By Rod Van Mechelen
1992 Bellevue, Wash. - In America today, public school is not designed to accommodate male pupils. Most boys are too restless and energetic to be confined to a quiet chair more comfortable to the feminine physiology. The sexually integrated school is much more suited to girls: "(S)chool requires behavior that is more 'natural' for girls than boys." (You Just Don't Understand, Ballantine Books Edition, June 1991,
Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., p 256)
Boys, whose hormones and natural inclinations are generally too masculine to conform to the feminine standards of public education, are punished, reprimanded, expelled, diagnosed as having Attention Deficit Disorder and subjected to psychiatric drugs, or forced to channel their energies into such institutionalized forms of male molestation as football, which trains young men to seek female attention through violence: "Despite all the blather to the contrary, it is obvious that virile men remain attractive to women." (Men and Marriage, George Gilder, p 27)
The flip side to this is that this hurts girls, too. Girls and women are generally not, by nature, as competitive and aggressive as boys and men. Testosterone makes a big difference. The result, as documented in the American Association of University Women's 1991 study, "How Schools Shortchange Girls," is that girls have "lower self-esteem, lower academic and career aspirations, and fewer college scholarships." (Seattle Times, March 10, 1992, Dr. Cecile Andrews)
For the sake of all the young women and men, therefore, perhaps we should segregate classrooms by gender: men should teach boys and women should teach girls.
Placing boys into an environment dominated by women subjects them to being judged by the wrong standards: "Boys and girls grow up in different world, but we think we're in the same one, so we judge each other's behavior by the standards of our own." (You Just Don't Understand, Ballantine Books Edition, June 1991, Deborah Tannen, Ph.D., p 254)
Judging the behavior and developmental needs of boys by feminine standards not only penalizes the most masculine, but encourages hyper masculine behavior in men made uncertain of their masculinity by their emasculating education.
Similarly, segregating classrooms by gender will protect girls from the more competitive behaviors of the boys, thereby giving them the safety they need to seek out their own level, and grow.
Hence, classrooms should be segregated by gender during at least the first several years.
Rod Van Mechelen