Single Sex Classrooms -- Dividing the Instruction and Education That Girls and Boys Receive

For a while, more and more public schools were including single sex classrooms. USA Today reports in their July 9, 2012 issue that today there are more than 500 public schools across the nation that offer some single sex classes.

The New York Times in their September 22, 2011 issue concurs, stating that there are more than 500 schools in 40 different states that offer at least some single sex classes.

Under pressure from the ACLU, several public schools have stopped offering single sex classes. The ACLU has sent cease and desist letters to several schools around the country that have either implemented single sex classrooms, or that plan to do it in the near future.

As a result of the ACLU win in Missouri’s Adrian R-III School District, there is a strong likelihood that other school districts might find themselves in a costly court action that would, in the end, force them to change their educational methods back to coeducational.

Rather than take the chance of having to spend already limited funds on a no-win lawsuit, some school districts are simply going back to their coeducation classes, or scrapping plans to start implementing single sex classes.

The reason the ACLU objects to single sex classrooms is that there is no solid evidence that single sex classrooms are beneficial, and as Doug Bonney, legal director of the ACLU of Kansas and Western Missouri says, [there is] “. . . plenty of evidence they [single sex classrooms] actually enhance gender stereotypes and lead to sexism.

Single sex classrooms

All boy's class
All boy's class | Source
All girl's class
All girl's class | Source

Supporters of Single Sex Classrooms Believe Children Have Weaknesses and Strengths Depending On What Sex They Happen To Be

The proponents of single sex classrooms claim that having both boys and girls in the same classroom is distracting for all of the students. For now, it is mostly high school students who are affected, although there are some elementary and middle schools that have implemented single sex classrooms as well.

Emuna Braverman, writing for aish.com believes that girls and boys have unique gender based strengths and weaknesses and that single sex classrooms can address these differences where coeducational classrooms cannot.

Braverman says she thinks it is shocking that single sex classrooms are considered revolutionary by a lot of people. To some extent she is correct because separating girls and boys in schools is not new and was the norm for many decades, first in England, and then here in the U.S. In fact many schools refused to admit girls and women completely, and that did not change in some cases until just a few years ago.

It was not until 1972 that legislation was enacted to make it unlawful to discriminate against children and adults in education, because of the sex they happened to be.

In the not so distant past women have suffered serious discrimination because of imagined weaknesses believed to be gender related. Those weaknesses were the excuses given for refusing women enrollment in certain schools and consideration for certain jobs. Indeed, serious sexism continues to this day presumably based on the same criteria, and it seems as if this attitude about teaching to gender weaknesses and strengths only feeds that sexism.

Source

Girls and Boys Need to Learn How to Work Together

While some proponents of single sex classrooms believe boys and girls do better in classrooms where their classmates are more like themselves, one commenter on Braverman’s article responded by saying, “. . . girls and boys need to learn to work together, as people. How can you separate them in classrooms their whole lives, and then thrust them into a world where they must work together and treat each other with respect and intelligence?” Good point.

Dr. Diane F. Halpern, a Professor of Psychology who has won many awards for her teaching and research in the areas of critical thinking, and sex differences in cognitive abilities says there is no support for the idea that single sex classrooms are beneficial. She further says that a lot of problems are created when people are segregated into groups. Segregation encourages and increases stereotyping for one thing. History has proven that.

Dividing classrooms and schools will likely have the effect of setting women’s progress and opportunities back many decades. It will give employers and universities more opportunities to reject female applicants once again, because they graduated from girls’ and women’s schools that will be characterized as inferior as all women’s activities and education have been in the past and continues to be in the minds of some people yet today.

Women haven’t completely put the bad old days behind them, and now those days of severe discrimination are threatening to return to the education system again, with many women seemingly oblivious that they are helping to lead the way.

Dr. Leonard Sax Says Children Need to Be Taught Womanhood and Manhood So They Will Grow Up Knowing Their Societal Roles

Dr. Leonard Sax, founder of the Pennsylvania-based National Association for Single Sex Public Education, believes one reason schools should go to single sex classrooms is because it makes it easier for the teacher.

Sax says that girls like nouns and boys like verbs. In a coed classroom that would require the teacher to write 2 different lesson plans, one for the boys with emphasis on verbs, and one for girls with emphasis on nouns.

Are we no longer teaching nouns to boys or verbs to girls? Are we letting our children off the hook, not requiring them to learn things they do not like? No wonder so many high school graduates can’t read! No wonder so many high school graduates can’t do simple math!!

Since when has educating our children revolved around what is easy for the teacher?

On his own website, in the process of promoting one of his books, Sax states that parents do not teach their children the meaning of womanhood and manhood the way they should so that their children will be less confused about exactly what their role in society is when they become adults.

I thought young adults determined what they wanted their roles in society to be for themselves, but Sax thinks it should be programmed into them.

It seems to me that Sax is trying to institute a program into our schools that will put women back in what he deems to be “their place,” It would also seem that Sax believes with proper training, children will not grow up to be gay or lesbian. Those are the messages I got from his point about teaching children about manhood and womanhood and roles they are expected to live in society.

If that is the case, as it seems to be, Sax is trying to limit what women can do and to turn back the clock to when men had more power over women. He would also seem to be trying to put gays back into the closet.

History already speaks loudly for what happens when people are segregated for any reason even before considering that Sax appears to be advocating against women and gays.

Sax also says that people, even as babies already show a preference for stereotypical subjects and toys. Even as infants, he says, girls prefer people while boys prefer movement. As young children, boys prefer action and girls prefer dolls.

Girls like trucks and cars for toys too!

My daughter playing with her Tonka dump truck full of stuffed toys on the left,  and giving Barbie a ride in the bucket of her front end loader.  I preferred these kinds of toys as a child and daughter did too, except for books being her #1 favorite.
My daughter playing with her Tonka dump truck full of stuffed toys on the left, and giving Barbie a ride in the bucket of her front end loader. I preferred these kinds of toys as a child and daughter did too, except for books being her #1 favorite. | Source

Sax Discourages Having Toys Available to Children That Are Not Gender Stereotypical

Sax Believes That Non-Stereotypical toys Only Serve to Confuse Children. Confuse children about what, I’m wondering?

From my personal experience as a young child, I loved cars and trucks and bulldozers. I wanted an erector set but it was too expensive. I wanted Lego blocks, but again they were too expensive. Dolls were boring. I loved building roads and driving my cars down them. I wanted to build a suspension bridge as described in a television commercial for an erector set.

All manner of toys were provided for my daughter and no one attempted to influence her choices. Her favorite thing was books and remains so to this day, although music is also a big part of her life. She had even less use for dolls than I did, if that is possible, although she did used to enjoy giving her Barbie a ride in the bucket of her front end loader from time to time. Now 23, she seems as opinionated and unconfused as her mother.

While I do not usually take sides, in this case I believe that by making all public schools single sex, or even most classrooms single sex, we will be handicapping our children, especially our daughters.

Our daughters will have fewer opportunities to learn and experiment with the same things as boys, and will be directed towards activities considered feminine if Sax gets his way, our sons will again be taught that females are the weaker sex, and not as smart or as capable as themselves by virtue of their plumbing.

After fighting so hard for equal rights, educational opportunities and career opportunities for all women, it seems incongruous that women would even consider segregating their daughters the way girls and young women were in the days of women’s servitude.

Women have not yet achieved anything close to equality, yet it seems like some of those women who had more choices because of the courageous women who came before them are now willing to throw it all away away and sacrifice the few hard won benefits that should belong to our daughters and granddaughters.

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Comments 62 comments

Au fait profile image

Au fait 22 months ago from North Texas Author

Pstraubie48, thank you for sharing some of your teaching experience with me and my readers. I have heard other people also say that single sex classrooms seem to benefit the children in them. Research shows that children actually don't do as well. Also, there is the part of learning in the single sex classroom that people often forget about -- taking what one learns beyond the classroom and putting it to use. When separated by sex, children often have a harder time relating to each other and working together beyond the classroom.

There is also the issue that despite wishful thinking on the parts of some people, has not yet been resolved -- women's equality. When boys and girls received different but equal education like African Americans did for a while, the education girls receive is often undervalued because it was girls' education -- also like what happened when African Americans received a different education than whites. So even if girls did exceptionally well in the all girl classroom their education was downplayed and they were not allowed to use it outside that classroom. We still aren't in the post-feminist era despite what some people want to believe and we sure don't want to lose the little progress we've made for girls and women whether in the science lab, the boardroom, or anywhere else.

I really need to update this article because there is a lot more information available now than when I originally wrote it. Studies relating to it have been completed and analyzed and they have some interesting results.

Thank you again, Patricia. I really appreciate your contributions!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 23 months ago from North Texas Author

Peggy W, thank you for commenting and sharing this article! It got down to 14 degrees F. at 5 AM Thursday morning here in North Texas.

I really need to update this article (and many of my others too) because more information on this subject is available. In fact studies show that single-sex classrooms do not benefit children in certain areas and I need to add those findings to this article.


pstraubie48 profile image

pstraubie48 23 months ago from sunny Florida

There is NOTHING easy for any teacher that walks into ANY classroom anywhere. Ever.

Having been in the classroom for 40+ years I wrote multiple lesson plans many times as no two kids learn the same way. Meeting the child where she or he was and taking them to where they could go and beyond was my goal each year and it required individualized planning. It also required revision of plans often to insure that learning was occurring.

I taught in a school where there was one single sex class of girls and one of boys...all others were coed. the children in those classes had been placed there by parent request and they excelled. They were only in the single sex classes for one year.

As you may well know those who make the broad generalizations about what is good and bad for kids often have not been up close and personal with whatever it is they find fault with.

It is always interesting to read your hubs , Au Fait.

Angels are on the way to you and yours. ps


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 23 months ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Au fait,

This is a subject that will probably always have people considering the pros and cons of single sex classrooms. Sharing once again. Stay warm up where you are! It is a cold night tonight in most of Texas!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 2 years ago from North Texas Author

Lady_E, thank you for commenting on this article and sharing your thoughts. You know it really doesn't matter if you're a straight A student (I was) if you can't get along with other people (including boys/men) and work with them, and that is one of the most important things learned in a mixed sex classroom/school.

The other issue is of course that both classrooms and schools used to be divided to be all boys or all girls, and the fact that girls didn't receive the same instruction as boys, or that was said to be the case, girls and women were discriminated against in the workplace. Women still haven't achieved equality in the workplace. Do we really want to go back to where we started so that children will be less distracted in the classroom?

I frankly don't remember being distracted by the boys in my classroom. I still got my A's, and several of the boys got theirs too.

There are lots of reasons why some students do better or worse than others and I don't think those issues can necessarily be addressed by simply segregating boys from girls. Many kinds of segregation have been utilized in the past with no good results. Dividing people by physical features (sex, race, etc.) causes more problems than it solves.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 2 years ago from London, UK

Interessting post. I am divided. For social reasons, it's nice for them to be mixed but on the other hand, they get distracted.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for dropping by Jen and sharing your thoughts on this issue. Agree that it is an important issue and women (our daughters and granddaughters in many cases) have a lot to lose if the wrong decision is made.


Jen 3 years ago

This is a serious subject. I wouldn't want my granddaughters to suffer through the things I had to go through because women were so limited in their options when I was younger. I don't think it matters with home economics and woodworking classes so much (do they still teach these subjects in school?), but when classes like math and science and accounting and statistics are divided according to sex, then I think it could bring back the days when women were considered less able to handle these subjects.

I also agree that boys and girls need to learn how to work together starting when they are young so they know how to relate to each other when they become adults without one condescending to the other. Very thought provoking Au fait.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for sharing your thoughts Shyron. I think you make some good points, and then too, boys should be able to take care of themselves don't you think? Just like girls should know how to change a tire, boys should be able to keep from starving to death.

Thank you for the votes and the share!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

This is an awesome hub Au fait that people don't think about. I know that men when they think cooking that should be a class only for girls, and yet, men make good chefs, and I also think that if boys could be in the cooking class with the girls, it would make for better marriages since women have to work outside the home, usually.

This is an awesome hub, voted that way and shared.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Sam (samowhamo), thank you for commenting here. Not sure how I missed your comment but have just now discovered it. It wasn't on my comments page or in any of the other files. I just happened to be working on this hub.

Agree that no society is perfect and all have problems of different sorts and because change is a constant everywhere, those problems would like also change over time to new problems.

Also, as you pointed out, fantasies are just that, and in reality rarely work out quite as perfect and pat.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

(samowhamo, thank you for your inquiry. I actually haven't read about any single sex societies, but I suppose people can live any way they want to.

I think they're merely fantasies that people think would be some sort of ideal, but fantasies often leave out things that happen in reality, which is why they're fantasies.

In reality there would be just as many difficulties in a single sex society as in mixed societies like we have, and maybe those difficulties would be even worse. The problems might be different, but there would be problems nonetheless.

What people think would be ideal when put into practice often has problems they didn't think of in their fantasy.)

One of the reaons I asked that is because it kind of has something to do with certain kinds of feminists such as separatist feminists wanting to start a matriarchy or something like that called womens culture. I don't think matriarchy equals equality.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Levertis Steele for reading, commenting, and sharing this article! Also for sharing your thoughts on this subject.

I stand by my belief that males and females cannot learn to get along and work with each other if they don't have any experience doing that until they're 18 years old.

Further, I think women have worked too hard for the little equality they have to throw it away so we can go back to when women were considered inferior because their education was not equal.

Separate but equal doesn't work. Tried that with African American children and white children, and look what happened. Have also had that with male and female children in divided schools, and again, history shows us that didn't work very well either.

Divided classrooms are fine for private, parochial, and home schools, but public schools need to be equal for all children.


Levertis Steele profile image

Levertis Steele 3 years ago from Southern Clime

There are advantages and disadvantages of both classrooms. The positives and negatives must be weighed, I sppose, before the best situation is chosen. What is best for individual students can be a problem, though. That is why we go around in circles--today it is right and tomorrow it is wrong. I have lived through both.

Interesting hub! I will share.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

samowhamo, thank you for your inquiry. I actually haven't read about any single sex societies, but I suppose people can live any way they want to.

I think they're merely fantasies that people think would be some sort of ideal, but fantasies often leave out things that happen in reality, which is why they're fantasies.

In reality there would be just as many difficulties in a single sex society as in mixed societies like we have, and maybe those difficulties would be even worse. The problems might be different, but there would be problems nonetheless.

What people think would be ideal when put into practice often has problems they didn't think of in their fantasy.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

Just out of curiosity (I thought it would be appropriate to post it here) what are your thoughts on single sex society's such as all male society's that we read about it some fictional books or all female society's that some feminists talk write about (lesbian utopias some call them).


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you samowhamo for reading and commenting on this article. Agree that people should not be discriminated against because of the sex they happen to be or because of the gender they believe themselves to be.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Deborah-Diane for sharing your experience on this subject.

Are you certain your younger daughters were more confident and outgoing because of being in a single sex school and not because they were the younger of 4 girls and modeling their older sister's behavior? Personality can make a big difference too. Your younger daughters might well have had the same attitude about academics and girly things no matter what school they attended because of who they are not where they were. Just thinking of the different possibilities . . .

Very much appreciate your input here so that we can all learn from your experience.


samowhamo profile image

samowhamo 3 years ago

I believe that unless it is for reasons of decency (such as public restrooms) there should never be gender segregation of any kind.


Deborah-Diane profile image

Deborah-Diane 3 years ago from Orange County, California

This is a very interesting topic that has been discussed in our home for decades! I raised four daughters. Two went to traditional high schools and two went to single sex high schools. All four went to traditional colleges. All four did well in school. All four have successful careers.

At the time we sent our two youngest girls to single sex high schools, we were glad we did it. They wore uniforms to school and they weren't concerned about putting on makeup or fixing their hair before they went to school, as their older sisters had been. They were more serious about academics in high school. They were less shy, and more inclined to speak their mind in a classroom. They didn't hold themselves back because they didn't want to embarrass themselves in front of the guys.

However, when it is all said and done, while I have no regrets about sending the youngest two to single sex high schools, I don't think it has made a lot of difference in their lives. Still, I feel as though the teen years were a little easier for the two daughters who happily spent those years in a single sex school.

I do have to say that I am glad that they only went to single sex schools in high school. I think it would have been too much segregation to go to single sex schools from kindergarten through college. You are right that both sexes need to learn to get along with each other.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing your thoughts on this subject Shyron!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

rajan jolly, thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub, and thank you for sharing a bit of your experience with single sex classrooms as opposed to co-ed. Agree with you entirely, that people communicate better when they have learned to work together from early in their lives.


rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 3 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Au fait, I studied in a single sex school and a co-ed college and I can say that it was a lot of pressure acclimatizing to the change. I would vouch for a co-ed school any day, if only for the fact that it gives both boys and girls the opportunity to interact freely before the actual reality of being different from each other hits them.

I do not understand why this separation of classrooms when they have to interact and move on together in life and work.

Good job here.

Voted up, interesting.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Fantastic hub Au fait. Children need to learn to interact with each other.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Kathryn Stratford for reading and commenting on this hub! Agree with your comments totally!


Kathryn Stratford profile image

Kathryn Stratford 3 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

Wow, that Sax guy sounds extremely sexist! "Societal roles"?! Really, woman should be able to decide on their own place in life, and they should not be trained only a certain role.

I liked to play with both dolls and trucks when I was a kid. I have two brothers, and we would play with each others' toys often! I think if kids are free to play with what they want, they will develop their own interests and discoveries throughout life, without "help" from others.

This was a very pleasant, informative article, thanks for sharing it!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for stopping by and for the votes, Shyron!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for reading, commenting, and voting on this hub, and for sharing your personal experience. Agree with you regarding Dr. Sax. ;)


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

Very good hub voting you up and UAI


moonlake profile image

moonlake 3 years ago from America

The picture of your daughter is so cute. My husband's family bought their boys dolls and doll beds for Christmas. They had modern ideas for that day and age.

Dr. Leonard Sax what a ridiculous man. Voted up on your hub.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Peggy W, for helping me fix a mistake, and for reading what should have been there in the first place. Friends help friends be their best!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Agree that children learn best when involved with other people of both sexes. Learning how to get along with people by reading a book just doesn't cut it. Thank you for stopping by and leaving a comment, Shryon!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Happy New Year to you also! If you ever notice a misspelled word or duplicate content on one of my hubs, I would wish for you to notify me also. Happy to help you! I realized that it was posted in error. Enjoyed reading the replacement paragraph.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

SweetiePie, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub! I don't think the university or colleges try to segregate their classes and that is what this hub is talking about. Segregating girls and boys by having single sex classrooms.

I minored in women's studies and the most recent class I took in it (about 4 years ago now) included about 60 students. There were 5 young men in that class. They stuck it out to the end. Another class that counted towards that minor as well as my major(PSYC) called the Psychology of Women was a class of 150 students, about 11 of which were young men.

It's true that some classes do not seem to attract as many men -- or as many women -- as other classes do, but that is the choice of the students, unplanned, just the way the enrollment turned out, not a policy of the school.

Thanks again for stopping by! Happy New Year!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Ddraigcoch, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub and especially for sharing! I agree with what you say, and along with adversely affecting children who will not learn important social skills if they are separated in the classroom, discrimination raises its ugly head. We have had separated classrooms regarding both race and sex in the past, and it has never had a good affect.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for commenting on this hub Peggy W, and for helping me improve on it! Also for voting and sharing. Happy New Year!!!!


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

I think that children learn to socialize better if they are with both genders.

Interesting hub.


SweetiePie profile image

SweetiePie 3 years ago from Southern California, USA

In California they are not segregating girls and boys in the public school. However, I did take a woman's studies course in college that was mostly women, and had only one man. He soon dropped the class because I think he felt out of place. Today I wonder if more men might enroll in a class like that, but somehow I do not think so.


Ddraigcoch profile image

Ddraigcoch 3 years ago from UK

This article is amazing and very informative. As a mother of both sexes I would be furious if they separated boys from girls. In society both need to know how to get along with the other, they will never know that if it is removed from their childhood.

Education time is a large portion of time in a child's life to have the opposite sex removed.

I am sharing as I am certain there are some of my friends who will love your efforts.


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 3 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hi Au fait,

This is an interesting discussion for sure. I can see both sides of this issue and agree that if parents want to send their children to either type of school, it is their right to do so. Socialization between boys and girls will happen outside of school in any case. Unless I am wrong, there are still schools just for girls and those for boys. They orchestrate dances and other events for them to get together. Since we do not have kids, I did not realize that many schools were starting to segregate the classes. My mother was one of only a few girls who took shop back when she was growing up. They even mentioned it in her yearbook! Ha!

BTW...Check out the duplicated paragraphs you have in this hub between the highlighted words...Boys and Girls Need to Learn How to Work Together. Excellent hub! Gives people and especially parents food for thought. Voted up, useful, interesting and will share.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

themadimadimadi, thank you for reading and commenting on this hub and for sharing your experience! There are many good reasons to have co-ed classrooms and I think no classroom is likely to be perfect no matter what is done.


themadimadimadi profile image

themadimadimadi 3 years ago from Denver, Colorado

While I was in high school they tried out single sex classrooms. Although I was never in one. It's a bit absurd really. Boys and girls DO need to learn to work together. Having a coed classroom is no more distracting to other students as having it a single sex classroom. Human beings talk, and human beings don't always enjoy school, there's nothing they can do about that and making classes into a single sex environment won't change it.

Good hub, interesting and it's nice to see someone finally shed a little light on this subject.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Paul Kuehn, thank you for reading, commenting, and sharing this hub! I agree with you!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you Shyron for stopping by and sharing your insights.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 3 years ago from North Texas Author

Brett.Tesol, thank you for reading, commenting, sharing, and tweeting this hub! Agree that the point you make is important and a very good one.


Paul Kuehn profile image

Paul Kuehn 3 years ago from Udorn City, Thailand

When I was young, I attended co-educational schools from kindergarten all the way through college. I am now teaching in an all-girls Catholic school in Thailand. Prior to this, I taught in a co-ed public school. Since coming to the all-girls school, my teaching is a lot easier because I don't have all the discipline problems I had when teaching in the public co-ed school. The girls here also seem more motivated to learn than the ones I had in co-ed classes. A lot of parents here in Thailand send their daughters to all-girls school because they want to remove the opposite sexual attraction and have their kids pay more attention to their studies rather than just only trying to be more attractive to boys. The way I look at it, single sex classes should not be required in public schools. They should be voluntary. If the kids and their parents want single sex classes, let there be some single sex classes. Voted up and sharing.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 3 years ago

I think that children learn more from each other's views. I also agree with Brett.

Voted up-interesting


Brett.Tesol profile image

Brett.Tesol 3 years ago from Somewhere in Asia

I think that children need to grow up in a socially mixed environment. They will need to develop skills for the real world. While separating them may remove some competition, show offs or problems ... it also doesn't help them to develop a positive approach to working in mixed situations in the future.

Shared, pinned, tweeted, up and interesting.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for commenting on my hub Nicole S.

Yes it would be harder for people to learn to get along with the opposite sex, but it would also give those people who are looking for ways to discriminate against women an opportunity to saythat the female classes were getting a less comprehensive education and therefore women are not as qualified for certain careers and men. That argument has been used against women in the past and I have no doubt it would be brought back to life with single sex classrooms. I really think the disadvantages of single sex classrooms outweigh the advantages -- at least for women,


Nicole S profile image

Nicole S 4 years ago from Minnesota

I always wondered this growing up, if it'd be better to have the genders split up but I guess how else would we learn to talk/handle/learn about the others? Nice hub!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you billybuc for reading and commenting! Very much appreciate your taking the time. I, too, see advantages in both types of classrooms, but I really think so long as people have a propensity to discriminate we are better off seeing that everyone has the opportunity for an equal quality education in co-ed classrooms.


billybuc profile image

billybuc 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

I am a product of this teaching theory; from the 7th grade through 12th I learned in a single sex classroom. Although they are good for eliminating distractions, they are horrible as far as teaching socialization among girls and boys. I really can see the strengths and weaknesses of both systems of education....if I had to lean one way or another, I would probably lean towards integration of the sexes.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you for commenting Shyron. I do think it's important to let young adults find their own way as to what their adult rolls will be. Not everyone has the same perspective on manhood and womanhood. Not everyone marches to the same beat or dances to the same music. I think if we all were meant to be the same we would be popped out of molds instead of born with unique genes contributed by 2 unique individuals. ;)


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Faceless39: Thank you for reading and commenting on this hub. Whenever education of girls and boys is separated, or when classes for different races are separated, you open the door to someone saying one's education was not as good as the others. We've been there, done that. Some of it was pretty ugly. I don't think the small gain of having single sex education is worth the huge loss in other areas.


Faceless39 profile image

Faceless39 4 years ago from The North Woods, USA

You raise some very interesting points that's I've never thought about. I thought that, for the most part, single-sex schools might be a good idea. But I wasn't aware that they would be pushing stereotypical sex ("gender") roles.

As a female I remember having to take home economics class ("girlish") and industrial arts class ("boyish.") I disliked the girly stuff and loved the, to me, more fascinating guy stuff. That we had to take both classes was a smart move I think, and opened us up to both ends of the spectrum.

You've really made me rethink this idea!

Voted up, useful, and interesting.


Shyron E Shenko profile image

Shyron E Shenko 4 years ago

Fantastic hub! I think you are correct in every aspect. It helps with understanding for both girls and boys. It is wrong for Dr. Sax/noun to put each one in a roll, of who he thinks which sex should be doing what.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you again BJC. Yes, I think we need to guard against going backwards with women's equality. We haven't even succeeded yet, and some people want to put us back to the start line!


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

BJC: Thank you for reading and commenting on my hub. I came across teachers in my research on this hub who agree with you, that students at all levels seem to do better in single sex classrooms.

My concern is that children need to learn to get along with people of the opposite sex and to work with people of the opposite sex, and they're not learning that in separate classrooms.

Women experienced terrible sexism in the past because when they were allowed to be educated in the first place, their education was considered inferior and not sufficient to get into universities and colleges because their education was separate and different than what boys received. Many women were denied certain jobs for this same reason.

Lots of people believe we are in a post-feminist era and that women have arrived and are now equal. Nothing could be further from the truth. I'm afraid that separate but equal -- which hasn't worked for people in the past -- will become another barrier for women to surpass and we don't need to be set back even before we cross the finish line.

My education was for the most part in co-ed classes. There were classes in high school I was not allowed to take because I was a girl. There were classes boys weren't allowed to take because they were boys. Girls were considered inferior in many ways. A lot of people still believe women are inferior in intelligence and logic.

Educating girls and boys in different classrooms will only fuel what some people still believe -- that women wouldn't have such a high standing if they had to compete with boys. Students may be easier to manage in single sex classrooms, and some may actually pay more attention to the material being presented, but I do not think those advantages outweigh putting women's equality back to where it was in the bad old days.

Even though we may not agree, I still appreciate your comments and your adding your thoughts to this subject.


BJC profile image

BJC 4 years ago from Florida

Allowing people, especially girls, to be what they want to be is very important and you do raise a good point about some men thinking women are for the ktichen and bedroom only. It's a good point.


Au fait profile image

Au fait 4 years ago from North Texas Author

Thank you tillsontitan, for reading and commenting! Very much appreciate your taking the time.

In my research, with so many people talking about how wise Dr. Sax was, I was very surprised when I found these other things about womanhood and manhood, and teaching expected societal rolls on his own website. He was promoting a book there, so I'm thinking these ideas are in his book as well as on his website.

I can see some of the advantages of same sex classrooms -- making both boys and girls more comfortable because they're not quite as worried about the opposite sex scrutinizing them, but I think the cost of that comfort is too high.

I know what separation of students in a classroom can lead to and in fact has led to in the past. People haven't shown any inclination that they have improved on their ideas and beliefs about women yet. I havve heard lip service, but there are still too many people who believe women require a man around to manage their lives for them, etc. Too many people who believe a woman's place is in the kitchen and the bedroom. Too many people unwilling to even consider women for certain jobs. I think a woman's place is wherever she decides she wants to be.

I think single sex classrooms would take us backwards, and we still haven't gone all the way forward!


BJC profile image

BJC 4 years ago from Florida

As a teacher for over ten years, single sex classrooms function much better. The kids want to learn and and want to impress less. Good hub


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 4 years ago from New York

You make a strong case for boys and girls in the same classroom. I was totally amazed at how Dr. Leonard Sax manages to stay credible with the garbage he believes and teaches.

I don't disagree with single sex classrooms only because it sometimes makes boys and girls more at ease. They don't feel the pressure to perform in front of the opposite sex. However, their curriculum should be identical regardless of who's in what classroom.

This was a great hub providing good information.

Voted up, useful, and interesting.

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