Women in College

Dr. Komarovsky, professor emeritus of sociology at Barnard College, surveyed students from Barnard when they were freshmen, sophomores, and seniors. The study centered on the varying responses of female college students to their college experience. A number of the questionnaires used in the study are printed in the appendix, including one on family relationships, one on what constitutes masculine and feminine traits, another on attitudes toward sex roles, and, finally, a life-style index. The results of the study showed that as the students progressed from their freshman year to their senior year, there was a decline in the percentage of students who planned to continue their education after graduation. As seniors, the majority were highly motivated to seek occupations with high status and income and to combine a career and family. These life-style preferences were influenced by interaction with faculty both in formal and informal settings. The author believes that this positive influence necessitates increased rewards for teaching and advisement, with a lessened emphasis on research and publications.

In conclusion, the author states that colleges are agents of social change and must attempt to restructure institutions to coincide with the changing values of society. This excellent and thoroughly researched study will be of interest to anyone concerned with the higher education of women.