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Is there any explanation for why the other 2 schools in the TriWizard tournament are both single-gender, unlike Hogwarts?

Was single-gender education normal in wizarding world with Hogwarts being the exception?

Was this some special intentional literary trick on Rowling's part or on movie creators'?


Here's the evidence from the movies:

Durmstrang Institute is boys-only:

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Beauxbatons Academy of Magic seems to be an all-girl school:

enter image description here

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2 Answers 2

First of all, despite the movies portrayal of this, the canon (J.K. Rowling's books) indicated that both schools were, indeed, technically co-ed:

Harry, whose attention had been focused completely upon Madame Maxime, now noticed that about a dozen boys and girls, all, by the look of them, in their late teens, had emerged from the carriage and were now standing behind Madame Maxime.

and

The Durmstrang students were staring curiously at Harry too. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw comprehension dawn on a few of their faces. The boy with food all down his front nudged the girl next to him and pointed openly at Harry's forehead.

and

"Are you going to ask me to dance at all?" Padma asked him.
"No," said Ron, still glaring after Hermione.
"Fine," snapped Padma, and she got up and went to join Parvati and the Beauxbatons boy, who conjured up one of his friends to join them so fast that Harry could have sworn he had zoomed him there by a Summoning Charm.


Having stated that, there's definitely a feeling that Rowling did deliberately "feminize"/"masculinize" the two schools (even aside from the fact that the mentions above - by their rarity - give the impression of a gender imbalance in the delegations):

  • the names themselves ("beaux" means beautiful in French and is a decidedly feminine word to use; and "drum" and "strang" are both German words that have masculine - or at least aggressive - implication - never mind what one gets if they are mixed into "drang").

  • the locales (French vs. Norse)

  • the headmaster/mistress gender

  • as well as the description of the school (Drumstrang is cold, with no frivolities or amenities, no fires for warmth; and Beauxbatons is a "palace" with statues, wood nymph quire etc...)

  • Also, the choice of "main" characters - who were not merely TriWizard champions, but ALSO pretty much hyperbolized their gender (Fleur's Veela feminine super-charm, and Krum's "tall dark and handsome" sports hero figure attracting all girls during the year); but they also romanced the important heroes (Fleur with Bill Weasley and Krum with Hermione).

All of these seem to imply that this was intentional characterization on Rowling's part, even if she did include snippets proving them to be co-ed, at least technically.


As to WHY this was done, JKR never seemed to explain in all her interviews, other than mentioning that she once taught an all-boy's school in France in an unrelated answer.

However, plenty of real life private boarding schools - which magical schools are patterned on - are (and especially were in the past) not co-ed.

Given the amount of distraction amour caused at Hogwarts to the detriment of learning, one can certainly see the appeal of a single-gender school.

The movies probably went all-hog with this because it made for a reasonably stunning entrance visuals.

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6  
The first person to reject my first bullet point on a Freudean basis (for what goes after beaux) gets a stinging hex applied. –  DVK Sep 15 '13 at 0:55
3  
I figured it would support the point further.. –  Izkata Sep 15 '13 at 1:01
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I don't know if it makes a difference, but I just noticed durmstrang is an anagram of the German words Sturm and Drang. –  11684 Sep 15 '13 at 13:01
1  
@11684 - You might look into Sturm und Drang, an late-18th century German artistic movement. –  Compro01 Sep 16 '13 at 14:56
    
@Compro01 - I did when answering, but not sure how that applies, to be honest. My artsy side is about as proficient as Rowling's math. –  DVK Nov 24 '13 at 0:22

In the book "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire", Dumstrang is portrayed as a co-educational establishment with at least one girl student.

I've edited the quote for brevity...

"Karkaroff turned and led his students towards the doors, reaching them at exactly the same moment as Harry, Ron and Hermione. Harry stopped to let him walk through first.

The Durmstrang students were staring curiously at Harry, too. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw comprehension dawn on a few of their faces. The boy with food all down his front nudged the girl next to him and pointed openly at Harry’s forehead.

‘Yeah, that’s Harry Potter,’ said a growling voice from behind them.

Pottermore also makes it abundantly clear that the school is co-ed:

It is true that Durmstrang, which has turned out many truly great witches and wizards, has twice in its history fallen under the stewardship of wizards of dubious allegiance or nefarious intent...


Your confusion probably stems from the film Director's decision to portray Durmstrang as exclusively male and Beauxbatons as exclusively female.

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Downvoter, why hast thou foresaken me? –  Richard Jul 4 at 19:06
2  
Not the downvoter but it's possibly because your first quote was mentioned in the question: OP said it's not clear if the girl is from Durmstrang (and he is technically correct, the girl could be from any school); nonetheless, though, your second quote leaves no ambiguity. –  Mac Cooper Jul 4 at 20:13
    
I'm tempted to downvote because you took a duplicate question that you knew was a dupe (yours was the very first quote) and answered with a quote already in the answer to the dupe. –  DVK Jul 5 at 17:17
    
@DVK - For the record, I didn't know it was a dupe when I answered. I must confess that I didn't check though. –  Richard Jul 5 at 17:23
    
@Richard - the closing note says "marked as duplicate by Richard, ...". Did wires get crossed somewhere? –  DVK Jul 5 at 17:24

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