Behavioral Contagion and the Rise of Convent Education in France
Abstract

Convent education, the schooling of girls by professed nuns within monastery walls, began in France early in the seventeenth century. It quickly spread throughout the country, reaching a peak in the years 1630 to 1650, before stabilizing to become a standard fixture of French society. Although fueled by the ideas and events of the Protestant and Catholic Reformations, the rise of convent education was also concerted and augmented (or, later, contained) by contagious interpersonal interactions.