sex education

Topics: Gender, Education, Single-sex education Pages: 6 (2331 words) Published: December 2, 2013
Education is a vital tool that every young person needs to be able to start a life of their own. Without education it becomes harder to find a steady job and a stable income. As with any important resource, there are so many debates surrounding different styles of education. One major style of education being debated today is the idea of single sex education. The idea of essentially segregating students based on sex seems outrageous to some people. However, dividing the sexes may be a necessary and important new way to heighten the learning experience. The first all female schools began in the early 1800’s. These academies favored more traditional gender roles, women being the home makers and the men being the bread winners. The first generation of educated women was the result of single-sex colleges in 1873. Wendy Kaminer, an investigative journalist, states that “single-sex education was not exactly a choice; it was a cultural mandate at a time when sexual segregation was considered only natural” (1). Women of this time were technically not allowed to attend school with males. Feminists of this time worked hard to integrate the school system and by the early 1900’s, single sex classrooms were a thing of the past. In 1910, twenty-seven percent of colleges were for men only, fifteen percent were for women only and the remainders were coed. Today, women outnumber men among college graduates (Kaminer 1). After all the hard work of early feminists, there are thousands of people today who advocate bringing back the single sex classroom. There are many reasons that parents, students and administrators look down upon single gender education. One of the largest of these reasons is the issue of stereotypes. According to Kim Gandy, president of the National Organization for Women, the reason people advocate single sex classrooms is because they trust that boys are “unruly” and that girls are “timid” (1). She finds this to be an insult to both genders and believes that if the educational system is based on this, the genders will be pushed apart even further and the stereotypes will be carried out for the rest of their lives. Studies have shown that in the workplace, males are rewarded for their assertive behavior and women are punished for similar actions. This is because of the gender stereotypes that have been passed on from generation to generation (Gandy 1). Girls are supposed to be quiet and do as their told, while men are supposed to be out going and hard working. If classrooms are separated and boys and girls do not have the opportunity to work together, gender stereotypes may never die out. Another issue with gender specific classrooms is sex discrimination. Women have been struggling for hundreds of years to gain the same rights that men have. At first, the only reason women were educated was so they could become mothers, wives, and homemakers (Kaminer 1). However, this was not going to placate women. They did not want to be educated merely to become mothers; they wanted to be educated so they could work outside the home as their husbands did (Kaminer 1). In July of 1970, Congresswoman Edith Green was the first person to hold a hearing on educational sex discrimination. In 1971, five new bills were passed that banned any kind of sexual discrimination in all public schools. These bills, called Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, stated that public schools were not allowed to teach any course or educational curriculum that was separated by sex (Sax 2). Women have been working for so long to be seen as equal to men, as a result of this, many women’s rights activists see single sex classrooms as a major setback. In addition to all of the legal and social problems that revolve around single sex education, the issue of interest also serves as a factor. Many students and their parents are simply not curious about trying this new style of learning. For example, in 2004, Twin Ridge Elementary School of Frederick County...
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