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Single-Sex School's Fine for Girls, but Not for Boys

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Yvette Manessis Corporon: Let me start by saying that I'm all for all-girls schools -- I happen to be the product of one. Sure, I hated the uniforms, but there's no doubt in my mind that my all-girls education helped make me who I am today: a strong, confident and competitive woman (sometimes too much so, if you ask my husband).

That said, my plan is to have my daughter follow in my kilt-clad footsteps. I know the experience will empower her and help her grow into an amazing and exceptional young lady. Well ... that and the fact that she won't be distracted by horny and hormonal pubescent boys in the classroom.

Now, my little guy? Not so much. Call me sexist, call me old-fashioned, call me crazy, but for my little man, it'll be a coed education all the way. Every time I say this out loud, people give me the evil eye, as if I'd just taken feminism back 50 years or so. Let's get one thing straight: This has nothing to do with feminism or favoritism or any other "ism" you want to throw at me. This is about a mom who wants the best possible education for her children -- both inside and outside the classroom.

I happen to feel that girls can benefit greatly from a single-sex learning environment, where they can focus more on their work and less on that cute football player in algebra. These schools help girls work together and bond, instead of inciting competition for that same cute football player's attention. I feel it's important for girls to be socialized outside of the classroom -- just not in it.

Now, boys, on the other hand, are an altogether different story. I grew up with a brother and dozens of friends who went to an all-boys school. While they're perfectly charming adults (all mostly married and gainfully employed), I can't help but think they all would have benefited from having girls around a bit more. I want my son to excel in school, play sports and, yes, even share jokes and locker-room antics with his buds. But I also want my son to respect girls and see them as friends, not just as objects to ogle and brag about. That element, sadly, is what I fear is missing in many all-boys environments.

So you see, while my plan is to educate my kids differently, in the end, I want the same thing for them: I want them to grow into the amazing, strong, self-confident and kind young adults I know they'll be.


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