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The potential impact of social science research on legal issues surrounding Single-Sex classrooms

Litigation involving public single-sex educational programs.

2013-07-04
 

The potential impact of social science research on legal issues surrounding Single-Sex classrooms

Litigation involving public single-sex educational programs.

science clobal research single sex education

This article examines the role social science has played in litigation involving public single-sex educational programs. It also explores a body of social science research related to gender and education that we believe could assist the courts and school leaders in better examining the possibilities and the limitations of single-sex programs in the public sector. Specifically, we want to show how a particular set of social science research at the intersection of gender and education, from a range of theoretical frameworks, could assist school leaders in demonstrating to the courts that a justification for single-sex programs may exist in current empirical research.

Method: This article uses traditional legal research methods, which is a form of historical-legal research used to investigate the interpretation of law. We used the two major legal databases (i.e., Lexis-Nexis, Westlaw) to determine how many lawsuits have been initiated as a result of the amendments to the Title IX regulations. The retrieved cases were coded to determine the legal claims relied upon by plaintiffs and to learn if/how social science research was considered in these cases.

Findings: We analyzed four schools currently involved in litigation. We report the social science that was relied upon by school districts and analyzed by courts.

Implications: We encourage school leaders and the courts to explore more diverse theoretical frameworks related to gender and education that we believe could add some analytic strength to the existing body of empirical research about single-sex schooling.  

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