Once again conservatives shown to have a point

Are single-sex schools the safe option after abuse scandal?
Harrowing testimonies may lead parents to opt for girls-only schools for their daughters

I am old enough to remember when single sex schooling was blamed for everything wrong in the world. As folks grew up in these terribly artificial environments so they never did learn how to react to the other sex and so the world was horrible.

Conservatives – that’s conservatives, not Conservatives – pointed out that there might be a point to that, yes, but then there was that whole adolescence, puberty, raging hormones and sex thing to think about as well. On balance the separation at that time was beneficial.

Stick in the mud prudes they were and are of course.

Now we’ve tried that mixed sex thing including in boarding schools we seem to be coming around to the idea that maybe the stickinthemuds had a point.

Who knows, we might end up getting back to the idea that a school should teach the diddums to read’n’write next…..

22 thoughts on “Once again conservatives shown to have a point”

  1. Really don’t know about this one, Tim. I had the misfortune to go to a single sex grammar school. But I escaped from it at 16 & got out in the real world. I’ve always seen women as primarily people happen to have different* bits & pieces under their clothes. I’ve had lots of women friends. Friends because they’re friends, not because they’re women. But I’ve seen far too many blokes seem to have trouble in relating to women on that level. They treat them like they’re a different species. They either don’t take them seriously as people or they’re frightened of them. There’s blokes I know now, are in their sixties, still don’t know how to behave around women. And have lived difficult unhappy lives as a result.
    I’d say it depends what sort of family background you come from. Those years around puberty are very formative. Can set patters for your entire life. If there’s girls around the same sort of age – maybe a sister & her friends – you get to learn the ropes. Not so easy if you’re an only or eldest boy distanced from the female world until 18. Some of the ex-public boarding schoolboys I’ve known have been downright weird. Still are.

    *but very interesting

  2. Those years around puberty are very formative. Can set patters for your entire life. I certainly know blokes whose patter hasn’t changed since their teenage years!

    I think there’s a good argument for single sex education for 11-16 year olds. It certainly seems to help boys with their academic achievements. It would also be beneficial for schools not to have to spend time and effort policing raging hormones.

    And it’s not as if previous generations didn’t manage to get hitched and produce children. They can’t have been that fucked up.

  3. Bloke in Montgomeryshire

    As BiS said. I also went to a single sex grammar school. Fortunately I also had a sister which may or may not have helped. I think that kids these days are far more forward with the opposite sex than we were. I guess the longer apprenticeship in those days may have helped smooth the path to a sort of well-balanced adulthood.

  4. Yeah, MC, I really should proof read better. But that’s exactly what I meant. I hear mature guys, on being introduced to a woman, coming over like teenagers at a dance. They seem unable to relate to her as a person rather than as a woman. I’d hate to be on the receiving end of it.

  5. All very relevant in the golden age of the 60s but these days I would think the main advantage of an all male school is the absence of mad women who think “toxic masculinity” is a real thing.

  6. BiS-You massively over-estimate the effects of schools. Most peoples operating programs are set at an early age and few will change. You may have been open to events at your schools but that doesn’t mean others will be. It all depends on what is working inside people’s head. Some have freedom to revise their ideas –many-prob most- don’t and will just react to what happens as best they can given the frames they are in.

    On balance as far as schoolkids are concerned–better stick-in-the-mud than stick in the dick.

  7. BiS has a point. But since this is all about girls being abused, and to hell with the boys, I’d argue that it could well solve that problem. Whether it’d make things worse overall, I’m damned if I know.

    Still, as Rob points out, the Guardian would soon flood the place with blokes in frocks, so the girls would probably be worse off. After all, normal blokes would beat the shit out of anyone who abused their sisters.

  8. Boys grammar schools weren’t monasteries. For most of my time at grammar school I had a girlfriend, including one very long term one, and would mix with their friends. My two brothers who went to mixed sex schools hardly ever had a girlfriend so maybe it was the boys only school that made me crave female company. I also worked in a greengrocers where I interacted with women of all ages.

  9. Left school at 15 and started work. Looking back over the following five decades I can count maybe three girls I have worked with. An old colleague recently emailed to say his department had hired its first woman (been trading since 1930s). Have lots of female friends who I’ve know most of my life purely because they are married to my mates, they come as part of the package.

    A young female television presenter, sports, was speaking on box a couple of days ago: said she’s played footy with the lads as a kid and was quite good – could compete. But that, at the age of eleven, onset of puberty, “they made it clear I wasn’t part of the gang anymore and wasn’t wanted.”

  10. The original complaints centred around Dulwich College, a boys’ school. Eton was also mentioned. So no, switching to single-sex schools doesn’t seem to be the solution to this particular problem.

    Single-sex schools might be beneficial for other reasons; but I’m sceptical of solutions that appeal to the religion of rapists peace.

  11. I went to an all-boys Grammar. In addition, due to family situations and a lack of extracurricular activities this meant I didn’t interact with girls my own age until sixth form. I believe this was a big factor in my utter failures in forming meaningful long-term relationships with women.

  12. Over the years and in spite of myself I have been fortunate in accumulating an eclectic circle of friends, acquaintances, colleagues and extended-family members. And yet I have never knowingly met, still less conversed, with anyone who admitted to attending a Grammar School. Seems they’ve all been hiding out at Tim’s.

  13. All-boys grammar school for me too. The all-girls grammar school right next door probably assisted with extra-curricular learning though.

  14. There’s nothing inherently absurd in the proposition that it might be better for every girl if she had a single-sex education but simultaneously better for society if every boy had a mixed-sex education. I suspect the flip-flop that is the focus of the post is likely to be a result of the elite observing that they need to switch strategy in order to continue to socialise the losses and privatise the profits.

  15. ” And yet I have never knowingly met, still less conversed, with anyone who admitted to attending a Grammar School.”
    We grow up. Unlike public school boys we don’t go around telling people what school we went to. Apart from public schoolboys, nobody’s interested.

  16. It’s actually the other way round: co-ed schools are far better for girls – since everything in those schools are set-up to suit the girls (see coursework versus exams) whereas boys do much better in single-sex establishments.

    Incidentally, considering the extraordinary number of female teachers who turn out to be paedophiliac rapists, it’s a bit rich to focus on the alleged tribulations of schoolgirls.

  17. Fair bit of stereotyping in the discussion so far. I went to a single sex school 11-17, mission school in Kenya, run by priests. But I always had and still have female friends. Social life out there was usually based around sport and there were plenty of opportunities at the sporting clubs to meet girls. Both for actual sports where mixed participation was common (swimming, riding, tennis, golf, badminton) and at the many socials that the clubs put on. I think that helped to see women as people with the same interests,not as an alien species.

  18. @Frank Lloyd – April 5, 2021 at 3:41 pm

    Incidentally, considering the extraordinary number of female teachers who turn out to be paedophiliac rapists, it’s a bit rich to focus on the alleged tribulations of schoolgirls.

    Slight difference… If teenage schoolboys are still like me and my mates were “in the good old days”, technically it might be “rape” but in reality it’s more a case of “cannot believe your luck!”. 🙂

  19. Also went to single sex school from 11-16 (seems to be a few of us), as our school then was allowed to encourage competition the main concern on moving to the new school of what new clas placing would be with all the extra competition.
    We were kept in seperate sides of the school during breaks up until 6th form

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *