Last week, I had the strange experience of debating Christina Hoff Sommers on the topic of single-sex schooling just a few miles from where the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr. If you were not aware, single-sex classrooms have experienced a revival in the last few years due to a reinterpretation of Title IX that was implemented in spite of considerable opposition from civil rights groups. If you are also wondering why a neuroscientist me would be debating such a topic, I should mention that among the hundreds of American schools that now routinely segregate boys and girls for some or all of their academic classes, a large number base their new pedagogy on erroneous claims about gender differences in children's brains. Elsewhere, I and other scientists have debunked these claims, which derive from a few pop psychologists who do a lot of teacher training in our public and private schools. And I'm happy to say that when single-sex classes in one such school -- Van Devender Middle School in West Virginia -- were successfully challenged a year ago, federal judge Joseph Goodwin concurred that brain-based rationales for sex segregation are nothing more than " pseudoscience. In our debate last week, which was sponsored by the American Enterprise Institute, I also presented two other lines of research that fail to support single-gender education.
Is gender segregation in education discriminatory?
Sex-Segregated Schools: Just the Facts | American Civil Liberties Union
Advertisement Close X. The court found that the sex-based program at Van Devender violated federal law by not being completely voluntary. They are also kept at warmer temperatures. Girls must sit still, at shared desks.
Sex-Segregated Schools: Just the Facts
When Hank Aaron left the Negro Leagues for major league baseball in the early s, a woman named Toni Stone took his spot on second base. Her story, as detailed in a biography by writer Martha Ackmann, has the makings of a Hollywood biopic. Sex segregation remains the primary organizing principle in all levels of sport.
Actual dominance of one sex in a particular occupation or the higher share of one sex relative to the expected share. For example, as women tend to be underrepresented at an aggregate level among the employed population, their expected share in a single occupation could be lower than that of men if they were distributed in the same way as men across all occupations. Thus, a reasonable starting expectation for gender equality is to measure segregation by measuring whether one sex or the other is in the majority in an occupation or workplace using absolute terms.