Many argue that single-sex schools are antiquated and unnecessary. While most schools and universities before the 20th century were for males only, today in developed countries girls and women have equal access to education. I disagree that for this reason, single-sex schools are irrelevant.
Firstly, women lag behind men in participation rates in lucrative science and technology fields, even in the most gender-equal countries in the world (Global Gender Gap Report 2018).
Secondly, single-sex schools improve educational and social outcomes for students of both genders (Riordan et al.). Academics at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed the performance of students who were randomly allocated to single-sex and mixed schools in South Korea and found that students, both male and female, allocated to single-sex schools performed much better than those placed in mixed schools (Park, Behrman, and Choi).
Thirdly, single-sex schools are beneficial for boys and men as well. It has been observed that fewer men are enrolling in universities. At the same time, higher education is increasingly essential for employment. For instance, driverless cars are being developed by numerous companies. Males will be hardest hit by this development as most drivers are male (Hanrahan and Evlin).
Research suggests that males and females learn differently, and brain imaging suggests that males and females have different brain structures (Azari et al.). Psychometric testing suggests that girls and boys on average have different strengths (Clements et al). Single-sex schools would allow teachers to cater for these groups differently in ways that are most suitable for them.
Single-sex schools have a place in increasing gender equality. They allow boys and girls to learn in ways that cater to their needs.
Azari, N. P., et al. “Sex Differences in Patterns of Hemispheric Cerebral Metabolism: A Multiple Regression/Discriminant Analysis of Positron Emission Tomographic Data.” CORE, 1995, https://core.ac.uk/display/33751904.
Clements, A. M., et al. “Sex Differences in Cerebral Laterality of Language and Visuospatial Processing.” Brain and Language, 2006, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0093934X06000721.
Hanrahan, Catherine, and Lin Evlin. “Guess Whose Jobs Are Easiest to Automate? Men’s, and the Low Paid.” ABC News, 2017, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2017-08-09/ai-automation-men-and-lower-paid-workers/8741518.
Park, Hyunjoon, et al. “Causal Effects of Single-Sex Schools on College Entrance Exams and College Attendance: Random Assignment in Seoul High Schools.” Demography, 2013, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3568197/.
Riordan, Cornelius, et al. “Early Implementation of Public Single-Sex Schools: Perceptions and Characteristics.” US Department of Education (ED), 2009, https://www2.ed.gov/rschstat/eval/other/single-sex/characteristics/index.html.
World Economic Forum. “Global Gender Gap Report 2018.” 2018, http://reports.weforum.org/global-gender-gap-report-2018/.
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