responses to Halpern-Eliot-Bigler et al. study and their reply

My brother-in-law Dr. Doug Coldwell, Professor of Radiology at University of Louisville Hospital, just wrote me.

Among other things, he said, "Saw your letter to the editor in Science. Significant: how many classics professors have ever been published there?"

I didn't even know it had appeared. The editors never contacted me. But they did do a good job of editing my letter.

If you want to see my and other responses to the Halpern-Eliot-Bigler-et al. study and their reply, go to:

Science 13 January 2012: 165-168.

Single-Sex Education: Parameters Too Narrow

Palaima, Science 13 January 2012: 166.DOI:10.1126/science.335.6065.166-b.

The reading is not encouraging of a positive view of their research and what should be their professional lack of bias in conducting research.

I say they examined only standardized test scores. They reply that they cited a study that examined other things. But they do not use those other things in their examination!

And their response still makes a huge and unwarranted a priori assumption about what causes the lower rate of 'failed marriages' (if it is even so, and if it is a bad thing for marriages to 'fail') among dual-gender-schooled people.

They are still using the study of 40-year-old British males as the evidence for single-gender failures.

In their reply, they conveniently leave out the 'British'. My whole point was whether a study of British middle-aged males is applicable to our American experience.

They say that the Brit male study is suggestive of their views. This is a wishful assertion. They need to disprove that other factors are at work.

They assume that by going to two-gender schools, boys and girls learn how to interact and solve interpersonal problems, so that when they are adults their marriages 'last'.

But they nowhere test the quality of those 'lasting marriages' or whether lasting marriages are an indication of adult human happiness or even a social good.

They do not even consider whether by attending two-gender schools men and women, when young, learn patterns of power-relationship behaviors that keep the women in their place and the men, too, in marriages that should end.

Tom

Back to the Editorials page