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5.3 EDUCATIONAL SCIENCES, 5.1 PSYCHOLOGY
There currently exists a substantial body of research regarding the influ-ence that the educational environment can bear upon the social and emotional wellbeing of male and female students. It has been highlighted that young female students tend to present with lower levels of wellbeing than do male students, and that the behaviour of male students may be implicit in this discrepancy. Some scholars have proposed sex segregation to be an appropriate palliative measure in addressing the lower measures of wellbeing observed among female students. This paper will present a counter-argument to this proposal based on two principal arguments. First, that sex segregation can have deleterious outcomes for female students and may reify the identity of young girls as ‘weaker than’, or ‘needing protection from’, young boys. Second, that sex segregation overlooks the performative aspect of gender and fails to account for male students who may perform a feminine gender-identity. Wellbeing perspectives from a post-primary context will be examined in relation to international research regarding both biological sex and socially con-structed concepts of gender. It will be proposed that educational dis-course that informs decisions to segregate the sexes be reconceptualised to include a broader understanding of students’ needs and identities in relation to both sex and gender.
Byrne, D. & Carthy, A. (2020) An Argument Against Sex Segregation in Post-Primary Schools: Examining Wellbeing Perspectives, PSYCHOLOGY & SEXUALITY, DOI:10.1080/19419899.2020.1861072