Single Sex Education Turns Ugly

There’s an article on Slate highlighting some of the problems of single-sex education. Although I think some kids might benefit from the lack of distraction (certain boy-obsessed teenage girls I once knew come to mind), proponents are now pointing to the innate differences in male and female brains and saying that we need to tailor education to each sex.

I’m not an extreme gender feminist, and I do think that there are differences in average male and female brains, but it’s dangerous to go from average to individual. These educators are saying that, since the average boy is more mathematical than verbal, and the average girl is more verbal than mathematical, we should play to their instincts. One problem. I’m a guy, and I’m a hell of a lot better with words than with numbers.

They want girls to read Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, Beloved, etc. and role play; while they have boys read Hemmingway and Lord of the Flies and make maps. This is a horrible idea for young women who are spatial or young men who are predominantly verbal (like me).

And what about the fact that, if girls are so different from boys, they will have different insights and teach each other?


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