Contradictions in Women's Education: Traditionalism, by Barbara J. Bank, Harriet M. Yelon

By Barbara J. Bank, Harriet M. Yelon

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Like faculty, matriculating students rated Self-Oriented Norms significantly higher than Propriety Norms, whereas existing students rated the two types of norms equally. Although the patterns of ratings for norms and values showed considerable prior agreement between incoming students, on the one hand, and existing students or faculty, on the other, there were some significant differences in the actual levels of the ratings. These differences occurred for three of the four measures of norms—Gender Equality, Self-Orientation, and Propriety—and for two of the three measures of values—Autonomy and Achievement.

Of the five significant differences that were found, there were important differences in the consistency, size, and direction of these differences. The largest and most consistent difference was found for Gender Equality Norms. Incoming students scored moderately and significantly lower, on average, than both faculty and existing students on this measure. Incoming students also scored lower, on average, than both faculty and existing students on the measure of Autonomy Values, but the size of the differences was small and the difference was significant only for the comparison between the two groups of students.

P. 154) Such boundaries were often opposed by both educators and college women. At the turn of the 20th century, for example, the dean of women at the University of Chicago based her decision to ban secret societies of women from campus on her conviction that they would promote snobbery and exacerbate social-class divisions among the students (Gordon, 1990). At Wellesley College, during the first decade of that century, students and faculty waged an unsuccessful campaign against sororities, with Professor Katherine Coman asserting that “a college community should be an intellectual democracy” (Solomon, 1985, p.

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