Education

Why I don’t tell uni friends about my single-sex education

Single-intercourse colleges seem archaic to the outside international – and their graduates can sense stigmatised on arrival at university. Is that this fair?

Regardless of positive stigmas, unmarried-intercourse training enables many college students to thrive at university.
Regardless of positive stigmas, single-intercourse education enables many students to thrive at college. Photograph: Alamy

Katie Jenkins

Katie is an English & Spanish scholar at the university of Exeter

Friday 8 April 2016 10.20 BST
final modified on Friday eight April 2016 12.21 BST

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Perched on barstools in a sweaty night time membership, we were screaming small talk at each other. We’d most effective spoken for a couple of minutes earlier than I told him my dreaded secret.

“You’re from a girls school? Wow!” he answered when I cited my sixth-shape schooling. “So did you all sleep round? Or did you sleep with each different?”

This wouldn’t be the only second of crassness I would face in my first term at college due to going to a ladies’ faculty.

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Coming from an all-girl environment, I had grown familiar with an oestrogen-fuelled sphere of grades, gossip and ladies’ nights in. My move to a male-dominated flat at college introduced me to new social norms. From doubtful “banter” to the exhausting strain to “pull”, it changed into a global absolutely unfamiliar to me.

From my enjoy, single-intercourse faculties don’t allow boys to experience an environment where girls are identical
Mike Davis, Manchester university pupil

Melissa wooden, a scholar on the university of Exeter and graduate of St Albans high faculty for girls in Hertfordshire, has had comparable studies. The stereotype that “we are all socially awkward and intercourse starved” is one that has tainted several of her college encounters.

One pupil at the university of Cambridge, who wanted to stay nameless, says she also discovered herself “stigmatised” because of her personal, all-girls’ education. She was taunted through other college students approximately her ladies’ college background, which she discovered hurtful first of all.

It’s the equal for many college students from boys’ faculties. Mike Davis, a scholar at the college of Manchester, went to each an all-boys university and a co-educational college. He highlights every other capacity downside to single-sex schooling. “From my experience, single-intercourse schools don’t permit boys to experience an environment wherein girls are just as clever, competent, and equal,” he says.

“I found that boys there tended to have a look at women totally as capacity girlfriends instead of same friends.”
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Richard Cairns, headmaster of the co-educational Brighton university, has condemned the “deeply unrealistic international” of unmarried-intercourse colleges, arguing that such styles of education region their students “at a large drawback” within the long term.

But are unmarried-sex colleges definitely previous? I’d hesitate to agree.

Patsy Kane, executive headteacher of the education and management accept as true with in Manchester, recently mentioned the benefits of all-ladies’ schools. “From time to time stereotypical alternatives are not challenged [in mixed education] and too regularly boys can also dominate positive activities. however, this could’t take place in a ladies-most effective area,” she stated.

Students, too, have additionally rejected grievance of their single-intercourse schooling. They credit their education with growing their personal confidence, main to later academic achievement.

Wood attributes her independence and electricity on arriving at university to her single-intercourse school. “I’m so pleased I went to an all-women college because it becomes drilled into me that women are equally clever and so i go into all my research with that mind-set,” she says.
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Fiona Linnard, a scholar at the university of Leeds, become knowledgeable at both a co-academic school and an all-women college. She says: “Surrounded through rowdy, pubescent boys for lots of my young adults most effective served to spark and gas my introversion, while the transition to an all-women sixth shape did wonders for my self assurance.”

Despite certain stigmas, the social and academic benefits provided by means of an unmarried-intercourse schooling have allowed many college students to thrive at college.

And as for the teasing boys, my college gave me the confidence to deal with them.