Within the last ten years, the number of single sex schools has increased rapidly because educators are constantly searching for ways to better educate children, and through research, it has been determined that separating the sexes is a viable option that can benefit both male and female students. Girls and boys have different learning styles due to psychological differences; therefore, by separating them in the classroom, students are able to learn within an academic environment that caters to their gender. In addition, the inevitable conflicts that result between girls and boys in a coeducational classroom are sometimes too distracting for students to ignore. Eliminating these distractions has created room for students to focus on their schoolwork rather than their social status in relation to the opposite sex. Single sex education is an effective method of education because girls and boys have many psychological differences that affect how they perform in school, and by separating males and females, the pressure to impress the opposite sex is relieved, and teachers are able to focus their lesson plans to the specific gender of their students, which increases the academic success of all students.
It has been proven that the female brain equips females with a better attention span and the ability to perform highly in language-based activities when compared to their male counterparts. Girls are able to sit still and pay attention longer due to their high number of cortical areas devoted to verbal functioning (McBride). This directly correlates with the increased amount of information retained by girls throughout the school day. In contrast, boys have difficulty sitting still in school because they have less serotonin and oxytocin than girls (McBride). Serotonin is the neurotransmitter responsible for relaxation so a low number of serotonin causes a person to be anxious and distracted. Not only does being restless lower the chance of understanding and retaining information, it increases the opportunity for behavior problems. Furthermore, girls possess the ability to use both sides of their brain simultaneously when listening to someone speak, while boys can only use the left side of their brain ("The Benefits"). As a result, girls have better language skills than boys because they are capable of "mental cross talk", the ability of the right and left side to communicate with each other concurrently. Using both the left (logic) side and the right (feelings) side of the brain is helpful when participating in language activities such as describing and analyzing the plot of a story. Paying attention in class, retaining information, and participating in language activities is more easily accomplished by girls because of their psychological makeup. When girls are given the opportunity to carry out these activities in an all girls school, their academic performance is improved.
Boys, however, are generally successful in math and spatial activities because their brain enables them to understand the concepts needed for math and sciences. Boys comprehend subjects such as math and physics easier than girls because "they [boys] are more capable of grasping the concept of shapes and abstract symbols" (Blundin). In males, "the hippocampus is prewired to function as a dedicated microprocessor for spatial geometry" (Sax 101). This means that their brains are better equipped for understanding math. Girls have a more difficult time grasping the concept of pictures and symbols, and as a result, mathematical concepts may not be a natural instinct for them. In addition, boys are better at mapmaking and spatial relations in compass terms (north, south, east, and west) (Sax 110). An experiment averaging the time taken for girls and boys to reach a destination with both compass terms and landmarks shows the consistent difference in boys' and girls' performances when following different sets of directions (Sax 100).
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