What a delightful encapsulation of all that is wrong with the modern world:
Across the public and private sectors and in every branch of society (increasingly even at the beleaguered Garrick Club), it is accepted that the contributions of both women and men are vital, not just to deliver fairness, but to allow for as wide a range of views as possible in the interests of good decision-making. It makes no sense to allow schools to prevent the cultivation of that approach. Research that suggests single-sex schools “outperform” is not just an irrelevance but meaningless. Research showing that single-sex workforces outperformed mixed groups would be immediately rejected. We would insist that the wrong questions were being asked.
Reality is that thing outside the window to be ignored when it conflicts with our prejudices.
The truly interesting thing being that of course such research has been done. Think of Harriet Harman’s comment about Lehman Sisters.
In which she was, for once in her life, correct. An all female workforce in a bank would be less risk taking than an all male workforce. Because this is how humans work, women – on average and all that – tend to be more risk averse than men. This is just a truth about the species we belong to.
The truly important thing here being that we can compare either of those single sex environments to a mixed one. And the reality – reality note, the thing we must, even if we desire not to, interact with – is that mixed sex environments are more risk taking than either of the possible single sex ones.
Something which does bring its amusements of course. The financial crash can therefore be blamed on allowing women into the dealing rooms. Even if it’s less than politics to even muse that this might be so.
Leave such provocations aside though. We have evidence that mixed and same sex environments perform differently with respect to risk. We should reject this because the wrong questions were asked, or incorporate it into our view of the world?
The claim being made is that we must reject – which tells us what’s wrong with the world today. It’s not willing to work with the grain of reality which is why there are so many splinters getting stuck in the societal arse.