The second oldest all-women’s college in the U.S. recently announced it will begin accepting applications from some prospective transgender students, noting the school has “expanded its definition of womanhood.”
In paperwork explaining the shift, Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri, said it would begin admitting biologically male students who identify as women. The policy change will take effect in the fall semester.
The college’s new policy states:
The college’s undergraduate residential women’s program will continue to admit and enroll students who are women and who live as women, just as it always has. It will also admit and enroll students who were not born female, but who identify and live as women; those students will need to provide legal documentation that they are legally women or that they are transitioning to female.
Administrators explained the shift by arguing the school has “expanded its definition of womanhood to include both sex and gender.” As a result, “it is logically consistent that it also acknowledges both sex and gender in its definition of manhood. ”
The historic college will no longer enroll biologically female students who identify as men — another aspect of the school’s “evolving” understanding of sexuality.
“The world’s understanding of and definition of womanhood is changing,” the college stated, “and Stephens is evolving — just as it always has — to ensure that it continues to provide the extraordinary experience of a Stephens College education to all women who seek and will benefit from it.”