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The Mating Season of Co-Education

Condensed from Scribner's Magazine (June '26)

Frank R. Arnold

CCORDING to whether sex blows hot or cold, a girl student becomes an enemy or an advocate

of the co-educational system. Sex in the case of normal girls is a bigger business, with more insistent demands, a far more alluring game, than careers or intellectual joys, and so there are few girl students who, once having tasted the joys of co-education, desire to forego them. Most girl products of the co-educational system probably hold the same opinion as a graduate of the University of Wisconsin who remarked that a girl couldn't have a good time in college unless she were engaged. She herself had been engaged four times, once each college year. She was a girl of the type known to mothers as "thoroughly nice," and nothing in her conduct was open to criticism except possibly the fixed idea that any man's society was more interesting than a woman's. Sex with her was eternally in evidence, though never rampant, eternally calling for mild satisfaction like that of the Western student who went to Harvard to do graduate work and wrote to a chum that he should go crazy if he didn't find pretty soon some nice girl he could kiss.

The male student, however, is less concerned with sex than business. He often feels that co-education is as distracting as spring fever, because it is so productive of what is known in modern college slang as "female trouble." When you say of a boy student that he has female trouble you mean that he is all upset and unible to work because his girl hasn't written him, or because she is walkng past the house, or because she has one to a dance with a better man han he. How prevalent this distractng female trouble is may be seen by nswers to a questionnaire conducted y a Western college paper. The girls

wisely sent in no answers. Some of the men's answers were flippant but favorable. Co-education made a man shave every day. It kept him from being a brute. It broke up the adamantine monotony of classes. Most of the answers, however, brought up the distracting side of the question. No sense in wasting your time with "Janes," but you couldn't help it when you met them at every turn of the road. Ladies were always lying in wait for a student who wanted to study. Women take too much of your time, was the gist of the matter. general opinion was that the Amherst or Williams man, with Smith and Holyoke girls within easy reach, but fortunately not within the gates, was far more favorably situated than the middle Western student whose daily fare was flavored with the feminine at every moment of the day.


Two boys, both with high school love affairs on their hands, went to a Western co-educational college. The first two years they worked well and remained faithful to their high school girls. The next year the high school girls graduated and one boy advised his beloved to go to the State university, as he was at the State agricultural college and both realized that if they were to do any real college work they would have to live apart. Freed from sex obsessions, the boy made a good record in his junior year. He was elected president of his fraternity and also of his journalistic club. He wrote and sold five articles for farm papers. He was associate editor of the college paper. Most marvellous of all, he read a considerable number of unrequired books. The other boy could not keep his girl from following him to his college and with her passed a purely sexual year. He dropped his fraternity life, studied only enough to get passing marks, let

the French and dramatic clubs, of which he had been elected president, die of inanition, and read nothing except absolute essentials. He had no thought in his head beyond flight to his girl's arms, and by the end of the year he had no plans in life except to find a teaching position that would enable him to get married. The girl, who was simply marking time and whose conversation was restricted to exclamations such as "How nice!" and "That's lovely!" had no conception of her metier de femme that went so far as putting ambition into her future husband or even sharing any that he might have. The two children were helpless in the grip of sex, and coeducation was responsible. The case will recur constantly as long as colleges find no way of impressing on their students the elementary fact that co-educational colleges exist not as pleasure clubs, but as schools for the training of human beings.

A graduate of a Western agricultural college attended Oxford for three years. "At four in the after

noon," he said, "we would gather in various rooms for afternoon tea and talk. It was then I learned for the first time how extremely agreeable is men's conversation. Until then my idea of pleasure had been to take a girl to a dance or to a movie. The French, I understand, consider conversation as a national game, but you'll never get that point of view at a co-educational college."

Another false standard is the inherent right which every man feels to show good-fellowship and affection toward college girls in public. A Yale student who came to teach in a Rocky Mountain college remarked that the way in which the sexes fondled each other in public was the most remarkable thing about the college. The men were always grabbing the arms waists of girl students to help them upstairs or down, into chapel or out of lectures. The Yale man asked a student why so much love-making was done in public, "Hell! That ain't love-making," he answered. "That's just pawing."


Co-education may be the best train ing ground for a pre-marital understanding of the opposite sex, but, on the other hand, it holds too constantly alert the mating instinct in woman. The crying need of the world is mental mothers. Physical, passionate mothers we have in abundance. But the mothers we need, the mothers who are to stimulate mentally the town, family, and church are all too rare and are not likely to be produced by the co-educational institutions. Such mothers need years of meditative ac quisition, mental brooding as well as physical, and the fault of co-education is that it awakens the mating mother instinct too early. Whether you look at it from the point of view of the man or woman, student co-education interferes with the main business of life of the student, which, from 18 to 22, is preparation for being a good homo rather than stimulation of the mating impulse.

This point of view was admirably brought out by a superintendent of schools in one of the "cow counties" of a Western State. He had moved to the capital to educate his five chil dren, the oldest a girl of 16. For her he demanded a private school for girls and gave the following explana tion: "I want my daughter to have some girlhood. Co-education in high school or college won't let her. I eliminates normal girlhood. If I le her go to our country high schoo she would have to be like other girl go to dances three times a week an get married when she is 17 and be worn-out married woman with four q five children by the time she is 2 I want her to associate with gir whose mothers don't want them to ma ry until they have had an undistracte opportunity to get an education high school and college. In our co county we think an unmarried girl ( 23 has every chance to be an 0 maid. I think she is just beginnin to have sense enough to venture c marriage. I've known nothing b co-education all my life, and I'd li to try something else for my ch dren."

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Puritanism and Prosperity

Condensed from The Atlantic Monthly (June '26)
Reinhold Niebuhr

MERICAN prosperity is rapidly
becoming the most important
fact and the most difficult prob
lem in international life. Europe is
so deeply in debt to us that she can
repay our loans only by reducing her
standard of living for generations. In
spite of our extravagant standards of
living we are producing a billion dol-
lars more wealth annually than we
consume and are increasing our for
dign holdings each year by that
amount. An English economist has
prophesied that, at the present rate,
American investments in the outside
world would exceed the combined
yealth of Germany and France by
1950. These foreign investments in
private enterprise are bringing high
dividends, justified by the risk in-
volved, but which will increasingly
appear from the perspective of an im
poverished Europe as the exorbitant
tribute that a wealthy empire is press-
ing out of poor dependencies. Any

cursory glance at the journals of Europe must convince even the most heedless American that tides of hatred, mixed with envy, are rising against us In the world, which bode no good either for us or for the peace of na


The development of sufficient social Intelligence and moral imagination to ontrol the vast and intricate economic relationships that modern inventions have made inevitable is an urgent duty which the entire world faces, but of All nations it is most urgent for us; or our nation, which is economically most powerful, is also politically most hept. When we insist that the probams of the modern world can be solved ya "business-like settlement" we are merely saying that we want a simple olution which does not take into acount those complex and illusive facors with which politics deals.

Our prosperity will increasingly become a primary problem in domestic morality as well as in international relationships. We have built the first civilization in the history of the world in which wealth and prosperity have become the portion of the common man. In all previous civilizations the robust virtues have been maintained by a large middle class living in genteel poverty, in which it was protected from the vices which flourish in extravagance on the one hand and in abject poverty on the other. Whatever we may be able to do in the future to make wealth serve the interests of the spiritual life, it must be confessed that the past does not en. courage the hope that the finest virtues can be maintained except where there are large classes who are challenged to heroism by life's handicaps, but are not tempted to despair by insurmountable difficulties.

It may be more profitable to search for the source of our prosperity than to speculate on its possible effects; for we may find in its source a clue to the solution of the problems with which it confronts us. There is, of course, nothing mysterious about many of the sources of our prosperity. We have made fruitful use of modern science in unlocking the uncommon opulence of nature on our continent. We have not been hampered by the ir relevancies of national boundaries or shattered by the periodic national conflicts which have devastated Europe. Perhaps our climate has given our people a superior energy and immigration has supplied us with work. ers highly selected for a daring enterprise.

But for an adequate explanation of American prosperity we must examine one factor which has hitherto been hardly noted. We know that the pres

tige and dignity of the business man in the modern world are in striking contrast to his position in the ancient world, in which only soldiers, priests, and philosophers were honored.

As the medieval cities grew, commercial enterprise received a certain amount of social recognition, but on the whole the traditional attitude toward all secular tasks was maintained until the time of the Reformation. The new spirit in modern business is really a by-product of the doctrine of the Reformation of the "sanctity of all work," a doctrine which was sharply outlined in Protestantism's conflict with monasticism. This emphasis on the sanctity of all work made the ethical resources of the religious life, which had been previously exploited only in monastic seclusion, available for business enterprise. The first direct result of this change was a higher type of honesty, without which the intricate credit relationships of modern business could not be maintained. The Dutch Huguenots, for example, gained a large place in international commerce because of their reputation for honesty. With a higher type of honesty came also a greater diligence; for the traditional odium attached to business enterprise was destroyed; a person might give himself completely to commercial pursuits without diminution of social prestige or moral self-respect. Profit-seeking becamè

morally respectable.

The proof that the spirit of modern industry and commerce, with their unashamed secular ends, is closely related to religious ideas may easily be found. Protestant Prussia is industrial and Catholic Bavaria is largely agrarian, Protestant Scotland is industrial and Catholic Ireland is agrarian, while Protestant Ulster is again industrial.

In all the nations of Europe, even in nominally Protestant countries, the medieval spirit is still powerful. The significance of America lies in the fact that our business life developed under sanctions wholly Puritan. In Germany, even until the World War,

great industrialists were admitted to the court only if they were identified with the military aristocracy, through reserve commissions in the army. In England it has been customary until quite recently for industrial magnates to buy country estates and attempt, if possible, to obscure the commercial sources of their new wealth.

America is the only nation of the Western World that developed the new attitude toward business totally unhampered by religious and moral traditions which date back to medieval and classical antiquity. Completely emancipated from these ancient scruples against business enterprise, we have been able to give ourselves to commercial tasks with a passion un known to Europe. That is the real secret of our phenomenal success.

The moral limitations of our Ameri can civilization are due to the com plete sanctification of secular motives as well as secular tasks. Our religious traditions are no longer adequate to our present situation; they lack the social imagination to guide us in the use of our power. A Puritan pagan ism has developed in which the sins o the senses are abhorred and the sins o the mind are embraced. It has in it: touch of hypocrisy; and it is this hy pocrisy which is producing the read tion of cynicism among the critics c our American civilization. America business life has been dominated fo a few generations by these Purita pagans, who knew how to combine meticulous private morality with 3 unashamed passion for profit and pov A wealth so vast has been pr duced that it tends to destroy th original Puritan virtues and finally produce a pure paganism that shur neither the sins of the senses nor th sins of the mind.


We need a religion and an eth which know how to deal with greed well as with dishonesty, and whi have effectual restraints upon ti paganism of power and pride as w as upon the paganism of licentio pleasure.

By the Way

Excerpts from The Outlook and The Dearborn Independent

HE average weekly movie audi


ence in the United States is estimated at 130,000,000. Of the estimated 20,000 theaters in this country, only 500 now exist without the aid of the moving pictures.

A million dollars in pennies is fed into vending machines each day by the American public.

A bankable check for $1000 was transmitted across the ocean by cable from London to New York, where it was endorsed and honored at once.

The world's population is increasing at the rate of about 20,000,000 a year. One of the first locomotive "headlights" in this country was a car on which a fire was kept burning. This car was pushed ahead of the engine.

A sharp increase in the American tariff virtually destroyed the straw hat industry in Tuscany, Italy, and threw 100,000 people out of work. The word "tariff" comes from the town of Tarifa at the entrance of the Strait of Gibraltar where passing ships were stopped for tribute in days of old.

Berlin police are wearing bulletproof armor of light, flexible steel plates.

It costs $6167 to rear a girl and $6077 to rear a boy to the age of 18, according to a life insurance company's statistics.

The average wage in America is $5.60 a day in comparison with $2.28 in England; $1.55 in Germany; $1.24 in France; $1.14 in Belgium, and $0.96 in Italy.

The Bible is today printed in 572 languages.

France has given permission for 36,000 Jewish families to settle in that country. One Jewish family per village is the rule to be followed.

There are two and a half million wives in India under ten years of


To shame co-eds in their public use of powder puffs, lipsticks and rouge, men students of the University of California shaved in class.

New York University is sponsoring an "Around the World College" as part of its regular course. This floating university, with 450 students, will visit five continents, 35 countries, and 50 foreign ports in its 240-day cruise.

Ex-President Harding, speaking in Seattle a short time before he died, said, "Fur farming will become as permanent a source of wealth as cotton in the South or corn in the MidWest."

Tourist trains composed of cars that have bedrooms instead of berths, and that also have recreation hall-gymnasium cars, will be operated in America this summer.

A dog and cat laundry has been opened in Brockton, Mass. An attendant calls at the home for the animals, and delivers them fully bathed, massaged and marcelled.

The Canadian wheat belt has been extended northward more than 100 miles by the propagation of garnet wheat, a new early maturing grain.

Christmas trees in France are potted and used for several years, after which they are planted in forests again.

Mr. Adolph Ochs, owner of the New York Times, says that every issue of his paper costs $50,000, or approximately 14 cents a copy. It is sold for two cents a copy. The difference is more than made up by the advertising sold.

We have known some people who are so fond of arguing that they won't even eat any food that agrees with them.

A man in Buffalo, New York, has just been arrested for selling 30-cent

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