I read an article the other day stating that single sex schools did not show any advantage to either sex in academic performance. Remembering a conversation many years back with someone whose opinions I value, I passed it on to her and asked for her opinion. What follows is her response. I should state that she was educated in a small all girl Catholic school up until College.
Read the article, which seems to exist solely to debunk the Sax guy and his research. While this is probably true, it misses the fundamental point, which is what I have previously shared with you. In all-girls schools, girls are given all the opportunities. Because our society is still an unequal one and women are still consistently denied opportunities simply because they are women, this cannot be discounted. In how many co-ed schools are the student body presidents, the club presidents, the prize winners and other honorees girls in the same proportion that they exist in the student body?
In co-ed education, girls are under societal pressure to “curb” their intelligence, so as not to stand out and be thought geeky or brainy or otherwise unattractive to the adolescent boys. Because there is no sexual tension, no competition for the attention of the cute boy behind you, in a single sex classroom, girls are better able to concentrate on the task at hand. I’ve never known a woman who was a product of an all girls school who was in any way deprived because of it, or unable to handle social interaction with boys. We had plenty of time to hang out with boys.
However, and this is a big caveat, as the mother of boys, I was not/would not have been willing to put them into an all-boys school. Is this hypocritical? Perhaps, but I felt that boys benefit from the presence of girls in an educational environment, in a way that girls do not benefit in the same circumstances.
My two cents worth. (Have you noticed that keyboards no longer contain a cents symbol?)
(Cud’s to the antiquarian who can state authoritatively where the cent symbol was on a typewriter.)