School Choice & Charters Opinion

Single Sex School Debate Back in the News

By Richard Whitmire — October 13, 2011 1 min read
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Update: Single sex dealt a legal setback in Louisiana.

A radio show with Leonard Sax debating one of the authors of the Science article claiming the science behind separating the sexes is “pseudoscience.”

And AEI’s Christina Hoff Sommers steps in to debate the future of single sex education.

And an interesting dissent from a University of Texas professor. Don’t miss the slap at psychologists.

From the piece by Sommers:

What do the data say about the pros and cons of single-sex schools? When the Department of Education carried out a systematic review in 2005, it found a muddle of contradictory results. Like much education research (large schools vs. small, charters vs. public), advocates on either side can find vindication if they look hard enough. The Department of Education rightly deemed the research "equivocal" and called for more studies. But it drew no strong conclusions and advised that the matter might never be resolved by quantitative investigation because it involves issues "of philosophy and worldview." What explains the intolerance of the Science authors? For them, gender segregation is analogous to racial separatism. As the lead author, Diane Halpern, told reporters, "Advocates for single-sex education don't like the parallel with racial segregation, but the parallels are there." No, they are not. Mandatory racial separatism demeans human beings and forecloses on their life prospects. Single-sex education is freely chosen, and millions of pupils have flourished intellectually and socially within it. Boys and girls, taken as groups, have different interests, propensities and needs. No sensible person thinks of the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts as a form of gender apartheid.

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