Single Sex Schools





Single Sex Schools

Teaching boys and girls separately has always been a significant and unique feature of private and parochial schools. However, American public schools are also taking advantage of the feature of private education and introducing single sex education in their school systems. The reason attributed to the popularity of single sex education in American public schools is based on the parents’ desire to have a firm and established role in the education of their children and the individual education predicaments which boys and girls experience (Weil, 2008). Regardless of the positive outcomes attributed to single sex education in terms of educational performance, there are arguments and criticisms that have been established against the incorporation of single sex education in schools.

Arguments against Single Sex Education

Single sex education has been indicated as a positive force especially for catering for the needs attributed to the differences between both sexes. Regardless of such basis placed for single sex education, there are arguments that counteract the positive statements accorded to single sex education. One argument that counteracts single sex education is based against the predisposed notion that single sex schools perform better than coeducational schools. According to Jost (574), the effects attributed to single sex education are biased since there are various determinants that influence successful academic performance regardless of the single sex or coeducational forms of education. To be more precise, single sex schools perform better because they are good schools. Hence, this does not mean that only single sex schools perform better. The same elements of a good school incorporated in other schools whether single sex or coeducational can facilitate any school to perform better regardless of the method of education.

Another argument presented against single sex education is the prevalence of deviant behavior amongst boys and girls in their respective single gender schools. According to Jost (575), research on single gender education in various single sex schools discovered that single sex classes in reality aggravated taunting and unruly conduct among boys and spitefulness among girls. These behaviors characterized by both sexes despite being in different single sex schools indicated that single sex education does not necessarily correct individual gender behaviors. Moreover, coeducational institutions function as correctional educational facilities for the promotion of presentable behavior among students regardless of the gender. Additionally, the argument indicates that education encompasses other aspects that do not border on academic performance solely. Education also encompasses the social and psychological aspect of both sexes in order to develop positive social behavior among students regardless of the type of education.

Single sex education only focuses on teaching students with respect to gender without acknowledging the real situations that face educational institutions. Single sex schools do not offer other services that coeducational schools offer for the overall development and facilitation of education of the students. The educational method only focuses on the separation of children in terms of gender without incorporating other external factors that are intrinsic for the performance of educational institutions. Additionally, American public schools conforming to the institution of single sex education are primary culprits since they do not possess the necessary considerable funds to provide structures that facilitate the education of the students unlike private schools, which are able to cater for the expenses. According to the USA Today (2007), single gender schools are a false impression of education since they do not consider the real problems that face the educational sector in terms of facilities. Some of the problems that single gender schools ignore include insufficient funding and the prevalence of large class sizes, which are a major characteristic of American public schools.

Single sex education also facilitates the discrimination of the students in terms of their gender differences. According to Weil (2008), the 1972 Education Amendments prohibit discrimination based on sex in all educational programs. Single sex education promotes segregation instead of unification between both sexes. The segregation only causes tension between boys and girls since education is viewed as competition instead of a vital feature that opens up the minds of students in order to be formidable in the world. Moreover, single sex education as a facilitator of segregation based on gender prohibits the boys and girls from accepting the diverse and varied differences between the two sexes. By ignoring the differences between boys and girls because of division, emergent conflicts between the two genders are not resolved and solutions as well as novel ideas for efficient and advantageous education that addresses the needs of each gender are not formulated.

Finally, single sex education only encourages the use of stereotypes in the respective educational institutions. These stereotypes are based on gender and are usually spread by the teachers and other educational instructors of these students. According to Jost (575), teachers are responsible for the perpetuation of stereotypes among the students. Most of the stereotypes generated in terms of gender are usually based on gender roles. For instance, teachers use gender role stereotypes by identifying men as the sole and basic wage earners or breadwinners for their respective families. Consequently, teachers and instructors also base instructional and penalizing practices on stereotypes of gender. For instance, boys were more penalized and educated in idiosyncratic settings whereas girls were nurtured and given opportunities for mutual work. Such stereotypes only portray the difference in education, which is only detrimental to the development of the students in a cohesive environment.

Regardless of the promotion of single sex education in public schools, the method of education is not yet prevalent in contemporary institutions. Moreover, in order to determine whether single sex education is beneficial to the students, it is appropriate to perform adequate research on the form of education and assess it on other aspects that influence a student’s academic life instead of focusing on academic performance as the only determinant for acceptance of single sex education.


Works Cited

Jost, Kenneth. Single-sex Education: Do All-Boy and All-Girl Schools Enhance Learning?Washington, DC: Congressional Quarterly, 2001. Print.

n.a. “Dividing Boys and Girls into Separate Classes a Growing Trend in Many Cities’ Public Schools.” USA Today, Ganett Co. Inc., 25 Jan. 2007. Web. 5 Dec. 2012. <>

Weil, Elizabeth. “Teaching Boys and Girls Separately.” The Times Magazine. The New York Times, 2 Mar. 2008. Web. 5 Dec. 2012. <>


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