Ms. Moulton wrote a spirited defense of single gender education that focused more on science. My defense of single gender education will be simpler. Single gender education benefits some kids and not others. In my opinion, the benefits of single gender education depends on the student.
Lapidus and Martin argue in their short piece that the voices and choices of single gender education are driven by shoddy science, "hype," and the notion that "Sex differences are sexy." To some extent, they're right. Incomplete science makes it's way into the world and sometimes shouldn't be used to shape decisions.
But, the underlying assumption of their article is just plain wrong. They present and posit the relationship between incomplete science (coupled with social and popular hype) as a causal relationship. The ideas of boys and girls brain/developmental differences are in the public arena therefore a push for single gender education exists.
This is not a causal relationship. The authors miss the point here and the answer is simpler, disconnected from popular culture, and more complex at the same time.
Some students, boys and girls are more comfortable and may perform better in a single gender environment. The school environment choice grows out of what's best for this particular child. A coed environment or a single gender environment? Families and students may arrive at their school choice through an infinite number of avenues (assuming the student has a choice).
In the end, single gender education- like all school choice- is just a different way of going to school and where & how to go to school depends on what's best for each individual student.
There is no causal relationship behind choosing or, inherent evil in, single gender education. It is, simply, a different way of going to school.