Is Single-Sex Education Still Useful?

With the emergence of new ideas about the fluidity of gender identity, do single-sex schools still make sense?

Comments: 37

  1. The benefit of an all girls school (grammar & HS) back in the 50s and 60s was that young women learned that they could do everything and do it well - write and edit the school newspaper and literary magazine, fill all student government slots, do all the jobs in the drama department, on stage and off, excel at sports, and so on. I an era when one wasn't supposed to show up the boys, this was truly important. The young women from my era went on to be bankers and editors, entrepreneurs and professionals of every stripe, while young women we met in college who had been through a co-ed educational system often seemed more focused on early marriage and family creation.
    The boys in my brother's classes had the advantage of not being distracted by girls who matured a year or two ahead of them. They got to be "boys" without being being challenged to mature faster than they could or should.
    The disadvantages were that creatures of the opposite sex could seem a bit alien, and it was necessary to plan activities which were co-ed in order to overcome that problem.
    Overall, I think that single sex education in that era and for several more decades benefitted girls more than boys. For young women it was very empowering. All the women I know who had an early single-sex educational experience or went through the Seven Sisters colleges, are the most reliable 'can do' leaders that I know.

  2. I completely agree with you. Back in the 50’s and 60’s, girls were not to overpower or show up boys. The men were supposed to be significant to girls, and attending an all girls school showed girls and proved to boys that women can do the same things as men. But on the other hand, I don’t see that boys would benefit as much as girls would. I somewhat agree with the statement that boys would be less distracted by girls who have started developing, because girls get distracted by boys as well because it’s natural. But same sex schools can’t change that. But overall, I do agree with the fact that it is empowering to girls to realize that they can do the same things as boys and that it is beneficial.

  3. I go to a single sex high school and I don't think they are necessary. Single sex schools do not respect the gender spectrum because they reenforce heteronormativity which is problematic for questioning/ LGBT youth. This causes students who are not heterosexual to develop a degree of alienation between themselves and the school. In addition, single sex schools only offer an enviroment that consists of one gender which is unrealistic for the workplace and quite frankly, life. Therefore single sex high schools are unnecessary because they fail to appropriately prepare their students for reality.

  4. I could understand why women might want a separate space to learn and empower one another, but I don't know why men need that. Society already favors men; they don't need a special setting to learn. I can see why underrepresented and marginalized groups might want to learn together. For instance, I can see why there is still a population of black students who want to go to historically black colleges and universities. The same applies for women. Women might find an all-female learning environment more empowering. Men don't need an equivalent, because men are not marginalized in the same way.

  5. While I agree that men aren't marginalized the same way as women, there are still cogent reasons to send one's son to a same-sex school:
    - Boys are apt to hide their interests in arts, languages, literature etc. while in the company of girls
    - Girls are far and away better performers in school-- and so there's some merit in an environment that caters to boys and their potentially different needs

    I say this as someone who spent his entire life in a co-ed environment.

  6. Gender specific universities should review transgender applicants like any others. Gender is a part of identity, not biology. Women don't go to all-women colleges so that they'll have peers that are the same biologically, they go to be around other women, and being a women is more complex than the body someone is born with.

  7. I currently attend a private all-male high school, and I can say without a doubt that I love the experience. Coming from a coed school, I could feel the tension that existed, especially with respect to dating. This seemed to permeate throughout the school, which is not necessarily negative. It was negative, however, when it began to dominate the school environment and distract from schooling and social life. Now, that feeling is simply not present in my current same-sex school. Rather, the environment that exhumes brotherhood (or sisterhood) seems to allow us to be genuine to who we are. In Rich's article, he quotes Ms. Angela Brown, a principal at Dillard Elementary: “Boys are trying to impress girls, and girls are trying to impress boys." With single-sex schooling, even at the high school level, this pressure is eliminated or drastically reduced. There is not the pervasive feeling that I must impress this group of people, and that allows me to be true to myself. At my school, this is truly taken to heart by many students; being gay is not something negative, and not liking sports is not taboo, as one might expect. A community is created that allows for the acceptance of everyone, seemingly regardless of sexual preference, gender identity, or non-stereotypical behavior, and that, for the most part, doesn't have to worry about being tough, sexy, or cool for the other gender. Sure, we gripe about having to survive "without girls", but that "struggle" brings us closer in a way

  8. I'm a senior at a coed high school outside of Boston, but I wouldn't transfer to a single-sex environment if I could. I suppose it might be easier to concentrate if there were no boys around me, but I question the extent to which my grades or learning would improve, especially having read multiple studies claiming there is no discernible benefit. I've also found that interacting with guys presents me with different perspectives, different topics, etc. Though it isn't true across the board, a lot of girls in one room often results in a cattiness that I resent and find quite stressful.

    I think, however, that if someone is comfortable in a single-sex environment, they should be available. Gender identity does seem to throw a wrench into things, but if someone identifies as the gender predominantly at the institution, I don't see a harm. I wouldn't censure Timothy, mentioned in the article, but I would question his continued presence at Wellesley; he may be comfortable there, but there may be women who came to Wellesley *because* they wanted a female-only environment, which is henceforth altered. I don't think that transgender people should be excluded from applying to these institutions, but there may need to be a conversation, both among the student body and between the specific student/advisor to evaluate that person's continued presence at the school/college.

    In general, I think coed environments are more varied. If nothing else, isn't that what makes life interesting?

  9. I have been attending an all girls’ school since the sixth grade and am about to begin my second semester of the ninth grade. In that span, I have attended two different single sex schools. I have absolutely felt the sense of community that has come with both schools. The school I am currently attending is significantly smaller than my previous school, but the level of closeness hasn’t waned. This camaraderie is what continues to draw me to single sex education. However, the academics are more rigorous which causes immense amounts of pressure and stress upon all the students. I certainly learn better in a single sex environment because I find that collaboration is more open and less intimidating in this setting.
    I can understand how people are hesitant to accept single sex schools with the emerging presence of different gender identities, a topic that I was exposed to at my former school. One of my classmates began to identify as genderfluid, even going by different name. I can see the conflict that could exist, especially with parents who assume that they are sending their daughters to school with other girls. Personally, I am unsure of how to deal with this issue. Do you kick the student out or accept their gender and make accommodations? I do think that students who identify as the gender of the school should have their applications reviewed as any other student would. Single sex educations are great, but not for everyone.

  10. Having attended an all-girls school for 13 years, I can say that I never thought of switching to a co-ed school. I love the all-girls environment. There are advantages to being educated with just girls: I have learned to be outgoing and passionate, to voice my opinion concisely, and to empower myself and other young women to be leaders in our society. I believe that girls learn more efficiently with other girls. Without boys, we are more confident in our convictions and have no trouble finding our voices from a young age. In an activity with boys from an all-boys school where we discussed politics, the teachers were worried that we would not speak... they were surprised that the girls ended up dominating the conversation, asking thoughtful questions, and being confident in our opinions, more so than many of the boys.
    Pertaining to gender inclusion, I believe that it is important to open doors to students who identify as female or male, whether that is the sex they were assigned at birth or not. Students would not look at a same-sex school if they did not wish to be surrounded by the gender they identify with. I understand why administrations and parents are having trouble with this notion, as the ideas of gender have changed drastically within the last decade. However, as society progresses, schools must adapt.
    I've had an amazing experience with my education at an all-girls school, and if I were to have a daughter someday, I would seriously consider sending her to one.

  11. The places I’ve felt the most accepted, and the most able to thrive have been single sex. If someone were to ask me whether they should attend my all-girls school I’d say yes. Why? Some would point to the inherent difference in learning style between male and female brains- but statistically the differences are negligible. Others would point to the lack of distraction. But if this were the case, wouldn’t LGBT kids fail to thrive in that circumstance? At a liberal high school like mine, a huge percentage students identify as queer- yet we still find ourselves doing well. Instead, these successful single-sex environments have something more important in common- an intense devotion to students’ well being. They truly want each student to do their best, and to become empowered. As a transgender male in an all girls school, I am not any less supported by the community. But this is only after years of fighting prejudice. All-girls schools were created in order to teach girls that they were equal to men. But it is time for a better method to be developed- one that does not enforce the gender binary, and one that more closely relates to the real world, which does not contain just one gender. If schools and institutions adopted the philosophies of single-sex environments without adopting a single-sex policy, they would not lose any of the benefits that they are consistently lauded for, and create an environment where trans kids wouldn't be forced to fight to be treated equally.

  12. In comparing traditional with contemporary gender-segregated classes, the elephant in the room is choice. If students and their parents can have such classes as one option, why not? If a student doesn't identify with a traditional gender, why not let that person choose? It's not like there's more than a fraction for which the issue would arise. The other issue is privilege. All-male elite schools have been used in the past to create old boys' clubs and networks. Such classes are more appropriate at a level below high school, definitely below college. They'd need the same kinds of government oversight as charter schools.

  13. Single Sex schooling changed my life for the best! Going to a small all-girls boarding school was a very important journey to take. It empowers me as a woman and gives me the confidence to face everyday misogyny. Representation is key! All student leaders & most administrators/faculty/head of school are girls and it's important to see powerful women in leadership positions everyday to encourage me. I'm not afraid or self-conscious to explore my personality through appearance or academics or activities. At a place where feminism is basically built into our curriculum and daily lives I learned so much about gender-specific issues and I am equipped to be an advocate for change in the world. My school is very liberal and we do have LGBTQ students and we discuss gender-related issues on a daily basis. Just because we are an all-girls' school that does not mean that we are strict to the binary - we understand gender fluidity and accept it. Single sex education should not mean "less distraction" it actually means sisterhood and community building, safe spaces and empowerment. It means spending time focusing on yourself and identity. I owe who I am to my single sex schoolings.

  14. I think if single sex schools were growing outdated they wouldn't exist anymore. There are clearly still students interested in going to single sex institutions (but perhaps parents are forcing their kids to go). One of the larger defenses of single sex education is that it prevents students from opposite-sex distractions in school, but its so antiquated and untrue to say everyone is attracted to the opposite gender, and that a single-sex school will somehow keep all students from being distracted. That is one of the largest aspects of single-sex education that has grown outdated, and it really can't exist as a defense of it anymore. Using that defense is exclusive, and only acknowledges the students in the majority. It is unfair to LGBT students, and if people want to defend single-sex education they should find defenses elsewhere. Also, why is a romantic relationship a distraction? Isn't it important to date and come to understand the opposite sex (if you're heterosexual, that is)? I would need to hear more legitimate claims about single-sex education in order to feel convinced of its worth. Many people are commenting about how great their single-sex experience was, but I'm wondering if those experiences were so great specifically because of the single-sex environment, and not just because the school/camp was great to start with, i.e. would that experience have been worse off if it were it co-ed.

  15. This is my fourth year as a student in an all-girls school. The first 10 years of my education were co-ed. I have friends who have made similar transitions and had very different experiences, but I personally have benefitted from my single-sex education in more ways than I can name.
    The first great thing about a single-sex school is the near elimination of gender roles. At a co-ed school, when I wanted to see the latest Marvel movie or wear pants instead of a skirt, I was told I was acting like a boy. And, as I was not a boy, this was some kind of social sin. In a school of females only, I can no longer be compared to the opposite sex. This has been liberating! Whether I spend my free period online-shopping for a prom dress or watching X-Men First Class (again), I’m just being myself. Since the majority of my daily life is spent without gender-judgement, I have even learned to ignore it outside of school as well.

  16. The conceptual attempts to deconstruct the significance of biological gender are very athletic and they appear key to the latest fashion in liberal theory, but they will never apply to more than a very tiny statistical sub-population. There is simply nothing to apologize for about single-sex schools. They are not a form of oppression.

  17. I did my student teaching (a world language) at an all boys Catholic high school and it was a my favorite teaching experience. As others have mentioned, the students weren't distracted by trying to get the attention of the opposite sex. They weren't as intimidated to speak up and show what they learned, in fact, they were pretty competitive for attention. Some of our lessons included making videos, skits, poems and songs using the language. The results were very creative, personal, and often hilarious. Those students didn't feel terribly self conscious about making mistakes or expressing their feelings. I later taught in coed public schools and the boys were stone-faced and less apt to speak up or contribute in class.

    Public schools have to work within limitations, but I think most systems could still have coed schools that offer single gender classes for the language arts and STEM classes. That environment would provide opportunity for social development, yet be able to tailor some of the curriculum so that it appeals to genders that have typically felt a subject too difficult/intimidating (language arts for boys and STEM for girls).

  18. Single-sex education is great for women because it gives them a space to voice their own opinions without being ignored simply because they’re not men. Men don’t need that. When you have only boys in a classroom, they become used to only listening to boys. When a girl gives her opinion, they might see it as unnecessary, simply because they’ve spent their entire education without. Girls are already used to hearing male opinions. We hear them every day. It’s important for us to be able to gain confidence in our own abilities.
    I think the same thing applies to any marginalized group that wouldn’t have a voice in a male, heteronormative learning environment, including transgender students. Admitting them will provide different viewpoints that expand students’ worldviews, because a transgender white man’s experience is going to be vastly different from a cis-gendered white man’s. I’m not sure how to start making a change as a community, but I feel like our first step should be to think about why we have all-girls schools and who else might need a safe learning space.
    I’d also like to add that I don’t like the “sisterhood” argument used in the Wellesley article. I feel like it’s a very “white feminist” argument. There have been many times when minority groups and women in them were thrown under the bus in the name of feminism. Just because we’re minorities doesn’t mean we can ignore other minorities. We’re not unified unless we’re standing with other marginalized groups as well.

  19. The students are more focused and do better in school with single-sex education. The drawback I think would be that it’s boring and the students wouldn’t enjoy school as much. I think they would learn better in single-sex environments because there aren’t many distractions.
    No they would not flourish because of people changing their gender or wanting to be a different gender. Having a transgender in class is basically the same thing as having a different gender although they are changed.
    It would be harder. Transgenders would, in my opinion, be just as distracting as having an opposite gender in the room and defeat the purpose of single-sex education. I think if someone transitions while enrolled that they should be accepted as the article stated,”Transgender students are protected from discrimination under Title IX.”
    I have only attended an all girls camp. I think it would have been a totally different experience if boys were there. It was a church camp so if boys were there I think I would have been more distracted and not been able to feel the spirit like I’m supposed to.
    I would not like to attend a single-sex school or camp. For me to be able to do good somewhere, I feel like I would want to have fun and want to go. When there are other genders, I think that it makes the environment more fun and exciting.

  20. I attend a K-8 all girls school, and while I value the fact that I don't have to worry about boy drama, I feel sheltered from the outside world. When I go to a co-ed high school next year, I know its going to be very different. I don't believe that at my school I was given the social skills to interact with boys.

  21. I have gone to an all girls school since first grade. I am now in eighth grade, and I have had a very good experience here. The environment is wonderful , and it is a very empowering experience. Because of all this, I feel ready to face the world.

  22. I go to a K through eight all girls' school in Austin, Tx. I am in the eighth grade. Personally I believe that single-sex educations are good and bad. I have been in a girls' school for nine years and I find being with girls is just as distracting as with boys. Both boys and girls are distracting, whether you like boys, girls, or both. It might not just be that though, even if it has nothing to do with romantic feelings, boys and girls are distracting. I have boy friends outside of school, they are funny and distracting but, so are girls. Many of my friends in school talk a lot and are VERY distracting. I think going to school with boys in elementary school, or at least interacting with boys, is important for knowing how to deal with them in high school. I would be more comfortable in high school if I knew how to act around boys.

  23. I go to an all girls school, and I have all of my life. I think that there are many benefits, such as feeling more comfortable to openly share our opinions, but also some things that may not be as helpful, such as perhaps not being prepared to be sent out into the world, in which we will not be as sheltered. By my personal experience, I learn more easily in a single - sex environment, but I believe it is different for every person. My sister, who is currently going to the same school as I am, is possibly going to transfer to a co-ed school, simply because she enjoys it more. I think I may be less socially prepared for high school than people who did not spend their entire life in a single - sex school, but I will never regret going to this school. I believe single - sex education, especially for girls, is very beneficial later in life, and incredibly empowering for young women living in a world in which everything is yet to be equal between the two sexes.

  24. We have gone to a private K - 8 all girls school for nine years. It has given us a more focused educational environment and a strong community of girls that we look up to.
    Being in a single-sex education since kindergarten, we have grown up in an environment free of stereotypes and feel like we can be ourselves. Going into a co ed high school, we feel like we are prepared academically, but lack certain social skills. In single-sex education, students have the opportunity to create strong friendships and be inspired by their peers. In a class of nine at the moment, we feel like family, and we wouldn't change that for the world.

    Going into the world as young girls, we realize that gender stereotypes will be put upon us. From our experience in a supportive all girls community, we know how to go into the world not being put down by stereotypes and as a result, becoming strong women.

  25. We go to an all girls' middle and elementary school in Austin, Texas. It's a small school of 150 people. Our grade consists of nine girls, and while it is nice to get the 1 on 1 experience that you cannot find at many other schools, sometimes the smaller environment feels too sheltered. We both would like to interact more with the opposite sex in a larger environment. Being in an all girls' school is beneficial in many ways, especially academically, but does not allow for much growth in the social department. We have been here for over five years, and now, we are in 8th grade and preparing for the transition to high school. Overall, we would say that our experience was well-needed and something that we do not regret, and we would recommend it to everyone, but we both agree that it is time to move on to the next stage in our lives.

  26. As an individual that attends a single-sex school, I can definetly see the benefits from it. Parents send their kids to single-sex schools because they believe it eliminates the distraction that comes from the opposite sex. Students who personally choose to attend one is because it makes them feel comfortable and accepted. However, in this generation, there is more to gender than being born a female or male. In today's society, our millenials are exploring the world and finding their identities. Some are finding out they're transgender. However, judmental limitations prevent them from going forth on their journey for their identity. Many trasngender students apply for single-sex schools, but they are denied acceptance due to the sex they were born with. For example; if a boy became a girl and applied to a single-sex cohort, she would be deemed as a "pervert" since she was originally a boy. This shouldn't be an issue because these people aren't defined by their gender. Whether they're a good person or bad person, it doesn't matter because it has no relation to gender. Trans individuals should be accepted into the schools they perfer to go to because it allows them to feel safe and comfortable. Why should transgendered individuals be denied the opportunities cisgendered individuals are given just because they are deemed "different"?

  27. I attend an all girls middle and high school, where most girls have found it to be a more comfortable place to be and study,we are not as big as other high schools all over New York, but this is a place where we are able to be more of ourselves rather than being in a co-ed school, where I am pretty sure most girls would be very self-conscious. They would be much more self-conscious in classrooms rather than paying attention to the class itself. The benefits of a single-sex education is the learning environment, where you do not need to be worried about how you look or dress, but you can worry more about how you are doing in the class and more on your education. I do think most student learn much better in a single-sex environment because usually there aren't any distractions, and you are able to be more comfortable and be yourself where you do not usually need to impress someone, unlike what happens in a co-ed school.

  28. The benefits of a single-sex education is the establishment of leadership, creating a strong sisterhood or brotherhood and the ability to understand one another on a more personal level. I attend an all girls high school here in New York and much needless to say, I've never felt more like I belonged to a community before until the day I started attending my school in freshmen year. I benefit from not being bothered about my physical attributes nor my religion in any sense because in my school we learn to respect one another no matter how different we all may be. i benefit from being able to defend myself and my peers for when we get teased by being called 'lesbians' and 'gays' just because I go to an all girls school, and the irony behind that is, we are not girls, for simply we are women. Young women with views on success and not dreaming of success but setting up a goal to succeed. So, we let them taunt us, but in the end we are not the ones who are focused on being called names. We are focused on the future ahead of us without any distractions and that is ultimately the biggest benefit from being a student in a single-sex education.

  29. I am a Junior in an all girl school in Jamaica, New York, that starts you off in middle school until senior year. Going to an all girl school has a positive and negative side to it. The positive side is that I can express myself in ways I would not be comfortable enough if I had another gender around me. Having leadership as one of the five pillars in my school, I am able to show leadership towards my younger sisters that in a co-ed school would probably be dominated by a male due to stereotypes and after all the male gender just like superiority in about everything. A negative that one might instantly think in a girl school  is that here will be less drama because no boys are around, my point of view is different. I view that there is more drama because there are some people who do like to bring down others self-esteem and girls enjoy to gossip around. Gossip and bringing down self-esteem synthesizes to learning better. There is not as much difference, there will always be some drama in every school, no matter co-ed, single-sex, public, private etc. it is just easier to get around and not feel left out once you go to a school where there is only your gender around. Lastly, to quickly pitch into having people who consider LGBTQ in a school for single-sex, will not hurt anyone and if we really want everyone to get their education why should their identification matter? Going to all girl school is amazing to an extent as others expressed in their responses.

  30. I represent an all girls school in Jamaica Queens who has created many young strong and independent women. I am a junior and I have been in this school since the sixth grade Being a young women in today's society can be tough and even belonging to a culture that holds boys in higher regards than girls. While being in a same sex school the distraction of boys is eliminated, allowing us to create a sisterhood in which we push ourselves to be better. In my school we have the four pillars,leadership, health and wellness, STEM, and college bound. Every class helps enforce these ideas that we will become the new leaders in male dominant fields and break stereotypes of successful women being ice queens or other negative connotations. The benefits of going to all girls school brings me to my next point that same sex school should still exist despite the new genders that are developing. Taking away same sex school also takes away from others that may want to attend a same sex school. School is an institution that is a pathway from adolescence to strong independent leaders. The Declaration of Independence says that everyone is given "unalienable rights" such as "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness", so who are we to judge those that practice their rights? Therefore same sex schools should continue to exist.

  31. A single sexed school narrows down the distractions that a co-ed school ultimately has. As a female attending an all-girls school for a very long time, I have noticed young women more developed in both confidence and abilities. Single sexed environments provide more structure, which creates a relaxed environment to thrive and express ourselves because we are uniform. However, it limits gender expression. Individuals should not be denied opportunities based on how they identify themselves, which single sex schools do. It is blatantly obvious within the names of our school that we identify as a specific gender. It increases the chances of a hostile environment for the students who are physically unique because we are accustomed to a strict definition of what a single sexed school is. Single sexed schools should continue to exist as long as self-identity is accepted and measures are taken by administrators to create a stable and a comfortable transition. Co-ed institutions should also make reforms to engage the student body in acceptable behavior towards changes. Ultimately, no one should be denied an education based on personal opinions but embrace the changes to expand knowledge.

  32. As a junior in a single- sex high school, I agree that one of the benefits of single-sex schools is they offer more opportunities to pursue academic and extracurricular activities without racial and gender stereotypes. For example, my school is a college bound school and it gives many opportunities in all fields including technology. The school’s curriculum includes lesson plans that teach the same information as co-ed schools. There are teachers and peers that are dependable when requiring help. As a result, I can say that a single- sex school has a stronger community than a co-ed school because we are more likely to join against/for a topic concerning a relatable issue. In addition, single-sex school put less pressure on girls and boys to be open because they are with the same gender. In fact, I am more confident to participate in school activates as I am going through high school. However, the drawback of single sex- school is that it makes it hard for a student to socialize in a diverse gender place. This can be solved if students commit to an outside mixed gender program for extracurricular activities. Thus, I think single-sex institutions should still exist.

  33. As a society, we are becoming much more aware and welcoming to people who are not cisgendered, which is amazing. However, it also means that institutions, such as the National Cathedral School are forced to grapple with these complex issues which are not black and white.
    For example, what do we even mean when we say an 'all girls school'? On a whole, we've been very accepting of students who are not cisgendered, but when applying, you were asked for your gender with only one choice, 'girl' (or female, I cannot recall.) Another downside of 'single-sex education' is that students do not have experience interacting with people of the opposite sex. Additionally, National Cathedral School prides itself with its strong English program whereas our Brother School prides itself with its strong STEM program. This only insinuates the stereotype that girls should stick to the humanities whereas boys should work in STEM.
    In the case for single-sex education, some studies have shown that girls perform better in a single-sex environment. Also, as high schoolers are particular hormone and the majority of them are beginning to be attracted to members of the opposite sex, single-sex education keeps the this out of the classroom, minimising distractions. However, especially as they are literally right across the close and most students carry around smartphones, single-sex education does little to deter this.

  34. I am currently in my last year studying at an all girls school in Leamington Spa. I have loved my time during school. There are many benefits to a same sex school, whether that be fewer distractions or simply not having to wear makeup everyday. Yet, I do believe there are some drawbacks if it hadn't been to having part time job and other mixed sex extra curricular activities, I think I may have found it hard to work in an environment with males. Therefore I think it is important that if you are at a single sex school that you are still exposed to boys, in order to be prepared for university or a work place.
    The transgender topic may be difficult for some to get their head around, however to me any person should be allowed to identify as whatever they like. Therefore if they believe they are female, they should always be allowed to study in an all girls school, and vice versa. Sex and gender is something that is usually discovered whilst being at school, therefore in my opinion if a person finds their true self hard way through school or are still confused then they should be able to study where they wish. After all, school is a place of learning and socialising, not a place for separation and judgment.

  35. As a female who has experienced both mixed and single sex education, I can say that I think there is a place for single sex schools. While advantages of single sex schools are that they enable you to be yourself and grow as a person in a safe, closely bonded community as well as the classic example of minimising distractions from the opposite sex, they do have their limitations. The most obvious of these is the lack of exposure to the opposite sex which may prove problematic in later life. If I had not attended a mixed primary school or come into contact with males through work etc, this may have been more of an issue for me and even now, I would say that I am more comfortable around girls than boys.
    I think that especially as people get older, it is important not to be segregated based on gender to enable us to develop healthy relationships with others, no matter what gender they identify with. Beyond school age I believe that it is not natural for boys and girls to be separated as this is not realistic for real life situations. Single sex schools may even deepen the rivalry between boys and girls when actually, it is important for males and females to respect each other's opinions from a young age to create a functional society.
    The growing fluidity between genders may suggest that the need for single sex education is becoming lost. Ultimately, whether single sex schools exist or not, gender should not be the sole thing that defines an individual.

  36. I think that we should eventually phase out single gender opportunities in education, maybe even using gender to identify people altogether. I would not want the fact that I am female to influence how people think about me at all. It is what I am, it is not who I am. I personally have only attended co-ed schools, and so maybe do not have the full story, but isn't gender equality about giving people the same opportunities? The fact that a lot of people do better in single gender schools may be a symptom of a deeper social problem that should not be ignored.

  37. In 2009, I completed the first quantitative research piece on single gender public education since it became legal (under provisions) in 2006. My research indicated that there is clear evidence that academic achievement and discipline referral frequency were significantly impacted by the single gender arrangement. On a qualitative level -- Having attending a women's college (Wesleyan College), I can attest to the positive outcomes associated with single gender education. I am the person that I am today due in large part to that experience. Many of the anecdotal accounts that have been published on single gender education are in line with my experience. That environment provides many opportunities that may not be afforded in a coed environment and the "I can do anything" mindset permeates and dominates. Consider that approximately two-thirds of the female members of congress were single-gender educated.