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:selves and to develop and control their mental resources, but the woman we have in mind is none of these. That is, she is not primarily one of these, but she is a woman with even greater potentialities, with even richer opportunities of blessing the race and of making the circle of her life radiant with helpful and benign influences—she is a wife and a mother. Of the highest importance is the ideal of cultivated and consecrated wifehood. What then should be the line of education to be followed in the secondary schools and colleges in educating a prospective wife and mother primarily, and incidentally a teacher, a business woman, an artist?
Grant Allen, in an article published in the Popular science monthly of December, 1889, declares that there ought to be a woman question and movement, but it must accept the fact that most adult women will be wives and mothers. In any ideal community the largest possible number of women must be devoted to maternity, and marriage and support by men must be assumed. Female celibacy must not be the goal for the woman. The accidental and exceptional should not replace the formal and usual. It is not so much the unmarried minority that need attention as the mothers. Le Bon, in the Revue scien.tifique, pleaded that the education we now give to girls is illadapted to fit brains otherwise constructed; that it perverts womanly instincts, falsifies the spirit and judgment, enfeebles the constitution, and generally disequilibrates them. Too much information, largely useless, is given, with the result that there is an unfitting for domesticity or for the gaining of a livelihood. Dr. Playfair, in the British medical journal, says that the prime and alarming fault in the heads of high schools and colleges for girls is that they, consciously or unconsciously, assume the absolutely untenable theory that the sexual question is of secondary importance, and that there is little real distinction between girls and boys from fourteen to twenty. Let us notice the physical differences between man and
Women are shorter and lighter in weight. The adult height, as compared with man's, is about as 16 to 17, and her weight is as 9 to 10. Her trunk is relatively slightly longer, the lung capacity, relatively less; the blood has fewer
red corpuscles; her bones, a little less specific gravity. She is more anæmic, and her pulse is faster. She is more liable to certain diseases, such as scarlet fever and diphtheria, but resists diseases better and succumbs less readily at nearly every age. Woman's skull is smaller, especially at the base, but larger in circumference at the crown. Her absolute brain weight to that of man is about as 9 to 10, but her smaller size makes her brain about equal, if not heavier, in weight proportionately. The lower centers are larger in women, and in nearly all these respects women differ less among themselves than do men.
The average brain weight is five ounces less. The gray matter, or cortex, of the female brain is shallower than that of the male and receives less than a proportional supply of blood. The specific gravity of the gray material of the brain is less in woman, but in the white matter there is no difference. The sexes have the same brain convolutions, but of different sizes, and the same powers, but in differing degrees. The general physique is less robust than that of man.
Glancing now at some of the mental differences, we note the following: Men are superior in strength, rapidity, and in rate of fatigue, but women are superior in new motor combinations. Woman excels in memory; her thought is more concrete and individual; she is more prone to associations in space, as man is in time. Men are more prone to bring things under general rules and with regard to symmetry. Her logical thought is slower in movement, but her associations are quicker than those of man, and she is less troubled by inconsistencies. An examination of the patents recorded in Washington up to October, 1892, shows that of 483,517 patents only 3458 were by women. This would seem to indicate that woman has less patience with the analysis involved in science and invention. In education, men have made most of the reforms. Recent developments show that man can excel woman even in dressmaking and cooking. We note also a comparative absence of originality, more especially in the higher levels of intellectual work. In her powers of acquisition she stands nearer to man than in her powers of creative thought. Yet girls are more acquisitive than boys of the same age, but, as soon as their
brains reach the stage of full development, there is greater power on the part of the male. A woman's information is less wide and deep and thoro. In no department of creative thought can woman be said to have at all approached man, save in fiction. These differences might be charged to the disabilities under which women have labored regarding education and social opinion, but this explanation is not sufficient to account for the dearth among them of products of creative genius. In passing judgment, woman is more apt to be influenced by emotion. Her more sensitive conscience enables her to accept her studies without question, and her pride and selfrespect prompt her to overwork. She is a loser in the intellectual race in acquisition, in origination and judgment, but she is a gainer as well: to her credit stand superior refinement of the senses, rapidity of perception, a more retentive memory, rapidity of thought, and an almost intuitive insight. She has. a nimbleness of mother-wit, which displays itself in tact, in repartee, or in the general alacrity of her vivacious mind. She does not hold her emotional life so completely in check as does. man, but she is easily man's superior in all those noble and redeeming qualities which St. Paul denominates the fruits of the spirit.
Let us consider some of the subjects which young women are called upon to pursue in secondary schools and colleges. One of the subjects which give the greatest trouble is that of mathematics. It may be stated that since algebra is more or less of a formal study, the difficulties the girl experiences in pursuing this subject are not numerous, provided the problem work is reduced to a minimum. The average girl is able, without unusual devotion to the subject, to do acceptable work. Little or no creative genius is demanded; type forms are learned, and in many instances the only ingenuity required is. the recognition of the type in the individual example or problem. Here then we see a wide scope for the exercise of memory, one of woman's most dependable mental qualities. When we turn to the subject of geometry, however, we find a different condition of affairs. The ordinary girl in taking up the subject tries to learn it as she has learned her history or her Latin, by committing the demonstration to memory, but she soon discovers that her teacher has spoiled the plans by reversing the position of the figures or by changing the letters for numerals. She is at once at sea. She is called upon to reason absolutely, while her natural preference is for the concrete and individual. Moreover, she is called upon to offer original demonstrations, when she finds it well-nigh impossible to offer the demonstrations of the book. Her powers of origination are too often insufficient for the task. If she masters her geometry, it is because she varies considerably from the type, or because she devotes to the subject a disproportionate amount of time. With the acquisition there is likely also to be considerable nervous wear and tear due to the worry arising from the consciousness that she is attempting to do something for which she is not adapted, and in which she will not possibly succeed. She has found that her memory and her intuition, her love for the individual and the concrete, stand her in no stead in pursuing a subject which calls for the exercise of pure reason and inventive genius.
The subject of physics would seem also to fall under the ban for the same reason. As at present taught in our high schools and colleges, the great burden of emphasis is placed upon the mathematics of the subject. There is the same aversion in the female mind to applied mathematics as to abstract mathematics, and consequently whatever gain is made in this field results in tremendous nerve expenditure. In the inductive
. sciences, consequently, women seldom take the lead. These are subjects in which there is no pleasure, and consequently only limited profit.
Probably the fault is not with the subject of physics, but with the method. Too much quantitative work is demanded of both boys and girls; too little attention is given to descriptive physics; little or no attention is given to the great names who have developed the subject and made inventions household words. In obtaining quantitative work, exactness must be demanded, but exactness is a quality that comes relatively late in youthful minds as in that of the race. We are attempting to force nature; we are anticipating maturity of mind when we crowd into a curriculum subjects in advance of the time when the mind of the average boy or girl is able satisfactorily to pursue these subjects. If the subject of physics under present conditions is taken to the end, hungry curiosity is displaced by satiety and fatigue. The college professor has been too largely in evidence in the construction of the high school course. So far as he is concerned, it is time to cry, Le roi est mort.
A few statistics bearing upon the subject of the teaching of mathematics in woman's colleges will be of interest. Out of 639 upper classmen at Vassar, but 82 elected mathematics. In Barnard, 24 per cent. chose mathematics. At Smith College 15 per cent, to 20 per cent. of the students are conditioned in the subject. From other colleges I was unable to secure the desired information. It is not an unknown thing tho, so I am told. in some woman's colleges to place before students examination questions which are very difficult and then admit to college or pass to an advanced grade those whose ratings approach the vanishing point. Here is an evident attempt to create an impression in extra-college circles of a high standard of requirement in scholarship. I am decidedly of the opinion that, so far as secondary school work is concerned, geometry should be optional for girls, and that the method in physics should be radically changed with the emphasis placed upon the descriptive portions of the work and the history of the subject.
What, then, should be the course of study for girls in secondary schools and colleges ? The dominant aim in both matter and method should be the cultivation of health. Healthfulness and holiness are synonymous and etymologically related. The health of woman is of even greater importance for the welfare of the race than that of man. The influence of body upon mind is, in a sense, greater in woman, so that the needs of the body should be supreme. Mathematics should be taught only in its rudiments, and only those with special talents or tastes should attempt the study of the higher mathematics, or even of plane geometry. Chemistry should have a subordinate place in the curriculum. The organic chemistry involved in ordinary cooking is too complex to be under