(This post was submitted by a subscriber and expanded by the editor.)

Pennsylvania Military College (co-ed since 1967) Class of 1897
[Never forget, men: This is what they took from us.]

Primary Arguments Against Coeducation

1. Coeducation increases the likelihood of sexual sin & scandal.

2. Even if physical sexual sin and scandal are avoided, the temptation and the distraction of the competition for spouses on campus creates an unnecessary burden for students.

3. The deficit and delay in marriages is not chiefly caused by the inability of the opposite sexes in meeting each other, but by the deficit of men capable of leading and providing for a wife and children.

4. Men’s colleges are more effective at preparing men for their roles as fathers, workers, and public leaders than coeducational colleges are because men interact differently with each other in all-male environments than they do in mixed-sex environments.

5. The separation of young women from their homes is not conducive to their assumption of their role as housewives despite indoctrination to the contrary.

6. Men’s colleges can be operated at a lower cost than coeducational colleges.

7. Co-education is not the historical practice of the church (or humanity).

8. The founding of a Christian men’s school will cause a lot of people to rethink family and education; a new coeducational college will not receive much attention or induce much reflection.

9. Women who complete college will be tempted to compete with men for work, thus reducing the demand for men’s work and contributing to wage inflation.

Founded in 1839, Baltimore City College was an all-male public high school until 1978.

Arguments with Elaboration and Notes

1. Coeducation increases the likelihood of sexual sin & scandal.

Obviously Christians will take measures to prevent this, but there is increased risk in a coeducational institution.

If any fornication or instances of unchastity occur as a result of students being together on a campus, that reflects poorly on the institution.

2. Even if physical sexual sin and scandal are avoided, the temptation and the distraction of the competition for spouses on campus creates an unnecessary burden for students.

If the students are encouraged to find spouses among their classmates this creates a distraction and increases temptation to unchastity.

Living in close proximity to each other on campus is an unnecessary burden on a young couple that still have a few years of school left before they are permitted or able to be married.

Competition for spouses on campus detracts from study and often results in wasted time pursuing relationships that do not come to fruition.

Concern for how one is perceived by potential spouses can lead to behavior or a disposition that is not of greatest benefit for getting a good education. Many students are reticent to reveal their weaknesses or differences of opinion when they perceive that such action may make them appear less attractive to the opposite sex.

A few excerpts from Ernest Sihler (son of Dr. Wilhelm Sihler) illustrate the temptations for those of college age and the difficulty of keeping it in check despite the fact that at that time the seminary was governed by some of the most severe men that could be expected to oversee the education of young men:

“I need not urge that those times were pioneer times: where now (1928) fully a dozen or more chairs are occupied in the same Concordia on the Mississippi, then four men had to carry the whole burden, literally consuming themselves in the service. A more unworldly band of Christian teachers it is impossible to conceive.”  Maumee p.6

“As for the triennium between 20 to 23 years of average age, need I even say that adolescent life always is more or less susceptible? When one ponders on the etymological meaning of Anmut (as that which appeals to the esthetical and emotional appreciation of men, especially young men), I need not say that the “social” opportunities were much larger than in Fort Wayne. Attaching oneself to a congregational “mixed” choir was one of the well-established and quite impeccable media for extending one’s “social” opportunities.” Ebenezer p.258

Per contra, as for us young folk from the Maumee, we realized that we lived in a large city now; Fort Wayne then had some 17,000 inhabitants, but S. Louis more than 260,000, and in such a community there always are the weak and foolish in a certain fringe that surrounds and touches sometimes the youth even of a Christian institution like ours, who talk in a tone of curious superiority of what it is to “know life” or to “see life,” which, as a rule, is a current euphemism simply for harlotry of every degree, and is like a painted porcelain lid covering a cesspool. Such voices from beyond the precincts of our Concordia sometimes came near us, though such things shun the light. There is an ancient adage which to-day, in the day of those coming forward, is just as significant as then: “Wenn man den Teufel an die Wand malt, so kommt er.” [If you paint the devil on the wall, he’ll show up.] “And lead us not into temptation.”” Ebenezer p.262

These quotations illustrate that even at the small austere all-male seminary in St. Louis in the 1860s, there was still a struggle to preserve chastity among the student body. Temptation and provocations to unchastity have not diminished since that time.

Founded in 1509, Brasenose College, Oxford, England first accepted women in 1974 along with four other formerly all-male Oxford colleges: Jesus College, Hertford, St Catherine’s, and Wadham.

3. The delay and deficit in marriages is not chiefly caused by the inability of the opposite sexes in meeting each other, but by the deficiency of men prepared to  lead and provide for a wife and children.

When men are in college, they are busy gaining knowledge and skills that they need in order to become heads of families. Although some men are confident enough at this stage in their lives to pursue a spouse, many are still preoccupied with their education and career (or ought to be). This means that women will be a mere distraction at that point in their lives and pressure/opportunity to pursue them will only delay their readiness for marriage. If men are chiefly concerned with their education, forming their understanding of the world, and deciding what goals they want to pursue in life they will be best prepared for marriage.

The women in attendance at a coeducational school who are unable to find spouses in their time there will be given the impression that men are not available for marriage and that they will have to take care of themselves. If women know that men are getting a good education, and are being prepared well to be heads of households, they will not need to spend 4 years at that school with those men to find a good husband. They can visit or they can get to know students outside of the school through family and church connections.

Founded in 1775, Hampden-Sydney College in Virginia is one of two remaining 4-year undergraduate men’s colleges in the United States. The other is Wabash College in Indiana.
[Morehouse does not count because it accepts transvestites.]

4. Men’s colleges are more effective at preparing men for their roles as fathers, laborers, pastors, etc. than coeducational colleges are because men interact differently with each other in all-male environments than they do in mixed-sex environments.

Men need to exercise their thoughts in a group of only men to hone their understanding in a way that strengthens the whole group. When women are added to a group of men, there are many ways in which the individual’s and group’s behavior change—and these changes ultimately have a negative effect on the outcome of their education, both in knowledge and character.

The purpose of a college is essentially for men to meet together and discuss ideas and information. Intelligent men can acquire ideas and information without a college, but the process is facilitated by having professors, tutors, and colleagues to ask questions.

Past generations assumed that public deliberation would be carried out by groups of men, and therefore prepared men for the interactions that they would have with their male peers. The question of whether women should be admitted to men’s classrooms is not one of their ability to acquire the same knowledge or skills—we have proven that women are smart and can acquire academic knowledge and skills that men can—it is a question of whether the nature of an institution originally intended for men and the effect it’s program on men is fundamentally altered when men share their classrooms with women.

One of the reasons that so many of our institutions are so disfunctional today both in the church and society at large, is that the men in these organisations never learned how to interact with each other properly. They do not know how to argue, explain, cooperate, or disagree with other groups of men, because they have never been in groups of men. (If it is desirable/necessary for a congregation’s board of elders/church council to be filled by men only, wouldn’t it be beneficial for those men to have deliberative interaction with male-only groups long before joining such a board in their 30s or 40s?)

It is necessary for Christian men to behave differently and interact differently with each other in the presence of women. It is a good thing for men to know when to be inflexible and even aggressive in argument and when to be calm and patient. The presence of women in a classroom will tend to prevent men from developing a full range of appropriate habits in interaction with each other. (The presence of women in the classroom makes men adopt more feminine behavior. They will be less direct, less assertive.)

Founded in 1839 and 1842 respectively, the Virginia Military Institute (bottom) and the Citadel Military College of South Carolina (top) were forced to admit women in the mid-1990s.

The college environment is a rough simulation of and preparation for the public interactions that men should have as fathers, businessmen, church leaders, etc. College does not represent the Sitz im Leben that women should expect from motherhood or her attendance in church.

When a woman is added to the group the social dynamic is changed. Many men become reticent to participate or seek clarification from other men in the presence of women. cf. Gen 3, 1Tim. 2

  1 Tim 2:11 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. 12 But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was first formed, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. 15 Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.

Christians need to meditate on the above intra-biblical commentary on the fall. The reasons given as to why a woman should not teach (vv. 13, 14) are also and primarily reasons why she should be silent during instruction (v.11). Eve was only a teacher of Adam in the fall insofar as she, as an equal classmate (with the serpent truly in the role of teacher), spoke first and Adam acquiesced to her judgment. Christians are frequently told that women may not speak merely insofar as they may not teach. However, it is manifest (from 1Tim 2 and 1 Cor. 14) that women may not teach because they may not speak. Scripture expressly forbids women from being equal with men in church instruction, because even before the fall a perfect man was unable to resist the persuasion of a woman. How much more so after the fall?

(facilius dēcepta, facilius dēcipit) –Bengel, Gnomon

Put simply: Women are more prone to propagate false understanding unintentionally. Therefore they are not allowed to speak in the church, regardless of their intent. This is both a measure to reduce confusion as well as a reminder of the fall itself.

Passages which forbid women from teaching publicly also prohibit women from speaking as learners with equal force:

(1 Cor. 14) 34 Let your women keep silence in the churches: for it is not permitted unto them to speak; but they are commanded to be under obedience, as also saith the law. 35 And if they will learn any thing, let them ask their husbands at home: for it is a shame for women to speak in the church.

A man may be disinclined to ask for necessary clarification or context when he is under the impression that women who are present may already hold that information. A man is free to reveal his true level of knowledge and aptitude to acquire new ideas in a group of men who see themselves working together for the improvement of the whole. In a group mixed with women, the men are no longer a team and are in competition against each other. In a group of men, the men may recognize the social, intellectual, and physical hierarchies that exist within the group. Recognizing the hierarchy within the group allows those higher to act as leaders and guides, and permits those who are lower to solicit assistance without shame. Women, however, select spouses based on their perception of this hierarchy (in order to pursue those at the top) and men lower in the hierarchies will naturally avoid interactions that would reveal their weaknesses–and thus also hinder their progress in improving their weaknesses.

An institution dedicated to the instruction of men will be optimized to serve them and be able to serve more men, thus ultimately strengthening more families.

Men learn differently and interact differently with teachers and classmates. If an institution intentionally shapes itself to teach men, it will teach them better than if it is also trying to accommodate women.

For those men who met their wives in college, the idea of a coeducational college is probably very nostalgic. We have a tendency to forget the negative aspects of past experiences, and meeting one’s wife is definitely going to overshadow the negative aspects of coeducation, but we should not let the pedagogy of future generations be determined by nostalgia.

It is a cliché in our day that when men spend time together, they act like boys. But this does not have to be so, as is evinced by history. It may well be worth considering whether our abolition of nearly all male-only organizations and institutions has led to men not knowing how to interact with each other outside of sports and recreation.

John Chrysostom wasn’t afraid to tell women to be quiet.

5. The separation of young women from their homes is not conducive to their assumption of their role as housewives regardless of indoctrination to the contrary.

It is not possible for a handful of men running a college to provide proper headship for the many women who attend the college, nor is it possible for her father to provide proper headship for her from a distance. Young women who spend four years without headship will find it more difficult to return to the headship of a man once married.

Regardless of training provided at a college, a woman learns to fill her place in a home by being in a home. Preparing for housewifery in a college is like training for a wilderness expedition in a city.

The medium is the message: Regardless of what students are taught, when the two sexes are put on an equal footing, the message sent is that they are equal. It is no wonder that people don’t know what the differences between the sexes are when they are treated as identical and interchangeable for the first 18 or 22+ years of their lives. cf. 1 Cor 11 (men and women made distinct even when gathered together at church)

An anecdote: My mother grew accustomed to independence during her years in college. She could make her own decisions about when to go out/with whom/etc. She went on a trip to Europe, and spent a summer working an internship a thousand miles away from home. She recalls that the first year of marriage was the hardest year of her life because she had to submit to the headship of my father and was no longer able to do those things independently. After she grew accustomed to it, she loved having a man protecting and guiding her, but it was unnecessarily difficult due to the sharp contrast between her college years and first years of marriage. Husbands also have a tendency to be more jealous of their wives earlier in marriage, so college attendance sets a woman up for going from the greatest (and most unnatural) independence of their lives, to the greatest restriction and dependency.

Coeducation is not conducive to the training of young men and women to their God-ordained roles in public/private cf. 1 Cor. 14

See also John Chrysostom’s 37th Homily on 1 Corinthians.

For a variety of reasons, women on average tend to perform better in coeducational environments than men. This leads to a shortage of men that women respect and are willing to submit to in marriage. It is worth hampering the educational opportunities of women (regardless of potential) for the sake of ensuring better relationships between men and women in marriage.

Founded in 1917, Deep Springs was an elite men’s junior college that was funded by the students’ operation of a cattle ranch. It was forced by a California court to admit women in 2017.

6. Men’s colleges can be operated at a lower cost than coeducational colleges.

Men more easily adapt to sparse living conditions. A more rugged campus with fewer modern amenities will be suitable to most men, and with a lower cost of maintenance, the cost of education will also be lower.

It used to be common for men’s dormitories to consist of a single large room with bunks.

7. Coeducation is not the historical practice of the church (or humanity).

The exclusively male aspect of traditional institutions is not a mere accident of historical education, but was an essential element of pedagogy.

Coeducation is not classical.

Coeducation is not Lutheran.

A liberal arts education is not as suitable for women as for men, because women are not as free as men.

8. The founding of a Christian men’s school would cause a lot of people to rethink family and education; a new coeducational college will not receive much attention or induce much reflection.

If Christian men’s schools are really beneficial as described above, starting one will be a signal to other groups to start colleges for men and this will have a beneficial influence on many other men outside of the initial college.

Founded by Free Will Baptist Abolitionists in 1844, Hillsdale College became the second coeducational college in America after Oberlin College (1837), yet they expect us to think they’re preserving our civilization.

9. Women who complete college will be tempted to compete with men for work, thus reducing the demand for men’s work and contributing to wage inflation.

When women compete with men for educational opportunities and funding, and then compete with them for employment, should anyone be surprised that it’s harder for them to find husbands who can support them?

Other considerations:

Men who have authority are tempted to use women to impose their views and desires on other men through women. This is the tactic the devil used in the garden to get Adam to do what God had forbidden. Whether it is unintentional or subconscious, when men teach classes with men and women, they know that the women are more likely to agree with them, because women are naturally more agreeable than men. Once all the women in a classroom agree with the teacher, the men are more likely to assent because the women give the appearance that there is greater normalcy to the teacher’s views. A man is also less likely to engage in a dispute with a higher-ranking man in the presence of women.

While it is often said that school is an extension of the home, the differences between the sexes militates against using the same pedagogy with both sexes regardless of age. Your female classmates are not your sisters, and you are not their brother.

It may be objected that a coeducational school is necessary as a concession to those parents who will send their daughters to college anyway in order to feel they have fulfilled their duty in providing for their daughters’ future. However, the way to change our culture is not to indulge parents who would rid themselves of the responsibility of the care of their daughters by sending them to college, but by providing them with the natural way to care for their daughters’ future: by providing good men to be their husbands. The path of least resistance for young women should be marriage–not college.

There are currently two secular all-male undergraduate institutions in the United States which offer Bachelor’s Degrees: Hampden-Sydney, and Wabash. Williamson College of the Trades in Pennsylvania offers several 3-year vocational programs for men only. Morehouse does not count as a men’s college because it admits transvestites. St. John’s University in Collegetown Minnesota is only all-male on paper; classes are all coeducational because they are shared by women from the College of Saint Benedict.

There are around 8-10 all-male Roman Catholic Seminaries in the US, and one all-male Russian Orthodox Seminary.

There are 50+ all-male Jewish rabbinical schools in the United States.

Further reading:

Chrysostom Homily 26 on 1 Corinthians (11:2-16)

Chrysostom Homily 9 on First Timothy (2:11-3:1)

2 responses to “End Coeducation, Restore Patriarchy”

  1. The author states that a liberal arts education is not the best for women because we are not as free as men. I acknowledge the hierarchy that the good Lord created, and that leaves us in a pickle. Respectfully, what does the best education look like for women?

    1. Thank you for your question. This is something I’ve been thinking about i.e. if what we are currently doing is a disaster, what could we do instead that wouldn’t be? I plan to collect my thoughts on the matter and make them into a future post. Stay tuned!

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