I think not only sex-segregation in schools is an archaic policy, I also consider it as a threat to the safety of trans-students and institutionalizes patriarchal definitions of gender that harm almost every society around the globe. Don’t get me wrong, I spent most of my high school years in a sex-segregated school. The purpose was to avoid so many distractions that might interfere with our education. Such a decision by my parents had its positive outcomes as well as its negative outcomes.
Positive Outcomes of Sex-Segregated School
Some of the positive outcomes of were; the same sex school gave a place to be myself, I didn’t have to pretend or try to impress anyone. The second positive outcomes it that, it gave me the chance to speak up in class, without fear of embarrassing myself in front of girls. The third thing is that; it was very effective for poorer, and address the unique needs of boys. On the girls’ side many studies show that girls who’ve been through sex-segregated schools have higher self-esteem, speak up freely, and have higher academic achievement (Penn State, 2011 and Jeanne S., 2015).
Some of the negative outcomes of having same sex school is that it gives the opportunity for both boys and girls to reinforce their gender stereotypes against each other. The second thing is that; it deprives either gender from learning and understanding each other. Thirdly, sometimes an all-boys or all-girls schools can be a form of punishment by parents for misbehaving. In my case, it wasn’t for misbehaving. However, sometimes I felt like I was in prison, I didn’t get to interact with girls and that was a big problem that caused loneliness, anger, and frustration. On the girls’ side; they can be cliquish, old fashion, and just like all-boys schools, an all-girls school can reinforce gender stereotype that’s already been injected in them by the society (Penn State, 2011 and Jeanne S., 2015).
Studies show that boys and girls have different learning patterns. This means the way each gender process information is different from one another. We all heard about the saying that “all men are from Mars, all women are from Venus.” There’s a little truth to that. According to neuroscience boys' brains are larger, however, girls' brains grow faster. As a result their interests and learning styles varied. Other than processing information, communication is also an issue. (Dr. Gail G., 2014 and Argosy University, 2015).
Studies show that the way both men and women communicate is different from one another. In fact, it is reported that diverse gender communication styles have biological roots. But despite the biological difference, brain structure, and other types of differences that affect the way boys and girls learn, their environment has the greatest effect on the ability to learn than any other factor (Argosy University, 2015).
So my recommendations to my friend who has the desire to send his/her child to an all-boys school or all-girls school would be, before sending that child to a sex-segregated school it is important to evaluate both the positive and the negative outcomes as I mentioned above, in order to determine if it will be a good fit for that child.
Argosy University (2015). Intelligence and Cognitive Abilities. Data Retrieved on 04/10/2015, from: https://digitalbookshelf.argosy.edu/#/books/0558217257/pages/48386390?return=/books/0558217257/outline/9
Dr. Gail G. (2014). How Boys and Girls Learn Differently. Data Retrieved on 04/10/2015, from: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/dr-gail-gross/how-boys-and-girls-learn-differently_b_5339567.html
Jeanne S. (2015). Same Sex Classrooms: Can They Fix Our Public Schools? Data Retrieved on 04/10/2015, from: http://www.psychology.sunysb.edu/hwaters-/psy327/articles/same-sex%20classrooms.pdf
Penn. State (2011). Sex segregation in schools detrimental to equality. Data Retrieved on 04/10/2015, from: http://news.psu.edu/story/155177/2011/09/22/sex-segregation-schools-detrimental-equality