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
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
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.