The author of Pink Think takes on a twentieth-century icon: the college girl.
Will her B.A. ruin her chances for an M-r-s.? Will too much study endanger her procreative organs? And if higher education is truly safe for a young woman, what sort of curriculum is appropriate? Greek and Latin? Home economics? According to Peril (Pink Think), in this history of women in colleges, ever since the first young ladies went off to their "dame schools" in early America, people have been debating such questions. Underlying these mentionable fears was one more worrisome: who would protect a girl's virtue when she lived away from home, surrounded by hormonal young men? As Peril makes clear, throughout history "[a]dults inevitably get their granny-sized panties in a bunch when it comes to the sexcapades of the younger generation." True, she's focused on prescriptive material more than the actual experiences of co-eds in various eras, but it's eye-opening to see how consistently advice-givers and advertisers have played on the same few anxieties regarding the female student. The material that Peril has included on student experiences-particularly the stories of women at historically black colleges-helps balance the text. Peril's witty, irreverent style, her generous use of old advertisements and photos and her careful footnotes make this text unusually user-friendly. (Aug.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.