Single-Sex Schools

Do boys and girls benefit more from being taught together or separately?

Single-Sex Schools
Yes because...

Women in particular benefit from a single-sex education; research shows that they participate more ...

Women in particular benefit from a single-sex education; research shows that they participate more in class, develop much higher self-esteem, score higher in aptitude tests, are more likely to choose ‘male’ disciplines such as science in college, and are more successful in their careers. In the USA Who’s Who, graduates of women’s colleges outnumber all other women; there are only 83 women’s colleges left in the States today.

No because...

1998 survey from the American Association of University Women, a long-time advocate of single-sex education, admitted that girls from such schools did not in fact show academic improvement. That they are more inclined towards maths and sciences is of questionable importance to society as a whole. As the report noted, 'boys and girls both thrive when the elements of good education are there, elements like smaller classes, focused academic curriculum and gender-fair instruction'. These can all be present in co-educational schools.

Single-Sex Schools
Yes because...

The inclinations of children in the formative years, between 7 and 15, are to gravitate towards thei...

The inclinations of children in the formative years, between 7 and 15, are to gravitate towards their own sex. They naturally tend towards behaviour appropriate to their gender. It is therefore easier to implement an education strategy geared specifically towards one gender. Certain subjects are best taught in single-sex classrooms, such as sex education or gender issues.

No because...

The formative years of children are the best time to expose them to the company of the other gender, in order that they may learn each others’ behaviour and be better prepared for adult life. The number of subjects benefiting from single-sex discussion is so small that this could easily be organised within a co-educational system.

Single-Sex Schools
Yes because...

Boys and girls distract each other from their education, especially in adolescence as their sexual a...

Boys and girls distract each other from their education, especially in adolescence as their sexual and emotional sides develop. Too much time can be spent attempting to impress or even sexually harassing each other (particularly boys toward girls). Academic competition between the sexes is unhealthy and only adds to unhappiness and anxiety among weaker students.

No because...

In fact boys and girls are a good influence on each other, engendering good behaviour and maturity – particularly as teenage girls usually exhibit greater responsibility than boys of the same age. Academic competition between the sexes is a spur to better performance at school.

Single-Sex Schools
Yes because...

Single-sex schools for women are a natural extension of the feminist movement; there are co-educatio...

Single-sex schools for women are a natural extension of the feminist movement; there are co-educational schools, men have had their own schools, why should women not? It would still be discrimination if there were only male single-sex schools; as long as both genders are catered for, this discrimination is redressed.

No because...

Single-sex schools (such as the Virginia Military Institute) are a throwback to the patriarchal society of the past; in many historical cultures, only men were allowed an education of any sort. To perpetuate this is to remind women of their past subservience and to continue to hold them from full social inclusion.

Single-Sex Schools
Yes because...

Teachers themselves are often discriminated against in single-sex schools; a boys’ school will usu...

Teachers themselves are often discriminated against in single-sex schools; a boys’ school will usually have a largely male staff where women may feel uncomfortable or denied opportunity, and vice versa.

No because...

Teachers frequently favour their own gender when teaching co-educational classes; for example, male teachers can undermine the progress and confidence of girl students by refusing to choose them to answer questions etc.



Single-Sex Schools

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