All-boys schools are under attack

All-boys schools are depicted as venues for male privilege, entitlement and misogyny (“What Is the Role of an All-Boys School in 2019? How the Elite Institutions Are Trying to Adapt,” Time, Oct. 14).  That’s the only conclusion I can reach.  But I maintain that it is unfair.

There are some 780 private all-boys schools in the U.S. and some 650 private all-girls schools.  Parents enroll their children in them because they believe that they best meet their needs and interests.  It has nothing to do with developing stereotypical views of the excluded group.  Yet that is the criticism leveled at them.

What is wrong about wanting young people to avoid the distraction posed by the presence of classmates of the opposite sex?  Yes, some students can overcome the temptation of paying more attention to them than to their studies, but they are the exception.  That’s why I hope that single-sex schools will continue to be an option for parents.

(To post a comment, click on the title of this blog.)

2 Replies to “All-boys schools are under attack”

  1. If it’s a privately-funded school receiving little/no tax $, then it’s totally up to the parents to decide whether to send their kids to an all-boys or all-girls school.

    Gut reaction is that sex-segregated schools pose more problems than they solve.

    Most of society is coed. Sex-segregated schools by definition therefore present students with non-real-world situations. Boys and girls will have to function effectively in a coed society. Having them grow up attending sex-segregated schools will interfere with students’ developing skills needed to function in coed society.

    Seems almost certain that sex-segregated schools will encourage the students to develop stereotyped attitudes towards the other sex. If there are no blacks or Hispanics in your school, your attitudes towards blacks and Hispanics are formed by societal stereotypes rather than personal interaction; likewise if there are no high school jocks in your high school classes, your attitudes towards jocks are formed by societal stereotypes rather than personal interaction. Same for attitudes towards the opposite sex.


  2. Labor Lawyer: It’s quite true that society is co-ed and that students in same-sex schools don’t have that experience. But parents alone are responsible for choosing the best environment for their own children. I personally think same-sex schools unintentionally shortchange students, but that’s a decision parents make.


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