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Feminist News


September-26-11

Single-Sex Education Deemed Ineffective by ACCES Researchers

Distinguished university researchers on the Board of the American Council for CoEducational Schooling (ACCES) provided evidence that placing children in single-sex learning environments is ineffective, misguided and may actually have harmful effects on children. In "The Pseudoscience of Single Sex Schooling," (pdf)in Science magazine they found that purposeful "sex-segregated education is deeply misguided and often justified by weak, cherry-picked or misconstrued scientific claims rather than by valid scientific evidence."

They argue that single- sex education reduces opportunities for boys and girls to interact together, which serves to reinforce negative gender stereotyping. "Boys who spend more time with other boys become increasingly aggressive," the report said. "Similarly, girls who spend more time with other girls become more sex-typed."

In light of the findings, the report calls for a retraction of regulations enacted by the U.S. Department of Education in 2006, which weakened the Title IX prohibition against sex discrimination in education. An official from the Department of Education said that the research from the report was up for review. The Feminist Majority Foundation has been outspoken about its stance against single-sex education, citing in an Education Equality Program campaign the difficulty of ensuring even, "substantial" equality in sex-segregated schools, classes or activities.

Media Resources: New York Times 9/22/11;