Monday, October 29, 2007

Why are all-girl schools ok while all-boy schools are not?

I've always been curious as to why, exactly, men's colleges are subject to legal challenges while women's colleges are not. Why the YMCA is open to both sexes while the YWCA isn't, and why the same fate has befallen the Boy Scouts and various fraternities but not Girl Guides/Girl Scouts and sororities.

Why Single-Sex Classes Are Generally Unavailable

When the US Supreme Court ruled in 1996 that the Virginia Military Institute was violating the 14th Amendment by excluding women, it dealt an almost-fatal blow to same-sex education for boys. In the majority opinion, written by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Court retained full protection for any female-only programs that could be said to compensate for the disabilities women suffer: "Sex classifications may be used to compensate women 'for particular economic disabilities [they have] suffered,' to 'promote equal employment opportunity,' to advance the full development of the talent and capabilities of our Nation's people. But such classifications may not be used, as they once were, to create or perpetuate the legal, social and economic inferiority of women."

In light of this ruling, all-girls programs could still be seen as compensatory; all-boys programs, on the other hand, are regarded as discriminatory. The ruling puts a chill on all special initiatives for boys. However, while it discourages them, it does not strictly prohibit them. Programs that separate the sexes while offering each the same resources and opportunities remain permissible. In practice, however, single-sex education is an allowable option for girls, but rarely for boys.

This is straight from "The War Against Boys" by Christina Hoff Sommers.

Society is abusing boys by treating them differently from women, and not in a good way. Boys are treated as trash and scum, and they grow up internalizing that message. Its a pity that so many parents love their boys less than they love their girls.