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Single-Sex School's Fine for Girls, but Not for Boys

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Yvette Manessis Corporon: Let me start by saying that I'm all for all-girls schools -- I happen to be the product of one. Sure, I hated the uniforms, but there's no doubt in my mind that my all-girls education helped make me who I am today: a strong, confident and competitive woman (sometimes too much so, if you ask my husband).

high school girls

That said, my plan is to have my daughter follow in my kilt-clad footsteps. I know the experience will empower her and help her grow into an amazing and exceptional young lady. Well ... that and the fact that she won't be distracted by horny and hormonal pubescent boys in the classroom.

Now, my little guy? Not so much. Call me sexist, call me old-fashioned, call me crazy, but for my little man, it'll be a coed education all the way. Every time I say this out loud, people give me the evil eye, as if I'd just taken feminism back 50 years or so. Let's get one thing straight: This has nothing to do with feminism or favoritism or any other "ism" you want to throw at me. This is about a mom who wants the best possible education for her children -- both inside and outside the classroom.

I happen to feel that girls can benefit greatly from a single-sex learning environment, where they can focus more on their work and less on that cute football player in algebra. These schools help girls work together and bond, instead of inciting competition for that same cute football player's attention. I feel it's important for girls to be socialized outside of the classroom -- just not in it.

Now, boys, on the other hand, are an altogether different story. I grew up with a brother and dozens of friends who went to an all-boys school. While they're perfectly charming adults (all mostly married and gainfully employed), I can't help but think they all would have benefited from having girls around a bit more. I want my son to excel in school, play sports and, yes, even share jokes and locker-room antics with his buds. But I also want my son to respect girls and see them as friends, not just as objects to oogle and brag about. That element, sadly, is what I fear is missing in many all-boys environments.

So you see, while my plan is to educate my kids differently, in the end, I want the same thing for them: I want them to grow into the amazing, strong, self-confident and kind young adults I know they'll be.


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4 comments so far | Post a comment now
Michele August 23, 2010, 4:56 PM

I agree completely! I, too, was a product of an all-girls school and support the same for my daughters. I feel that my son would benefit from a co-ed education, however…

Toysoldier September 2, 2010, 12:06 PM

I attended an all-boy high school and it was one of the best experiences I had. With the absence of girls we were able to focus on our work, work together, and bond. Without girls present there was little need for any of us to resort any posturing in order to impress anyone. While there were still paired off groups of jocks, geeks, and so on, there was a lot of overlap that would not have happened if girls were present.

Boys need the chance to bond with each other, and they also need to know that there is nothing wrong with all-male groups. An all-boy school provides that. A co-ed school simply reinforces the feminist notion that boys are sutpid, useless, and need to be taught to respect girls rather than be taught basic self-esteem.

Mia October 2, 2010, 8:14 AM

As much as I see where you are coming from I have to disagree with you. Yes girls may focus better in school with out the cute football player but why is it okay for your daughter to go to a school without boys but other parents daughters do, because at the end of the day that’s what you are saying. Your son is not going to school with your daughter but he is going to school with another persons daughter.
It’s almost like you’re saying other people’s daughter is not as important as yours. If everyone thinks like you then guess what, your son will have no choice but to attend an all boys school because all the girls will be attending an all girls because no parent wants their daughter to be ogling the quarterbacks.

thomas sabo charms ebay December 20, 2010, 4:48 PM

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