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What all these books share is a "straw man" approach to this topic. For instance, both Cordelia Fine and Lise Eliot devote many pages to debunking the notion that the corpus callosum is bigger in females than in males. This was a popular notion roughly 30 years ago, but by the mid-1990s it was clear that this old notion was simply false. The idea arose in the late 1970's because the technology simply wasn't that good in that era; the scans were low-resolution, and post-mortem studies were subject to a variety of technical confounds. Neuroscientists have known since the mid-1990's that the corpus callosum is not bigger in females than in males; it's actually slightly bigger in males, on average, although there is a great deal of individual variation; the variation among males on this parameter is greater than the difference between males and females. NASSPE Director Dr. Leonard Sax has carefully avoided any mention of the corpus callosum in his three books Why Gender Matters, Boys Adrift, and Girls on the Edge. Nevertheless, these three authors paint with a deliberately broad brush. Because some authors (such as Michael Gurian) have built their case in part on the inaccurate notion that the corpus callosum is bigger in females than in males, therefore (according to Cordelia Fine and Lise Eliot) anyone who makes arguments about female/male differences in the brain must be equally misinformed.

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I've got a nasty feeling that →

After decades of decline, single-sex schooling has recently experienced revival. In 2006 U.S. Educational Department reinterpreted Title IX of the U.S. Educational Amendment, which since 1972 had outlawed discrimination on the basis of sex from federal funded educational programs, and an 509 public schools opened their doors to sex-segregated classrooms this summer, compared to only a dozen in 2002. NASSPE predicts many more in the pipeline.

history has a nasty habit of repeating itself →

"" lands as single-sex classrooms are mushrooming in public schools across the nation. The report teachers make children's sex salient” through segregation, which “exaggerates sex-typed behaviors and attitudes,” while disputing that “ argues. NASSPE claims that because single-sex education dissolves narrow cultural assumptions about what is appropriate for boys and girls, students flourish academically in the segregated classroom.

there was one nasty moment when →
Since the founding of NASSPE/NACE in 2002, there has been a resurgence of interest in all-girls or all-boys public education in the United States. Unfortunately, this exuberance has led some school districts to plunge into experimentation with this format without a thorough grounding in the complexities of the single-gender format. Without proper training, the single-gender format does not magically boost outcomes, and may even lead to disappointing results. With in how best to take advantage of the single-gender format, however, good outcomes are more likely.Tampa - St. Petersburg, Florida, December 23, 2007
. "Girls are coming out of their shells. Boys are working hard. . . Chalk it up to single-sex classes." In June 2007, half-a-dozen teachers from Westside Elementary School attended a two-day, 14-hour workshop on best practice for gender-separate classrooms, hosted by and led by , director of NASSPE. Now those teachers are seeing tremendous benefits from the strategies they have employed in their single-gender classrooms -- benefits for both girls and boys. .
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According NASSPE, with the help of specially trained teachers, girls who attend single-sex schools are more likely to participate in competitive sports and to study computer science and technology than girls at coeducational schools. On the other hand, boys in single-gender classrooms feel greater freedom to pursue interests in art, music, drama and foreign languages. In addition, the gender-separate format is considered to give parents more choices when it comes to deciding which educational system would work best for their children.

National Association for Single Sex Public Education (NASSPE):

NASSPE Cites a NIH Study for those who love to read research:

Such concern for how the presence of girls in the classroom affects boys permeates most of the literature produced by advocates for single-sex public education. The National Association for Single Sex Public Education (NASSPE) quotes conservative sociologist George Gilder on its Web site: " The only thing about a classroom more important to adolescent boys than whether girls are present is whether or not it is on fire. " The site continues: " Boys will be distracted by girls even if the girls are all wearing baggy sweatpants and head-to-toe overalls. Many a boy can be mesmerized for an hour by the left earlobe of the girl sitting in front of him. If you don’t know this, you don’t know enough about boys. Some boys, it’s true, can focus on their work even if a girl is sitting in the seat in front of them. BUT: if that girl is wearing revealing or form-fitting clothes, then even the most studious boy will be distracted. " The site also quotes cultural critic Kate Zernike on the extent of the female-flesh-baring problem: " The days when torn jeans tested the limits are now a fond memory. Today, schools feel the need to remind students that see-through clothing is not appropriate. "

NASSPE, Initials. (2002, March 1). single-sex schools / schools with single-sex classrooms / what's the difference? . Retrieved from

NASSPE: Research > Single-Sex vs. Coed: The Evidence

According to the NASSPE, girls are more likely to study computer science and technology in single-sex classrooms and schools than at co-ed ones. The NASSPE also cites advantages of as a way to defeat the “enthusiasm gap,” and social and educational social stereotypes that run rampant in co-ed environments.