A Reflection on are Same-Sex Colleges Still Relevant

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Updated: Aug 18, 2023
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In “Are Same-Sex Colleges Still Relevant?” by multiple authors, many people share their views on rapidly diminishing same-sex colleges – a discussion prompted by the closing of an all-women’s college called Sweet Briar. Generally, the people with a connection to a single-sex institution supported it (Julia Patt, Christopher B. Howard), and those who did not were authors of books about the differences or lack thereof, between the sexes.

Diane Halpern argues that single-sex colleges served a place in history and produced many of today’s and yesterday’s great female leaders.

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They are from a time when top colleges did not accept women as they do today. She also points out that the main problem with women’s education today is the lack of specialization in STEM areas. With no evidence to support increased career choices in STEM studies, Halpern says single-sex colleges are merely vestiges from a different time that have outlived their purpose.

Lisa Eliot builds on this sentiment, even accusing single-sex colleges of making the gender-based career disparity worse. She bluntly points out that Sweet Briar doesn’t even offer a computer science major, and adds that many single-sex educational institutions are based on the perception that women and men are inherently psychologically different – a theory that Eliot attributes to gender segregation itself. To her, the best way to close the STEM gap is to mix boys and girls together at all stages of socialization and education – including college – so that all psychological development will be similar among the sexes.

Christopher B. Howard claims that all-male schools are needed for the same reason Eliot says all-female schools are not: to close the education gap. Males drop out more, read at lower levels, and earn worse grades than their female counterparts. Howard points to a few all-male high schools that have addressed this problem for men. He also claims that there is an invaluable growth experience in an all-male school which can’t be replicated elsewhere.

Julia Patt, an alumna of Sweet Briar, argues that all-female colleges are necessary because of subconscious gender-based discrimination by professors in coed colleges, among other things. She contends that despite the STEM discrepancy, women’s colleges can find ways to stay relevant, such as accepting transgender students.

Furthermore, females retreating to women’s colleges will merely postpone this problem for future generations. It would be better for us to face it now and drive gender bias to extinction. Lastly, the fact that women’s colleges ever neglected to admit transgender students is discriminatory in itself. Starting to admit them is merely correcting their own error, not committing some brave act to help society.

When Christopher B. Howard discusses growth in all-boys schools, I honestly wonder if I’m living on the same planet as him since I attend an all-boys high school myself. To anyone who has ever attended or worked in an all-male school, it should be as apparent as Hayden Christensen’s lackluster acting in Star Wars that any positives are far outweighed by negatives. The abundance of sexist ideas that circulate and are deemed acceptable is ludicrous. This isn’t necessarily due to malicious intent by the students, but rather because they are isolated from girls, leading to a lack of awareness of the real-life consequences of uttering a sexist remark – even without intending it to be sexist. Boys need girls in their schools to mature into well-rounded members of society. Boys’ growth is hindered socially by same-sex schools. I can only speculate that girls in an all-girls high school might face a similar issue, not understanding that sexism is a real problem they’ll have to confront due to their seclusion within their school’s bubble. Single-sex education needs to be abolished, more so due to the social impact it has on the students than its educational implications.

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A Reflection on Are Same-Sex Colleges Still Relevant. (2022, Nov 19). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/a-reflection-on-are-same-sex-colleges-still-relevant/