Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Student Note Defends Comprehensive Single-Sex Education

A student note in the current issue of the Notre Dame Law Review argues that properly-implemented single-sex education should be found constitutional and consistent with Title IX. The author, Benjamin Carr, distinguishes between programs that offer only single sex education, which he says are "doomed to fail" due to their tendency to reinforce gender stereotypes, and programs that offer single sex options to both sexes as part of a "full buffet" of educational options. The latter, comprehensive model, says Carr, have the potential to survive judicial scrutiny under the Constitution and Title IX, so long as all of the classes are of equal quality. By creating single-sex classrooms as an alternative, not a replacement, for coed classrooms, Carr argues, schools are less likely to create the "heightened awareness of gender as a category used to define students" and tendency to reinforce gender stereotypes that are likely to run afoul of antisubordination underpinnings of the Equal Protection Clause and Title IX.

Citation: Benjamin P. Carr, Can Separate Be Equal? Single-Sex Classrooms, the Constitution, and Title IX, 83 Notre Dame Law Review 409 (2007).