The first debate I ever had was titled ‘Single sex vs. Mixed schools’. There were the usual arguments against mixed school; the boys would distract the girls, that girls do better academically in single sex schools and there are more pregnancies in mixed schools. Having experienced both types of education I have come down firmly on the side of a mixed education. I wrote a previous blog on this subject (http://www.liz.viewfromthequad.com/?p=105) but I’ve decided to go into more detail about it.
After I came out of a mixed primary school filled with immature boys I was incredibly happy to be going to an all girls school, and for the first two years everything seemed to be great. Everyone was starting to get to know each other and it was better than what I’d been used to before. It was in third year that the cracks began to show. When a group of girls spend that much time together there is going to be bitching and it manifests into group schisms and class feuds. It’s incredibly hard to be passionate about a school where the atmosphere is poisonous.
Statistics show that there are more pregnancies in mixed schools. It’s not shocking when you think about it. There are a certain percentage of people who think that the first time is a ‘free pass’ or drunkenly forget to use protection but it’s a lot harder to mess up when you don’t have the opportunity. Being in a girls school is comparable to being in a convent. I didn’t know any guys until the summer after second year when I went to CTYI. For those that aren’t in clubs outside of school or went on summer courses they won’t meet someone of the opposite sex except at Wes or, God forbid, until college. These girls become boy crazy and guys become a revered object. Whether they’re worthy of this status is definitely up for debate. It’s these girls who wear six inch heels and skimpy dresses on nights out and I’m not sure anybody wants their daughter to dress that way. Girls who actually spend time in the presence of boys are more likely to be found wearing jeans and a t-shirt because they get to spend time with the male sex other than when they’re trying to get a score.
Mixed schools have a much healthier environment. There’s less bitching and less boy mania. However I think that boys have it a lot easier in single sex schools. The guys still have the bravado to live up to but after fourth year there seems to be a pack mentality that takes hold. Where the girls tear each other to pieces the boys become closer. I could name a few good boys schools but can only think of maybe one half decent girls school.
All I know is since I’ve started at a mixed school there is a more natural atmosphere. I actually enjoy going into school although that could be for a number of other positive factors. Anyone here in favour of single sex schools? Speak up and we will continue this never ending debate.