When you’re looking for schools, you check them out based on location, programs available, how big they are, how much it costs to attend; the list goes on. Maybe you have an idea of the experiences you think are a given in college. Like the late-night study sessions, joining organizations and clubs, finding a group of your people. I know for me, these musings were co-ed. But here are a few reasons to consider attending a school that isn’t.
The Benefits of Same Sex Colleges
One of the main points from the research is that being in a classroom of your own gender tends to increase confidence and self-esteem. It’s easier to answer when you’re not trying to impress people of different gender (if you are trying to impress someone of your own gender, this perk might not apply as much). The more relaxed atmosphere is also due to a lack of gender stereotype threats (i.e., girls are bad at math, boys are bad at reading). When there is no stereotype threat present, there is no extra mental burden worrying about conforming to it. Therefore, all mental energies can be put toward the focus of the class.
With the lack of the other gender, there is a significant reduction in the amount of harassment experienced by students on campus. This also opens up doors. For example, more women stay in or transfer to STEM fields in an all-female school than in a co-ed college. Men can pursue more traditionally feminine fields.
Leadership positions also are more open within clubs and student organizations. If you always wanted to hold a position on the board of people running the group, but you were always beat out by someone of the other gender, that problem will no longer exist. These additional leadership options help to increase a student’s self-worth by making something available to them that might not have existed at a co-ed school.
You’ll Still Interact With Other Gendered-People
Don’t worry, attending a single-gender school does not isolate you to an island. Most of these schools are close to other colleges or universities where people of the opposite gender are in attendance. In the meantime, the people you attend class with and study with will keep you focused on schoolwork. Single-gender schools promote the ability to work well with your own gender.
Like any other school, make sure to visit and get a feel for the environment of any same-sex schools on your list. It might be that surrounding yourself with people of your own gender might give you that feeling of belonging that was lacking at the co-ed university you checked out last week.
And if your gender identity does not match up with the sex assigned at birth, check out this list of single-sex colleges that accept transgender (and non-binary) students!