Anastasia Ramig – Annotated Bibliography

Cohen, Beth Douthirt. “Reimagining gender through policy development: the case of a ‘single-sex’ educational organization.” Gender and Education, vol. 24, no. 7, December 2012, pp. 689-705.

Beth Douthirt Cohen explores the Gender Recruitment Policy, written by an academic organization that offers courses to young women to help further academic and leadership development to expand their gender-specific constraints to include those that identify as female or are genderqueer, not only those who are biologically female or transgender. This article discusses some of the issues that need to be addressed by this expansion, such as how to accommodate the differences in gender identity and oppression between different people. Additionally, the author talks about the logic behind writing a policy like this and the potential pitfalls. For example, there is the danger that policy makers create a new policy as a purely symbolic measure to portray a specific belief without actually supporting that belief, and the author stresses the importance of educating policy makers on the matter at hand and of enforcing the policy in a real setting. The policy represents an important step forward in single-gender education by proposing an environment where one’s gender is self-determined, allowing for more widespread inclusion.

This source will provide an interesting perspective to my paper, as it addresses concerns related to how single-sex organizations can adapt to include transgender and genderqueer students. While my research question is largely based on finding the negative consequences of the exclusion of the LGBTQ+ community from single-sex education, this source shows the complexities of adjusting single-sex education to help fight this prejudice. Beyond examining how these environments may be harmful, it is important to note that there is more to the issue than simply allowing transgender students to participate in these environments. This source gives a thorough overview of these concerns, while citing reliable sources and remaining objective. Additionally, the policy was developed by a diverse committee that represented all of those affected, making it a good source to add to my paper.

Hart, Laura. “Benefits Beyond Achievement? A Comparison of Academic Attitudes and School Satisfaction for Adolescent Girls in Single-Gender and Coeducational Classrooms.” Middle Grades Research Journal, vol. 10, no. 2, 2015, pp. 33-48.

In this article, Laura Hart details a study done on the attitudes of female middle school students toward school, as well as their level of satisfaction with their academic experience. She compared results from coeducational and single-sex classrooms. Over the course of three years, students were split between the two types of classrooms, and, at the end of the year, a survey was completed by the students that asked them about their attitudes towards specific subjects in school, their feelings on their academic environment, and their likelihood to recommend the single-gender classroom to future students. The study showed that, while the single-sex classroom had little to no effect on how the students felt about academic subjects, being in a single-gender environment made school more enjoyable for the majority of female students, causing them to report a high likelihood of recommending that environment to future students.

I plan to use this study in my research because I believe that it provides a reliable, scientific argument in favor of single-gender education that is not based on academic performance. A large part of my research question deals with how the single-gender environment affects transgender students, and I feel that it is important to explore that question from a social perspective, not solely an academic one. The study demonstrated the importance of evaluating factors such as the satisfaction of the students with their academic environment, rather than limiting analysis to quantitative factors like test scores. By getting student responses, this study showed the positive changes in student’s attitudes that can come with single-gender education. Through this observation, this source provides me with a good basis for assessing how the exclusion of transgender students from single-gender classrooms may be causing them to miss out on the positive consequences of that classroom environment.

Pahlke, Erin, et al. “The Effects of Single-Sex Compared With Coeducational Schooling on Students’ Performance and Attitudes: A Meta-Analysis.” Psychological Bulletin, vol. 140, no. 4, 2014, pp. 1042-1072.

In this study for the American Psychological Association, Erin Pahlke, Janet Shibley Hyde, and Carlie M. Allison analyzed the effects of single-sex education on many different aspects of school and social life by comparing the results of other psychological studies done on those same subjects. They discuss the results of studies done to determine how single-sex education can affect math, science, and verbal performance, the attitudes that students hold towards these subjects, and the likelihood that students will endorse gender stereotypes. These criteria were evaluated based on three theories. The first, the expectancy-value theoretical model, tries to explain the gender gap in STEM careers by looking at how men and women’s expectations for success and perception of value for various tasks differ. Developmental intergroup theory attempts to understand why biases in society develop around things like gender and race rather than other factors, such as handedness. Finally, they evaluated these same factors based on biological differences between men and women, specifically how differences in types of brain matter can affect how each gender learns best. Through this study, they found that single-sex schooling has moderate effects on mathematics and verbal performance and on the likelihood that female students will endorse gender stereotypes.

I plan to use this study in my paper not only because it is based on reliable studies, carefully chosen by the authors based on how credible they were, but also because it provides a good overview of how single-sex education can affect students’ lives. I think that it is important to show the academic benefits of single-sex education and to discuss how it can relate to perceptions of gender. The author, Erin Pahlke, has her doctorate in psychology and spends her time researching the effects of discrimination, stereotyping, and racial and gender socialization on children, making her a reliable source for this topic. The concrete facts and analysis in this study provide important background information, such as the biological basis for single-sex education and the development of gender as a biased social factor. It supports the positive effects of single-gender education by showing the changes in academic performance, as well as its impact on how females interact with gender stereotypes. However, in showing this important impact of gender, it also provides a potential basis for the argument that transgender students are deprived of equal opportunities for the same benefits with the single-sex education system as it stands today.

Turner, Bryana. “Sex-Parate But Equal – The Legality of Single-Sex Public Schools and Their Discriminatory Effect on Transgender Students.” Cardozo Journal of Law & Gender, vol. 20, no. 1, 2013, p. 203-234. HeinOnline.

In this article, Bryana Turner explores the legal issues that arise from single-sex education, first by discussing the arguments of those for and against it and second by discussing the relevant legal precedents. While coeducation can promote equality and diversity, especially in young students who are learning how to work with other personalities and types of people, supporters of single-sex education, according to Turner, often base their beliefs off harmful gender stereotypes. Additionally, single-sex classroom environments discriminate against transgender by forcing them to be in classrooms based on their assigned sex at birth, not on their gender identity. This situation directly contradicts Title IX of the Education Amendments, as well as the decision in the Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka case, leading to the conclusion that the Title IX Amendments and the American single-sex education system should be based on gender identity rather than assigned sex.

This source was published in 2013 and cites many reliable sources, as well as all the appropriate legal precedents to support Turner’s argument. Since it is published in a law journal, this source also has been peer-reviewed and deemed credible by experts in the field. Turner’s article brings an important perspective to my research question in exploring the legality of single-sex education as it relates to transgender students. This source will be important in helping me analyze the negative effects of single-sex education on transgender students, as I believe it lays out a clear argument that details both the legal problems and the problems that students may experience with stereotypes in the classroom. I think that it is important to discuss cases such as Brown v. Board of Education when looking at how the single-sex academic system is set up, and this helps further my research in how the current system is discriminatory against transgender students.

Overall, I believe that the sources I have gathered provide a substantial amount of information that can help answer my research question, which examines the positive effects of single-gender education for students while also exploring the negative effects that the same environment can have on students who are members of the LGBTQ+ community. Erin Pahlke’s “The Effects of Single-Sex Compared With Coeducational Schooling on Students’ Performance and Attitudes: A Meta-Analysis” helps show the academic benefits of single-sex education, in addition to the effect it has on female students’ interactions with gender stereotypes. Similarly, Laura Hart discusses the positive consequences of single-gender classrooms as it pertains to how female students rate their satisfaction with and attitude towards school in “Benefits Beyond Achievement? A Comparison of Academic Attitudes and School Satisfaction for Adolescent Girls in Single-Gender and Coeducational Classrooms”. Both of these sources found clear benefits to single-gender education, especially in how it can help young women from a social perspective. In contrast, Bryana Turner’s “Sex-Parate But Equal – The Legality of Single-Sex Public Schools and Their Discriminatory Effect on Transgender Students” questions whether single-gender educational environments are even legal, citing Brown v. Board of Education and other important legislature. Beth Cohen’s article, “Reimagining gender through policy development: the case of a ‘single-sex’ educational organization,” furthers this discussion by exploring the possible next steps of an organization that is striving to be more inclusive of those that typical single-sex classrooms exclude.

These sources will allow me to discuss my research question thoroughly, as they clearly demonstrate both sides of the single-sex education issue. After reading these sources, I want to shift my research question to focus more on the definition of a single-gender environment. The demonstrated benefits of a single-gender classroom should not be ignored, but I want to explore how those benefits could still be found while allowing for more inclusion. Therefore, I would like to change my research question to be, “How should a single-gender classroom be defined in order to provide the most benefits for all students, including those who are members of the LGBTQ+ community?” This question will allow me to use my sources to develop an argument that truly weighs the positive and negative consequences of single-gender education, while still exploring how these environments can and should include members of the LGBTQ+ community.