Single-sex schools cause disadvantages


Illustration by Kathleen Hetherington.

Parents who once argued that single-sex education might benefit children are now rethinking their previous principles. Coeducational schools are now increasing in popularity, especially in the south. Many students within single-sex schools will not be equipped for interaction with the opposite sex in the future. Students also face challenges when they are not taught to coexist, which could later cause issues in the working world.

In 2016, there were 80 single-sex public schools in the United States. When discussing single-sex education, it is necessary to compare the benefits as well as the disadvantages students face with this type of schooling.

A study from 2015 by Lynn S. Liben approached the controversy of whether single-sex education is an appropriate choice for children. The conclusion was a suggestion of not just relying on data but conversation as well. When comparing human values as well as whether or not education could be considered a choice, the answer to the question is unclear. However, in modern times, many parents have disregarded single-sex education, especially in public schools.

When comparing single-sex education to coeducational schools, many studies have shown that there are not many benefits to placing children in classes with their equal gender. A 2019 study by Georgetown Law showed a lack of evidence towards the advantages of single-sex institutions. The study proved that self-esteem is likely to increase within single-sex schools. Gender stereotypes also increase, while social skills decrease exponentially.

Many parents make the excuse that students should refrain from distractions such as the opposite sex, but students should have the experience of interacting with the opposite sex, especially for the sake of social skills. Personally, my public school experience benefited me as a coeducation student. With activities like school dances or co-ed sports, this prepared me for the real world.

As a student, it is important to interact with the opposite gender, especially in a school setting. This isn’t necessarily for the sake of dating, but for the sake of learning about the opinions of other students, especially that of the opposite sex. Not only this, but many instructors are not equipped to educate in single-sex schools. When studying to be an educator, different teaching styles can be learned, but adapting to teach only one gender can be difficult.

Of course, there are many single-sex colleges, but many students are not prepared for coeducational colleges after only schooling with one gender. Graduating from a co-educational school benefitted me personally as I ventured into college.

There are benefits to single-sex education that many people overlook. Not only will students have a calmer, relaxed interaction with fellow peers, but there are also fewer cliques and a decreasing need for acceptance from the opposite sex.

When schools first began, only males could be educated. Then as soon as females were able to gain an education, it was only through single-sex schools. Eventually, as coeducational schools further developed, there became a choice.

Of course, parents have many choices with their kid’s education, and they should not rely on one person’s opinion to decide the future for their child. The data might not specifically define a single child’s future, but from personal experience, coeducational schooling benefited me, especially in college.