The political demise of Australia’s first female Prime Minister was partly fuelled by virulent sexist attacks in many quarters, and disgracefully encouraged by her political opponents. The aggression and venomous hatred expressed in those attacks took one’s breath away. So the question of an underlying current of Australian misogyny arises. The evidence for it is palpable and ubiquitous. Why is it so? as Prof Sumner Miller used to ask us regularly on TV.
Undoubtedly, a root cause of sexist behaviour in the WBL is the rampant apartheid of our school system. Boys and girls are meant to grow up together – it’s common sense that this is the key to socialisation and normalisation of respectful relations between the sexes. The gross misbehaviour of young men reported at ADFA, St Paul’s college (Sydney Uni) and rugby league clubs should come as no surprise when they’re educated in isolation from the opposite sex. Many current politicians have grown up in that stream of all-male schools and university colleges. The case of female politicans is more complicated.
As for the old furphy that girls will suffer academically by sitting next to boys, I challenge anyone to name a country of high-ranking academic achievement which has a secondary system of segregated schools. Wake up Australia, it’s time to confront the elephant in the school room, and join the dots, to mix our metaphors. Same sex schools are against nature!
Again Kookynie is at the progressive cutting edge of societal reforms. In 2009 KC took up the same issues and reported the merger of our single sex schools into St Kate’s, where the boys are flourishing. They understand the school’s clear dictum: ‘Aut disce aut discede’ (learn or leave). Their behaviour at the pub has improved dramatically. And the mixed soccer team has a waiting list. What further proof do you need?
I have some sympathy for the prima facie logic that “same sex schools are against nature”…however some of the evidence indicates that the argument against single-sex schools is not clear-cut. For example,in 2001 the Australian Council for Educational Research after six years of study of more 270,000 students, in 53 academic subjects, showed that boys and girls from single-sex classrooms “scored on average 15 to 22 percentile ranks higher than did boys and girls in coeducational settings. The report also documented that boys and girls in single-sex schools were more likely to be better behaved and to find learning more enjoyable and the curriculum more relevant – see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single-sex_education
That same wikipedia source also indicates that “the proportion of students from independent schools attending single-sex schools in Australia dropped from 31% in 1985 to 24% in 1995. In secondary schools, 55% of boys and 54% of girls went to single-sex schools in 1985. However by 1995 the proportion attending single-sex secondary schools had dropped to 41% of boys and 45% of girls”. While these data are a little dated, I’m guessing that the trend away from single sex schools has probably continued. This all seems to throw some doubt on your ‘conclusion’ that “Undoubtedly, a root cause of sexist behaviour … is the rampant apartheid of our school system”.
PS…what is ‘WBL’….women’s basketball league?
one problem with those studies is, they only check how kids behave in school and how “well they achieve” (marks).
They never look at awkwardness and bizarre behaviour in the real world – and there, outsides the school yards 41 percent chances for boyschool schock jock attitudes are still overwhelming and too many (says someone who went to a girls school with dubious outcome 😉
Thanks a lot for your great contribution, Dick. Fair enough, there may be some hyperbole in the deliberate use of rampant apartheid, but these days you gotta do strident to compete with the Murdoch press and shock jocks. Re the social effects of said apartheid though: what Julica said above. What happens outside school and later on? It’s still a large percentage of boys-only schools today, remembering also that today’s ‘leaders’ mainly come from that pre-85 era. Please excuse the KCism of WBL for Wide Brown Land.