Single Sex Vs. Mixed Schools

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 ( 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.

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9 thoughts on “Single Sex Vs. Mixed Schools

  1. Keller

    Okay. My history is that I went to an all boys school from the age of 11 to the age of 14(US-Irish grades forms is confusing, age is easier). I have found that at an all boys school you also have barely any contact with the opposite sex. You don’t develop any female friends, and while there is less worship of females than the all girls school you portray, most boasted about real or imagined sexual contact. Women were treated in an almost possessive manner, when lewd jokes weren’t flying around. While for me my single sex schooling was rather negative in terms of the packish behavior you describe, I did see it happening. Many of the kids formed a close pack of friends. On the other hand, not having a pack makes you an open target for any and all bullies who are willing to use rather large amounts of violence. In all honesty, the immaturity of the guys I dealt with did not seem to diminish throughout the four years of middle school. I will however warn you that my perceptions are highly biased. I hated my single sex jock/prep school, and love my new tiny mixed geek school.. Anyway, thank you for posting an interesting article.

  2. Ross Duggan

    I went to a mixed primary school and an all-boys secondary school. From discussions with my sisters and my girlfriend, it certainly seems your observations hold true across the board.

    By sixth year, my entire year had settled down quite well, and most conflicts had resolved. For a year of 150 students, that was pretty good.

    On the contrary, any girls sixth years I’ve heard about always seemed to get progressively worse as time went on, with more “backstabbing.”

    It’s an interesting dynamic alright.

  3. Declan

    The fact is that nearly everything in life, college and jobs, are mixed, and separating kids in secondary school doesn’t make sense.

  4. Anonymous

    I love being in an all girls school. I have tons of guy friends, most of my best friends are boys. I love my year. I think together as a group we are focused and supportive of each other. Most of the girls from my year who left for the Institute ended up fighting all the time anyway. I think some girls are just like that.

    I think that mixed schools can be great, but at the end of the day it depends on the person. My brother was in a single sex school and was doing well academically, he then moved to a mixed school for other reasons and is now doing terribly. Having a girlfriend in his year didn’t help.

    Conclusively I feel that you cannot generalise a year or type of school like you have done.

    Especially if you never even gave it a chance!

  5. crazi

    i feel that single schools are better as i went to a mixed school and all i could think of was boys it didnt help me in the education part

  6. Ore

    Mixed schools are better because you get to know things about the opposite sex. A single sex school is not different because once you are out of school, you get to know the opposite sex.

  7. Kennies

    I a single sex school aspirant thinks that single sex education is good because since I started, I neither became a lesbain, a smoker nor a prostitute but rather, results were expected.

  8. somebodywholovespenguins

    i was in a single sex skool in primary skool,so i cud never socialise with theopposit sex,i also have no brothers and all my male cousins are super yung. so wen i moved to a mixed i was terrified of the male species,,,didnt no whata say or do nd i felt real awkward. also almost every girl was being bullied or was a bully. once one goes away another one comes… and that really effected my lifestyle,health,education and social life. iwas always giving negative vibes and lost all my confidence. now i am real happy and have found a groub of 4 amazing friends and more friends outside of the pack:) im getting a and b in my testsand am much healthier and have joined over 5 clubs and ppl will tlk to me cause i am now a better person:)

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