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Child Behavior: Same sex education- is it a con?

Opponents of same sex schooling maintain that same sex education will have the reverse of the intended effect and actually increase gender stereotypes. Additionally it is believed that same sex education will also diminish and even negate the gains made by Title IX, a Higher Education Act that calls for federally funded schools to treat males and females equally in academics and in sports.

Gender differences lie on a continuum

Most teacher education programs do not train prospective teachers for same gender education. The differences between boys and girls lie on an overlapping continuum, and there is no one way to teach boys and another to teach girls. Some boys are highly sensitive and as the cliché goes; “in touch with their feminine side.” Conversely some girls are extremely aggressive and assertive, and more dominant than some boys.

Sooner or later males and females will live and work together. Advocates of coeducational education believe that single sex schools limits the opportunity to learn to work cooperatively and experience the real gender differences between the sexes, not the stereotypes.

Case by case basis

What is the answer; do single sex schools improve academic performance and give kids a competitive edge? As I have said before the answer cannot be stated as a simple yes or no, and additionally, the answer is often contradictory. There is some compelling evidence that both at the elementary and secondary level academic performance is enhanced when girls are present in the majority. However there are still a multitude of unanswered questions that need to be researched.

If you are considering a single sex educational setting for your child, be aware of how your child learns best, including their learning style, temperament, interests and where they would be happiest. When you have the answers to these questions for your child, then you can make an informed decision, and your child will benefit, wherever they go to school.

Paul Schwartz, Ph.D., is a professor of psychology and education at Mount Saint Mary College in Newburgh.

What are the pros of a same sex education?