Benefits of Single-Sex Education
By Miranda Guzman, Class of 2019
Single-Sex education has become increasingly popular for a good reason. It has many benefits for students. Single-sex education is a growing trend in educational options. Many believe that it is the new frontier into a greater future for students and the world. Students and parents alike lean towards single-sex education because of its effects on a student’s future such as higher college acceptance and attendance, better education and less gender intensification.
Equality is a big factor in the opposition of single-sex education. “But the strongest argument against single-sex education”, the article said, is that it “reduces boys’ and girls’ opportunities to work together, and reinforces sex stereotypes” (Lewin, Tamar, New York times). The New York Times argues that “no scientific evidence supports the idea that single-sex schooling results in better academic outcomes” (Lewin, Tamar, New York Times). Articles claim that single-sex education has no real effect on students and statistics are usually unclear to most. This shows a tough argument for single-sex education. Most scientists and researchers will agree that there is a lack of evidence for a better environmental effect on students when enrolled in single-sex schools.
Higher college acceptance and attendance is shown in results of students attending single-sex schools. “We find that single-sex schools produce a higher percentage of graduates who attended four-year colleges and a lower percentage of graduates who attended two-year junior colleges than do coeducational schools” (Park, Hyunjoon, Causal Effects of Single-Sex Schools). Colleges may find students who are focused and have a better educational environment more successful in entrance exams and academic achievement. Hyunjoon Park states in his journal on “The Casual Effects of Single-Sex Schools on College Entrance Exams and College Attendance”, that “according to single-sex school advocates, single-sex schools may reduce influences of adolescent culture that tend to distract student’s attention from academic learning and instead physical attractiveness and interpersonal relationships.” Students focus better in environments where they do not have pressure from the opposite gender. This helps with the increase of test scores in the classroom.
Single-sex education is beneficial to students by helping increase productivity in the classroom and providing a better education for students. Many students find it easier on themselves when the opposite gender are not in the same environment as them. According to D. F. Halpern et al’s study, “our analysis shows that single-sex schools produce higher 4-year college attendance and better national university entrance exam scores than coeducational schools for both boys and girls” (Park, Hyunjoon, Single-Sex Education: Positive Effects). Students have freedom to speak their minds on the situations and problems that they may come across in the school day without feeling peer pressure to act or say something to appeal to the opposite sex. In the journal, “ Single-Sex Schools: The Answer? ”, girls had said that they “enjoy the greater freedom they feel to express their opinions in the classroom and to discuss topics that would be difficult to address in a co-ed classroom.” Whereas boys in the same journal stated that “it is easier to focus in the classroom and get better grades” (Single-Sex Schools: The Answer?). When students are in single-sex schools, there is less distraction from school work. Students can focus on their assignments instead of worrying about if the opposite sex will notice them. With a single-sex environment, there is a better chance at a more focused and well rounded education while still showing challenging curriculum to students.
Students in single-sex environments also face less gender intensification or gender stereotyping. Parents would most likely prefer their children to have the best education available to them as well as a safe and equal environment for their children to learn. In single-sex environments, there is less stereotyping such as the assumption that there are male and female dominant subjects. These subjects could include the male dominant STEM subjects and female subjects including english, poetry and history. Cornelius Riordan states in his journal article, “In the normal activities of a high school, the relations between boys and girls tend to increase the importance of physical attractiveness, cars and clothes, and to decrease the importance of achievement in school activities.” (Riordan, Cornelius, Public and Catholic Schooling). In single-sex schools, students are empowered to try new things and may feel motivated to take a course that was deemed for the opposite sex. For example, schools may use technology to assist in the aide of students clear understanding of a difficult subject. In single-sex schools, both genders receive equal opportunities. It is important in today’s society to encourage the respect of both genders and to teach students that both genders are equal and deserve equal opportunities to show excellence in the classroom and in the real world. Single-sex schools help to grow a respect for the opposite sex. “One explanation for the fact that girls at single-sex schools are more likely to explore non-traditional subjects, then, might be that the single-sex classroom encourages girls to be daring, to try things that they might otherwise not try” (singlesexschools.org). Single-sex schools continue to prove that gender intensification is not tolerated.
Single-sex schools have massive benefits on the successful future of a student whether male or female. These schools provide a safe and empowering environment where students can learn and work proficiently. Single-sex schools continue to show higher test scores from students significantly higher than co-ed schools. Students have proven that they prefer to attend single-sex schools rather than co-ed schools because of the low pressure to impress the opposite sex. A parent should consider a single-sex school because of the ability for their children to focus on certain problems or certain subjects that they are unable or uncomfortable to talk about with the opposite gender included in the conversation. Students today are not quick to jump and ask for assistance in a subject or problem. In a single-sex school, students have the freedom to relax more and stay away from gender stereotypes. Single-sex schools encourage respect for both genders toward each other and equality of the sexes. Overall, students and parents alike should choose a single-sex school as their option because they are the perfect environment to build a better future for their student and the world.
Park, Hyunjoon, et al. “Causal Effects of Single-Sex Schools on College Entrance Exams and College Attendance: Random Assignment in Seoul High Schools.” Demography, vol. 50, no. 2, 2013, pp. 447–469., www.jstor.org/stable/42920533.
PARK, HYUNJOON, et al. “Single-Sex Education: Positive Effects.” Science, vol. 335, no. 6065, 2012, pp. 165–166., www.jstor.org/stable/41487129.
“Single—Sex Schools: the Answer?” Off Our Backs, vol. 28, no. 1, 1998, pp. 7–7. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/25775956.
Riordan, Cornelius. “Public and Catholic Schooling: The Effects of Gender Context Policy.” American Journal of Education, vol. 93, no. 4, 1985, pp. 518–540. JSTOR, JSTOR, www.jstor.org/stable/1085143.
Single-Gender: Advantages for Girls, www.singlesexschools.org/research-forgirls.htm.