Posts Tagged education
Neurosexism and Single-Sex Education (or support your local ACLU)
Posted by Karen Rommelfanger in education, neurosexism on July 31, 2012
Emory Neuroethics Scholars Program Fellow, Kristina Gupta, recently wrote a piece for The Neuroethics Blog on “Neurosexism and Single-Sex Education”. Kristina is a Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies PhD Candidate at Emory and co-taught the course, Feminism, Sexuality, and Neuroethics with Emory Neuroethics Scholar Program Fellow, Cyd Cipolla. She researches the “intersections of feminist theory, asexuality, and scientific and medical research on sexual desire.” Her piece for The Neuroethics Blog can be read below.
Twenty or thirty years ago, single-sex education for girls was a feminist clause célèbre. However, beginning in the late 1990s and early 2000s, people began to worry that boys were “un derperforming” in school and in life (an idea nicknamed “the boys’ crisis” by the popular press). The media framing of the boys’ crisis has been critiqued on a number of fronts – specifically, critics have pointed out that both girls and boys are performing better in school than in the past and that the difference in educational achievement between white and middle-class students and low-income and minority students is far more pronounced than the difference between female and male students (see a 2008 report from the American Association of University Women).
However, despite these critiques, cultural commentators began to advocate for single-sex education in public schools as a solutionto the boys’ crisis. Commentators like Michael Gurian (author of Boys and Girls Learn Differently!) and Leonard Sax (founder of the National Association for Single Sex Public Education and au thor of Why Gender Matters) argued that boys’ and girls’ brains develop differently, so boys and girls should be separated in school and should receive education targeted to their specific neuro-developmental patterns and mental strengths.
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