Monday, December 10, 2018

Gender segregation in education

  In any human activity, there are many factors, motivators, inhibitors, complications, and mitigations.  It is sometimes difficult to analyze the events and discern and/or connect any causative or correlative relationships extant.  But this is the critical task if one wishes to recreate any realized successes in the future.  In order to enhance the success of such analysis, one needs to be limit, as much as practical, as many tangential factors as possible.  In education, gender is one of the more complicating factors.  Eliminating as much of such distraction as possible allows students to focus more on academics and makes proportionately more likely successful discernment of relevant causative and correlative relationships.
     "We have seen many students start to focus heavily on academics," Rojas continued "They no longer clown or try to impress the opposite sex. Girls are more apt to answer questions aloud in class as well as ask them. Girls are learning to be more academically competitive and boys are learning to collaborate." (Sharp)
 However, not all are convinced of the unalloyed benefits of gender segregation in education.  Juliet A. Williams, a professor of gender studies and associate dean of the Division of Social Sciences at UCLA, "What I have found is that single-sex public-school initiatives have been created with the best of intentions, but that they are not delivering the results. At the same time, they are producing some unintended consequences in terms of reinforcing damaging gender stereotypes" (Anderson).
Gender segregation serves specific educational goals in a broader cultural context.  "Not so very long ago single-sex classes in coeducational schools were considered to be an appropriate educative aspect of K–12 learning environments. As late as the 1960s or even into the early 1970s in some parts of the United States, girls and boys were routinely separated for some of their classes on a daily basis...An assumption underlying these types of classes was that they were necessary to prepare girls and boys for the disparate roles they would assume as adults" (Pollard).
     While the expression of gender differences are largely culturally-specific, there are general and broad observations that are more physiologically oriented.  Generally speaking, males are going to have secondary sex characteristics which tend to make them relatively larger physically, more muscular, and more assertive on average than the women in the country.  Devising appropriate methods of reaching single-gender classes require both an understanding of the "human" physiological characteristics as well as the cultural context in which the student lives.
     Males in patriarchal societies, tend to express their assertiveness more and more intensely as their society rewards that assertiveness.  Females in patriarchal societies are often constricted in personal expression as their societies tend toward restricting such expression in a negative feedback loop.  These perspectives must be factored in to any effective educational approach.  For example, an approach which guides and tempers the assertiveness of an all male class may be what is required to achieve educational goals while an approach which encourages females to be more assertive than the level to which they are accustomed is more effective.
Sharpe, Wesley, (2008). Single-Gender Classes: Are They Better, Education World, Retrieved   from:
Anderson, Melinda, (2015). The Resurgence of Single-Sex Educaion: The benefits and limitations of schools that segregate based on gender, The Atlantic, Retrieve from:
Pollard, Diane, (!999). Single-Sex Education, WEEA Digest, Retrieved from:

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