“BACK-FIRE TO LUST”: G. Stanley Hall, Sex-Segregated Schooling, and the Engine of Sublimation

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Abstract

G. Stanley Hall was an advocate of sex-segregated schooling long after most Americans had accepted coeducation. His position was based in part on personal experience: observations of his father and mother, a repressed and guilt-ridden boyhood sexuality, and his conviction that his own career success was a product of sublimated sexual desire, of erotic energy converted into mental energy. Hall theorized that coeducation put sublimation at risk, and that sex-segregated schools, by contributing to proper gendered development and by prolonging and sublimating the sexual tensions of adolescence, would produce social progress.

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