Althouse: Should we say "single-gender education"?
Should we say "single-gender education"?
Mark Liberman -- who saw that term in a headline -- wonders why someone would want to avoid the standard phrase "same-sex education." [ADDED: I meant to write "single-sex education," and I can see that my slip shows a problem with the term.] Is it a matter of embracing the word "gender" to express the belief that differences between male and female are produced by culture, not biology? Or is it prudery about about the word "sex"?Liberman informs us that the word "sex" goes back to 1382 -- "Of alle thingis hauynge sowle of ony flehs, two thow shalt brynge into the ark, that maal sex and femaal lyuen with thee" -- but the first use of it to refer to "genital pleasure" is in this D.H. Lawrence poem, "Pansies":
If you want to have sex, you've got to trustAt the core of your heart, the other creature.