Band 7 essay sample: Some people believe that boys and girls should be taught in separate schools
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Some people think that it is better to educate boys and girls in separate schools. Others, however, believe that boys and girls benefit more from attending mixed schools.
Discus both these views and give your own opinion.
Give reason for your answer and include any relevant examples from your own knowledge or experience.
Write at least 250 words.
The renaissance that took place in Europe after the “dark ages” brought with it the call for a “free” society, where people have equal opportunities despite their race, skin colour or gender. With regards to gender equality in education, a rift was created between the liberal ideology, created after the renaissance, and the traditional ideology. While the liberals believe that females should be treated exactly like their male counterparts, hence attend the same schools, the traditionals believe that segregating boy from girls avoid unnatural behaviour and protects their chastity and modesty. In my opinion, both extremes are unhealthy for our society: unconditional mixing breaches the personal space of both genders, while absolute restriction creates a contrived society.
The argument for mixed-gender schools is based on the natural constituents of the human race, which include both men and women, and on the interdependence between males and females. The fact that both genders exist and are imperative for the sustenance of the society calls for equal treatment for both sexes. It is then argued that every body should be treated according to their humanity rather than gender. Also, men and women are both needed for a balanced society. In fact, interaction between both genders is inevitable. Therefore, restricting such interactions at schools creates a socially awkward community. Furthermore, such restriction causes more indecent behaviours between boys and girls, who are trying to fill the gap that segregation may create.
However, some people are of the opinion that segregation protects the manners of our society. First, it is natural that, in mixed schools, males and females will try to flatter each other due to the natural inclination towards each other. This creates a more unnatural and psychologically ill behaviour. This is demonstrated in movies that describe the high school culture today, such as “High School Musical”. Furthermore, they believe that segregation protects the girl’s chastity and modesty, as they are not always exposed to men. This also avoids deceptive emotional attachment before maturity. For example, research shows that most boys in school associate their relationship with girls to sexual reasons.
In my opinion, both extremes are dangerous. Therefore, there should be selective segregation, where girls and boys undergo most of their education together, but are segregated in certain situations to guard their personal space and physicality. For example, swimming classes should not be done in a mixed-gender environment to avoid explicit body exposure to opposite genders. Also, sports like running should be done separately due to the differing physical capabilities of males and females.
In short, while mixed gender schooling system is a disputed issue, I believe that it is best for segregation to be done in a case-by-case manner, while maintaining the natural human interaction between males and females.