Problems faced by single-sex schools
2.1 Not suitable for boys
In Garner’s research, a general secretary named Mary Bousted said that all researches have shown that single-sex schools benefit girls but not boys in terms of education and social skills (Garner 2009).
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2.1.1 Relationship matters
Richard Garner did a research and discovered that boys who attended single-sex schools will most probably affect their relationships in the future. Bousted added that boys study better when there are girls around. Garner also indicated that boys who attended single-gender schools experience depression in their adulthood because they face divorces and separation from their partners (Garner 2009).
Boys and girls have difficulties communicating with the opposite sex as single-sex schools act as barriers to the students to face their adulthood in the society. Unlike coeducational atmosphere, single-sex schools do not allow space for boys and girls to learn and communicate with each other’s thoughts (Chattopadhay 2007).
Problems faced by coed schools
3.1 Not suitable for girls
During the teenage years of the students, distractions are bound to happen among themselves as they are experiencing puberty. They can spend most of their time trying to impress the opposite gender. Boys especially, will make an effort to sexually harass the girls (Jones 2009). In coed schools, sexual harassment cases do exist and it is truly unfair for the girls. There are possibilities in coed schools that male teachers or male students abusing the girls physically or sexually (Chattopadhay 2007). Chattopadhay reveals that some coed schools supply limited lavatories for girls. Lack of privacy for girls can lead to embarrassment faced by them.
A poll carried out by the American Association of University Women (AAUW) indicates that girls between ages 9 and 15 in coed schools have lower self esteem. They are unwilling to point out their thoughts to the teachers and they do not have high interest in science and mathematics. A report, How Schools Shortchange Girls (1992) by the AAUW promoted a debate that girls receive less attention in class because they are seldom being called upon and they are discouraged in coed schools (Academic research on single-sex education).
Advantages of single-sex education
4.1 Reduce social distractions
In Hubbard’s research, a teacher from Palm explained the needs of student for single-sex schools. The teacher said
“For boys, I think the main benefit is that it really does reduce distractions. These are kids who have trouble focusing on schoolwork in the first placeâ€¦And then when you have girls, there’s another image that you want to be cool for the girls, you know, you want to impress a girl, you want to go out with her.”
Hubbard interpreted that the absence of girls causes boys to feel slighter demand to boast or involved in attention seeking attitude. Similarly, with the absence of males, females did not have to strive to get their attention. Rather than competing against one another, females learned to cooperate, interact with friends and to grow to concentrate better on their studies. The separation of males and females during classes causes them to not be involved in the common attention-seeking in coeducational surroundings. They clearly acknowledge the truth that they did not get molested by the other gender (Hubbard 2005).
Solve gender stereotypes
Females are often stereotyped that they are not smarter than males. Teachers and classmates sometimes fail to notice the girls in the class causing many girls to feel left out. Males and females learn differently and both the genders have their own individuality (Takahashi 1997).
In coed schools, girls are given lesser attention from teachers compared to boys. Therefore, girls in coed schools are not so dedicated and involved in class (Pollard 1999).
Single-sex education benefits the females and provides them with a chance to escape from gender stereotyping. The atmosphere in single-sex schools that provides all sorts of education develop females who are more confident and carry positive characteristics (Takahashi 1997).
Current distinction of accomplishment standard in single-sex and coed schools indicates that the education and individual accomplishment of girls are significantly greater in single-sex schools than in coed schools (Marsh, 71). Many researches have pointed out that the absence of boys is regarded as a main contribution in the high standards of academic accomplishment, pleasant attitude, self-assurance and educational institution faithfulness. (Takahashi 1997)
Advantages of coed schools
Coeducation provides students of both genders with lifetime knowledge. Students also achieve social maturity in coed schools (Ipswich Girls’ Grammar School – Coeducation at Ipswich Junior Grammar School 1).
Microcosms of society
Men and ladies are bound to work together in the society. Proponents of coeducational schools said mix gender schools prepare students for their future and their lives and that school environment is where the men and ladies understand each other (Elizabeth).
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5.2 Understandings of the opposite sex
Females master risk-taking behavior from males which assist them to get out of their comfort zones of studying. Females are often careful when they do something new. Females think that they are less smart when they face failures. Females learn from males when they communicate with them (IGGS – Benefits of coeducation in the early years of learning).
5.3 Competition between genders
In coed schools, boys and girls affect each other in a good way, creating an acceptable manner. Young female adults usually have more capability and trustworthiness as compared to the young male adults. Competitions between the genders allow the students to have better academic accomplishments at school (Jones, 2009). Students in coed schools get to motivate each other through competitions between the genders.
6.0 Public Opinion
Based on the research carried out, single-sex education brings many benefits. Single-sex education reduces social distractions. It helps the students to concentrate more in class. In addition, single-sex schools solve gender stereotyping among students and society. Females are often stereotyped and single-sex schools can help them in escaping gender stereotypes.
According to the research, students in single-sex schools score higher academic achievements compared to coed schools. Besides from academic achievement, single-sex school students also have higher self-esteem and better behavior.
However, problems arise in single-sex education where social issues occur among students. They mainly have trouble communicating with the other gender. Some students in single-sex schools are involved in same-sex relationship which the society does not accept.
Furthermore, coed schools carry disadvantages. The disadvantages are low self-esteem among students. Students are lack of confidence most of the time and they are not willing to point out their views to the teachers. In addition, issues of sexual harassment arise in coed schools. Females in coed schools do not feel as secure as female students in single-sex schools.
Single-sex education should not be abolished since the advantages of single-sex schools outweigh the advantages of coed schools. Students in single-sex schools have higher self-esteem in them and they are able to hold responsibilities especially females. Students in single-gender schools definitely achieve a better academic result compared to students in coeducational schools.
Unlike coed schools, students in single-sex schools experience lower social distraction. They do not spend as much time as students in coed schools in daydreaming about the opposite sex.
Therefore, students do better in single-sex schools.