College Girls Peril, Lynn. College Research Paper

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Even today, the image of the over-sexualized college girl persists, in images of girls on 'spring break' who have 'gone wild,' to cheerleaders. Also, although they have dimmed so much, the question as to how to balance work and family life remains for women in a way that it does not for men, harkening back to the idea that women, unlike men, must choose between being either bodies or brains.

The anxieties about female education in recent decades have also become exacerbated by the increasing percentages of women in relation to men on campuses all across the nation. As women make up a disproportionate amount of college graduates, women and men have voiced the concern that men will begin to feel inadequate, and that boys cannot cope with the feminized atmosphere of the classroom. While before it was feared that women could not cope with 'male' subjects like mathematics and history, now the classroom is sexed as female and challenges like sitting
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in or turning in one's homework are attributed to the poor young male's inability to cope with a female authority figure. Conversely, any failure on the part of females, like the lack of female representation in the sciences, is seen as a failing of the female to compete with the male in such 'hard' subjects. This same anxiety was seen when women began to swell the ranks of colleges in the 19th century, while not so long ago before it was assumed women could hardly 'learn' at all.

It would be a misstatement, however, to say that things had not changed -- more women are evident in professional capacities that require high levels of education, such as doctors and lawyers, and women such as Hillary Clinton have taken the reigns of power. But as Peril also chronicled in her book Pink Think, the idea that women are 'women' first, rather than students or statesmen, still remains an obstacle for man women's…

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