Single-Sex Education

Promoting Equality or an Unconstitutional Divide?

The United States Supreme Court has examined the constitutionality of single-sex public schools in the context of higher education on two occasions, finding both times that the institutions at issue violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. The standard of review applicable to gender classifications such as that involved in single-sex education is “intermediate scrutiny,” which requires the State to articulate an important governmental objective, and to show that the single-sex program is substantially related to achieving that objective. In light of this standard, the author examines the constitutionality of several modern day single-sex public elementary and secondary schools across the United States, and provides recommendations as to how those institutions may be able to survive any future constitutional challenges.

The full text of this Note is available to download as a PDF.