Single-sex schools have been utilized throughout history for very different purposes. For example, so-called first-generation single-sex schools came to existence as male-only institutions expressly because males were thought to be the sex that was capable and deserving of education. Eventually, all-female academies were born to prove that women, too, were capable of learning and also deserved a share of societal attention in the education sphere.

However, it was not until the advent of the Common School Movement, started by Horace Mann in the 1830s, that students of the working class and poor were deemed fit for education. During this time, public schools became coeducational-not for any philosophical reason, but due to efficiency and budgetary concerns stemming from the numerical growth of willing students. Single-sex schools continued, ...

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