In this weekend's New York Times magazine, there is an article on the emerging system of same-sex education in US public schools. Elizabeth Weil describes Leonard Sax as the leader of this movement, which has particularly taken off in the South.
Sax explores different biological concerns of the genders: girls hear better than boys, are more visually adept, and so on. The other side of the coin is that some people examine the social differences, rather than biological of the two genders.
Some people (for example the ACLU) are highly offended by these ideas, and I can see their point. Michael Younger of Cambridge University called Sax's proposal 'sexist rubbish' saying that Sax 'might have well said boys should go out and have jobs, girls should stay home and have babies."
Should you read the article, you might, as I did, find some of Sax's ideas questionable. However, I totally agree with same-sex education and this is hardly the first time it's occured to me. A life-altering book for me was Raising Cain about the differences of boys. I have attempted to get my son in an all-boy school (the ones in NY are too far and/or expensive). If his local PS went single-sex, I'd be thrilled.
I'm going out on a limb here, but I would guess that those against same-sex ed. either have girls or no children. If one has a girl, parents must consider equality and upholding feminist standards. If one doesn't have kids, well, their knowledge can only be limited.
I wish opponents would see it from my side. I have a hyper-active 5 year old boy who is required to go to school and behave and learn in ways that are TRADITIONALLY feminine and completely against his nature. He is expected to sit in his seat, raise his hand, not push, not play, not talk in the hall, and have good penmanship. Of course, these are too strict standards, which should be less if he went to progressive school, but not wholly....and what about the boys who -- for whatever reason CAN'T go to progressive school.
People will probably attack me for not being 'feminist' but I believe school behaviors and expectations are geared toward the feminine. This doesn't mean that there aren't plenty of kids who don't cross the line. My nephew, for example, does very well in school. By people should be able to be themselves, not on Ritilain.