For Women Only?: More Go Coed

When the first U.S. women's colleges were founded in the mid- 1800s, their mission was clear: to teach females, who were largely excluded from higher education. And even as more institutions opened their doors to both genders, studies found that many women learned more in a female-only environment, where, among other benefits, there were no men to dominate classroom discussions. But what's to become of women's colleges now, as a new generation of female students has confidently outperformed males since elementary school and become the majority at most mainstream colleges and universities?

Proponents of women's colleges say they still serve a...

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