Social Question

Likeradar's avatar

Can you share your experience with single-sex education?

Asked by Likeradar (19583points) September 30th, 2009

I’m writing a research paper about single-sex education. It’s mainly about coed schools that offer single-sex classes in certain subjects. I’m not looking for you guys to to my research for me, but I am interested in first-hand (or second-hand, if it pertains to your kiddos) experience with this.

What subjects were offered/did you take? What was your experience? Was it beneficial, and if so, why or why not?


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14 Answers

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Here‘s one collection of first-hand stories (mine is there!)

Les's avatar

I went to an all girls Catholic high school, and I had a great experience. First of all, I chose the school. Not because it was single-sex, but for other reasons which are too long and boring to explain here. I just want you to know it wasn’t my parents who told me I had to go there, nor did I choose it for the lack of boys. The classes that were offered were broad: I was in mainly high honors and AP courses, which included Calculus my last year and AP US History. Because it was Catholic, I also took courses in theology, which of course included the Old and New Testaments, but I took courses on world religions and even a course on meditation.

Yes, my school offered Home Ec., and they did bake cakes and stuff like that, but I wouldn’t say that that class was the most popular. We had an amazing theatre director, and our plays were some of the best high school productions I’ve ever seen (seriously, they were awesome).

As for the single-gender aspect of it, I loved it. We had a “brother” school that was right next door, and occasionally, for certain classes, we would exchange with the brother school. There weren’t many of these classes, and I took two of them. It really didn’t change the dynamic of the classroom much. People still seemed perfectly comfortable with speaking in class, etc. What I liked the most about my school was the fact that for being an all girls school, there were very few cliques. Everyone talked to everyone, and it was a wonderful experience.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Removed entirely.
Sorry to have cluttered your question.

Likeradar's avatar

Thanks @La_chica_gomela, @Les and @The_Compassionate_Heretic! I’m mostly interested in people who took single sex courses in a coed school though…

La_chica_gomela's avatar

@Likeradar: Sorry to have bothered you…

Les's avatar

Oh. Maybe I should have learned to read…

Likeradar's avatar

@La_chica_gomela No bother! That thread is an interesting read anyway. :)

Facade's avatar

The health and PE classes in my Christian grade school were single sex. I agree with the health classes being that way, but not PE. Neither is a big deal IMO.

kevbo's avatar

My experience was similar to @Les. Catholic middle and high school in New Orleans (which is the norm if you can afford it). Middle school was co-ed except for the sex-ed part of (ahem) religion class where they separated us so we could talk about boobies, periods and why masturbation was a sin at our age (11) in the opinion of our teacher.

High school was 100% single sex and was a great experience. There was puh-lenty of time to socialize after classes, and they even shipped girls in for the dating and relationships segment of (you guessed it) religion class. There were 16 or so single-sex Catholic high schools there, and the system seemed to work very well. Probably, in part, because New Orleans is such a social town.

Subjects were the usual college prep stuff, AP classes, religion. I took NJROTC to get out of PE, which I thought was stupid. I did wrestle, and as a junior and senior one could take “varsity athletics” as your last “class” of the day (basically to start practice early). Art and marching band were other electives. We wore khaki uniforms and most other Catholic HSs had uniforms. We also had a study period during the day which was unstructured. If you made it your first period you didn’t have to show up until 9. Lots of extracurriculars. We shipped cheerleaders and a dance
team in for pep rallies, so we’d get riled up over some sexy dancing. The food was the bomb. We had fresh gumbo once a week or once a month, I don’t remember.

I think it worked for academics, because it took out a layer of distraction and added a good bit of camraderie. It worked socially because it was in a system that allowed for plenty of interaction outside of school.

Jack79's avatar

I’ve done both. It is interesting (also the school I went to was not only just boys, it was 99% black boys). There was less competition because we didn’t have any girls to impress. There was innocence. But of course none of us could chat up a girl and behave like shy little teenagers to this day (me included, and I spent half my childhood in mixed schools and most of my adult life as a rock singer on a touristic island full of nymphomaniacs).

I think school should prepare you for the real world, so unless you plan to spend the rest of your life in a monastery or the army, you should learn to talk to women, be courteous, flirt, and of course fight with them and get hurt and rejected and all these other real things.

wundayatta's avatar

I spent a year in an all boys school. It was actually one of the most significant years of my life, but that was because the school was in a different country. It wasn’t just the absence of girls that was different, but the vast differences in culture, as well.

I don’t remember missing girls. But then, this was my sophomore year in high school, and, as a late bloomer, I was still too shy to even think of asking a girl out for a date. At least with no girls around, I didn’t have to be faced with my inadequacies in this area on a daily basis. There wasn’t a lot of gossip about who was going out with whom; or about who was sweet on whom. We could focus on school, I think. The company of boys was perfectly fine, for me. Maybe even a relief.

mattbrowne's avatar

At a certain age it’s easier for girls to learn science in girls-only classes. At a certain age it’s easier for boys to learn foreign languages in boys-only classes.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

You know, this thread is now 2 months old, according to the timestamp, and none of the answers I’ve read has been better than @The_Compassionate_Heretic‘s was. It’s really a shame that it’s not here.

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