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Academe and Mothering

  • By: Michele L. Vancour
  • In: Encyclopedia of Motherhood
  • Edited by: Andrea O'Reilly
  • Subject:Sociology of Gender, Parenting, Maternal Health

In the United States, women were not admitted to college until 1837, and it took the Civil War, declining enrollments, and over 30 years for more colleges to expand their admissions to include women. By 1900, 70 percent of higher education institutions were coeducational, and women accounted for approximately 30 percent of the student body. Women typically pursued higher education to fulfill their hopes of teaching secondary and higher education. Even then, a college degree increased their chances of getting a better job; however, women could be hired for much less than men. Society viewed teaching as an appropriate female occupation. Throughout history, women continued to enter college in increasing numbers until World War II. The war and its aftermath resulted in a sharp ...

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