Sex and Education Essay-688 Words                                                                       - Essay Prowess

Sex and Education Essay-688 Words                                                                      


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Sex and Education.                                                                       

This book was published in 1874, to champion for the education of women in institutions structured for the development of man. This, she advocated by quoting in her introduction that the main objective of co–education is to “Give the two in common the highest enjoyments and happiest memories (Howe, 1874). Educate future wives with future husbands. Give the two in common the highest enjoyments and the happiest memories.” This clearly is not the goal of education but rather for the proper development of intellect and physical growth.

This was in response to a book by Dr. Edward Clarke, (Sex in Education.) which on the other hand, gave an insight on how education of both sexes in same schools appeared to be affect woman physical development (Clarke, 1874). Women often suffered in an education structure being for the development of man, primarily due to her physiology, which could not bear the strain. He observed that, as much as for woman and man, none is superior to the other; these sexes are not similar and have clear and defined differences. He noted that woman’s neglect of her symmetrical development of all parts of her organization, led to weakness in growth and failure in woman organization.

She was at pains to portray Dr. Clarke’s work as of a polemic, and one whose aim was to oppose the admission of women to a collegiate education among men. As much as she acknowledged that such a question was subject to difference in opinion, she perceived as repressive to women. She expressed that climatic conditions in different areas, economic repression and the industrial over-production, were factors that affect the physiology of women. She attributed such ailments expressed by Dr. Clarke to ignorance, to laws of health and disregard to elderly caution. She also strongly states,” The greater study of physiology among us, and especially among women, must tend, we are sure, to be wiser and with better self culture and care of the young (Howe, 1874).”

However, Dr. Clarke quite clearly expressed that problems facing women had a solution in schools with education structured for the wholesome development of women. These schools would adequately address the issue of women physiology .This he supported, stating that, “what a woman can do best is shown by her organization, thus limiting her power and divinely revealing her appointed tasks, similar to man’s organization limits his power and reveals his work (Clarke, 1874).” He accepted the fact that woman did excel above men in physical labor, intellectual effort and heroism, but pointed out to that, though woman subjected to man’s organizational structure, could not equal man.

Julia Ward is of the view that the elder woman is more careful of her health as compared to the younger generation which is primarily whom Dr. Clarke was addressing. She is therefore conveying the message that her opinion is that of empowering women, while, Dr. Clarke talks about keenness to safeguarding the health of the young woman and to ensure that her intellectual education does not interfere with her physical growth and her future as a woman.

He provided citations exposing that, in trying to achieve academic excellence, the woman, excelled, but suffered physically, the proper growth of her organs impended. She had suppressed her physiology to achieve excellence. This required a long period of therapy, for her to recuperate(Clarke, 1874).

The critical viewpoint is for the improvement of woman’s overall organization. Proposing to have education of woman structured with healthy physical growth considered as much as the development of intellect. This very noble cause, Julia Ward overlooked, instead considering it an attack on the education of women. This is misguided and feminist, as Dr. Clarke had observed when woman neglects her organization, though not the explanation and cause of her weaknesses, more than one of such a cause, adds to their numbers, and intensifies their power. This is the result of women like Julia Ward who fails to understand the role Dr. Clarke’s book, which is for the perfect development of their organization.


Clarke, E. (1874). Sex in Education. Boston: J.R. Osgood and Co.

Howe, J., W. (1874). Sex and Education. Boston: Robert Bros.