Re: Dialogue on Single-Sex Education

H Furbrow (
Tue, 21 Apr 1998 17:10:48 PDT

> I think we are losing sight of our topic. We have had an ongoing
> discussion about education and labor statistics about women and
men in
> the U.S. (and internationally) on EDEQUITY. It's gone on for some
> time and some people will never convince others that they are
wrong in
> their (mis)interpretation of those numbers, but I'm sure the
> discussion will go on. Rather than re-hashing the discussion
> who is worse off in the education system, I think we should get
> to the topic at hand. That is, how does single-sex education
stand as
> a strategy for improving the educational opportunities of girls
> boys?

Thank you for the redirection Susan. As a newcomer, I'm sure there's a lot I've
missed, and I lot I need to learn. But you'll find that I won't let
endorsements for single-sex education for girls go by unchallenged if they are
expressed with excuses for why single sex education for boys should be
ignored or even banned.

If one sex is more prone to learning and attention disorders (boys),
might we at least explore the possibility that they might benefit from a
single-sex environment? If one sex is dying from suicide and violence at a
grossly disproportionate rate (boys again), might we not explore the possibility
that single-sex education might enable them to get a grip on their lives in an
environment of strict discipline and an absence of pressure to compete
for the attentions of the opposite sex? Sure many will disagree with the
premises of my questions, but dismissing them as divisively pitting "boys
against girls" misses the point. While we are concerned with discrimination
and harrassment affecting our girls, we should also be concerned with the
academic and social failure experienced by boys at higher rates. I'm sure I've
made myself clear on how I feel about the death rates. I'd call a mortal bullet
wound the ultimate harrassment.

H. Furbrow

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