Memorandum to officers of instruction and administration from the Dean of Faculty LeRoy C. Breunig, January 12, 1971, page 4

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          differences between the sexes, whether genetically or culturally
determined. If the first notion is correct, if women and men are
intellectually identical, women's colleges (when they can justify

their separate existence at all) should be no different from men's
colleges: the same forms - lectures, discussions, seminars, colloquiae -
in the same proportions; and the same materials - the traditional

range of academic disciplines, humanities, natural sciences, social
sciences, combined and confronted in certain interdepartmental and
interdisciplinary programs. If, on the other hand, women are
intellectually equal to men, but differ fro them in significant
experiential patterns,then woen's colleges should recognize those
differences, adapt traditional educational modes to the special
patterns of women's experience, and develop areas of study particularly
suited to women. Even if there is no demnstrable genetic distinction
between men's and women's minds, women have unquestionably been

treated differently from men, channeled into certain careers and
excluded from others; at this moment of history, then, women's

colleges have a special function - the redefinition of woman's

role and place - and they must change their practices in view of

such a function.

There are, of course, dangers inherent in such speculations,

"Difference," as the lesson of Rousseau clearly demonstrates, can

too easily be understod as "inferiority": it is the education of
Emile that matters, and Sophie learns only to be a good housewife

and mother. We are beyond the stage of the finishing school and

the program in home economics, to be sure; but where do we go from
here? A women's college which went too far in trying to formulate

a program jg; women only might run the risk of futile experimentation,
given our almost total ignorance about the possible differences
between the ways in which men and women learn and the atmospheres
most conducive to their education. Too much stress on certain

areas of study might further limit the career opportunities open to
women at the very moment when the variety of those opportunities

is greater than ever before and when there is pressure for young
women to raise their sights in terms of professional choice. Even
educational experiments as adaptable to men's colleges or coeducational
institutions as to colleges for women seem suspect when ingrained
prejudice comes into play: like Caesar's wife, the woman's college
must be above suspicion. (The idea of relaxed requirements for the
major field, for example, lends itself to the notion of a broad-based
liberal education and to current attacks on over-specialization; it
can unfortunately be argued that women, less likely than men to
pursue a professional career, would benefit most from "an educational
smorgasbord." The circle could easily become vicious.)

Some adaptations can, however, and should be made. There has
perhaps been too much said about the special rhythms of women's
lives and careers; but certain realities are inescapable. The woman
who has all but abandoned her formal education while raising her
children is an only too familiar figure; women's colleges have
become increasingly aware of their responsibilities in such a
situation, increasingly convinced that they should afford the
opportunity for women who have received a bachelor's degree to
renew their acquaintance with academic disciplines or to pursue
new areas. The Radcliffe Seminar is one model for programs which

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