Welcome to another thrilling Edeb8! A special thanks in advance to all judges, commenters, and readers!
Today we're discussing the issue of single-sex schools. The resolution isn't well-defined by the title, but I'm happy to clarify it. Pro seeks to prove that single-sex schools would be superior to integrated-sex schools for the purposes of student health, Grade Point Averages, and a positive learning environment (including equality!). We will be examining these three issues individually and recap at the end.
As a quick aside, we will be using the terms Gender and Sex with regards to people interchangeably. We are of the opinion that gender identity takes precedent when determining whether students should be assigned to a school for boys or girls, and we do not believe that this has any noteworthy impact on the resolution as defined.
1. Student Bodies (literally)
Students in the US educational system suffer in health classes and biology. The United States is notorious for how bad our sex-ed classes are. According to an article from the University of Southern California's nursing department1, only 13 states even require that the information given in sex-ed be medically accurate. That's a terrible way to handle sexual education, particularly at a time in young people's lives where they have extremely high sex drives and raging hormonal balance. According to the CDC2, Alabama and Arizona have the first and third highest teen pregnancy rates, respectively. Alabama doesn't require sex-ed, or that the information given be medically accurate. In the case of Arizona, there isn't even a requirement to teach contraceptive measures.
I know what you're thinking; what does any of that have to do with single-sex schools? When you segregate schools by physical sex, it's obvious that students will be having less sex - leading to less pregnancies. And before my opponent protests this idea by pointing out that students are more far more likely to have sex off-campus than on, I'd like to refer them to a group of statistics from the Resource Center for Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention3, which says that "Almost three-quarters (73%) of teen females and 58% of males reported having their first sexual experience with a steady partner." Where do teenage couples meet again...?
2. Grading the System
What do you remember about your 10th grade English class? Was it the way the teacher could go on and on about the symbolism of an open window? Maybe it's the broken clock that made it feel like time had stopped for that one classroom. The attractive student who sat two rows in front of you? Whatever you remember about your classes from high school, it's unlikely that you remember the part that was actually important: the content. American high schools are failing students, teachers, and the country as a whole. According to an action group on DoSomething.org4, "The U.S., which had some of the highest graduation rates of any developed country, now ranks 22nd out of 27 developed countries." By segregating schools by gender, we remove some of the social distractions and pressures that students experience in high school, allowing them to refocus on studies, especially when they're actually at school.
3. Equality through... Gender Segregation?
Hear me out on this one, because I know it seems counter-intuitive. One of the most damaging things that happens to kids of ALL ages in school is societal pressure to adhere to gender roles. Studies find that, while girls are equally likely to take math and science courses as boys are, "males [are] more likely to take advanced level AP exams, including calculus BC, physics B and physics C." (NGC Project5) That might help explain a second statistic stating that "[males] enrolled in AP computer science A at a much higher rate (81% males; 19% females)." (NGC Project)
The simple fact here is that women are far less likely to go into Computer Sciences, (and, really, all sciences and mathematics) in college. This certainly can be at least partially explained by the fact that by the time women get past high school, they've been told science, math, and technology are for men, exclusively. By segregating schools by gender, these girls will not only see female instructors in these fields, but will also get to experience an environment where they are taught and practiced exclusively by women. This idea can be reversed, as well; attitudes about home-ec classes being exclusively for women have not only encouraged men to stay away from these courses, but in many cases have caused them to become entirely defunct6. Once again, by segregating schools by gender, we allow men to regain access to these courses and see other men using these skills, giving power to both genders.
Gender-segregated schools can lead to massive boons for students and for the educational system as a whole when implemented properly, especially with the idea of equality and accurate health courses at the forefront of developing such a system.
Return To Top | Posted:
2018-08-07 23:15:20| Speak Round
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2018-08-10 23:16:02| Speak Round