Segregation of Genders in Education.


Eton College, Harrow school, or Bruton School, first school for girls in Irgiz opened by Altynsarin, Kazakh-Turk lyceums for boys and girls have something in common. All of them are types of SSE.

The abbreviation SSE stands for single-sex or sex-segregation education. The goal of SSE is to educate boys and girls separately according to their different learning abilities and capabilities.

SSE effects academic achievement and class size. Funding and special teacher training are pivotal to implement SSE. The benefits of SSE: reductions of class size that effect on academic achievement. According to SSE boys are “visual learners” and girls are “audio learners” that is why they have to be separated and taught with the use of different methods and techniques. Implementation of SSE is not easy, the main concern is funding. Text materials prepared in accordance with the gender learning differences; costs of teacher training programs are only few of the examples.

Many evidences support a well-known fact of gender diversity. Brains of males are larger than females’. However, when it comes to children can we claim the same? The truth is that many of research studies on learning differences among males and females concern adults’ brains, not children’s. There is little or almost no research done on the difference between children learning abilities according to their genders. An associate Professor of Neuroscience at The Chicago Medical School, Eliot (2013) points out “the reality is that children’s brains do not operate like adults” (p. 364). In her further research she also mentions, “boys and girls learn and process information in very similar ways from birth” (p. 374).


The research that was conducted by Crawford-Ferre and Wiest (2013) showed both sides of a coin. The strengths of SSE were the following: in all-boys schools distraction disappeared as there were no girls doing boy’s homework. This removal of distraction caused girls to become more active in a learning procedure. Girls did not have to act out looking silly in front of boys anymore. Despite this advantage, the research revealed the weaknesses of SSE. Lack of social experience between genders brings disrespect and omission of diverse ideas in a classroom. “Boys and girls must learn to work together, and the classroom is the ideal setting for such practice because it is both purposeful and supervised” (Strauss, 2012). In addition, negative attitudes of girls in all-girls schools can lead to negative behavior. Intimidation and bullying can be understood by the fact that “girls can be as bad as boys” (Crawford-Ferre & Wiest, 2013, p. 309).

The theme of SSE is difficult to judge from one side. Some may find reasonable arguments for developing such schools. Some can argue that disadvantages overshadow advantages. In any cases, it is up to parents where to send their children.



Eliot, L. (2013). Single-sex education and the brain. Sex Roles, 69 (8), 363-381.

Crawford-Ferre, H.G. & Wiest, L.R. (2013). Single-sex education in public school settings. The Educational Forum, 77 (3), 300-314.

CK, (2012, November 12). Gender Segregation Education. WomanStats Blog. Retrieved from

Strauss, V. (2012, May 4). The case against single-sex schooling. Washington post. Retrieved from

3 thoughts on “Segregation of Genders in Education.

  1. Dear Asha,

    I am glad you brought up this topic! As there are many sex-segregated schools in Kazakhstan, the question whether they are appropriate or not for the society is of vital importance! Among a number of different types of schools (public, private, lyceums, gymnasiums, sex-segregated, etc.) parents sometimes find it difficult to define what school is more suitable for their children. You were absolutely right mentioning that parent’s choice should not be based on the belief that boys and girls have different learning abilities. I totally agree with that. I think there are many other factors rather than sex parents should consider before sending children to a particular school. If parents still choose sex segregated school like Kazakh- Turkish lyceum, they should read your article. The reason of my saying this is because you managed to cover all disadvantages and advantages showing your neutral position towards this issue. I have no doubt that presented in an evidenced-based way information will make many parents think about these schools. Once more time, thank you for this information!
    Despite your neutral position, what is your own viewpoint regarding these schools? Would you send your child in such school?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello, Mariya!
      Thank for such warm words. I hope this blog will be a useful source for parents as you say . Regarding your question on my position in this dilemma. I would say parents are the ones who have a complete right to send their children to any school they prefer. SSE type of school have a long history as mentioned in the blog. We see many examples of SSE in Kazakhstan, and they prosper. However, I dispose to the proved fact that there is no difference between boys and girls learning abilities. I believe that there are should be equality, without any stereotypes. Personally, I would send my child to a school he or she prefers to. Even though, my child at that early age may not know the difference. I will do my best to inform him or her in the best way. I have the same question for you, Mariya. What school would you send your children to?


  2. Both approaches have their own pros and cons. It is a controversial point whether boys and girls should attend separate schools or not. As you mentioned some authors consider that they should be integrated as a child’s learning style does not depend upon their gender; and they also point out that separate schools are good for pupil’s education as well. The research conducted by Crawford-Ferre & Wiest shows that it is more effective to educate boys and girls in single-sex schools because they believe this environment reduces distractions and encourages pupils to concentrate on their studies. This is probably true to some extent. It also allows more equality among pupils and gives more opportunity to all those at the school to choose students more freely without gender prejudice. For example, a much higher proportion of girls study science to a high level when they attend girls’ schools than their counterparts in mixed schools do. Similarly, boys in single-sex schools are more likely to take cookery classes and study languages, which are often thought of as traditional subjects for girls. On the other hand, they also argue that mixed schools prepare their pupils better for their future lives. Girls and boys learn to live and work together form an early age and are consequently not emotionally underdeveloped in their relations with the opposite sex. While there are advantages and disadvantages to both arguments, I believe that there are advantages to both systems which help both genders develop into adults with healthy relationships.


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