your own cohort. As a broader society I think we are OK with helping out the less competetive to perform at the best level they are able. (There are probably kinder ways to put this, but that’s the gist of it.)

Down the road from Villa Nova, male students from Haverford (coed) can room at Bryn Mawr (women only), but it’s not common. From my visits to the dorms there, I recall that each dorm had a few bathrooms that were coed. I think these were often single-occupancy, but I don’t really remember. When I was in college I spent one year on a hall that only had one coed bathroom. Two toilet stalls and two shower stalls IIRC (very small hall). So yeah, some girl would come in and pee while you were brushing your teeth while some guy was in the shower. No one seemed to mind.

Why do you put scare quotes around “historically black colleges”? They are just that. Non-black people go, white people go. Most non-black people aren’t interested, so they remain predominantly black. They are allowed because they are nondiscriminatory. A classmate of mine who went to Spellman claimed that it had scholarships aimed at recruiting non-black women, something I cannot confirm, but is consistent with what I know of its policies.