One-Gender School

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Sorry, guys. Girls Only.

A school that only admits male or female students. Very much a Truth in Television: Many (but not all) schools run by religious organizations are single-sex. At least, once the students are old enough for messing around to occur—many Roman Catholic and other private high schools are still single-sex. Likewise boarding schools tend to be single-sex. Many educators in such institutions defend the practice not just from the prudish attitude that one might expect, but some more practical concerns; female students, for example, can be shown to perform better without male students around as they're more likely to engage the subject material as they are less likely to be afraid of being perceived as too smart to attract sexual attention. There is, of course, a feeling in many quarters that hormonally driven teenagers will be unduly distracted by romantic concerns to really care at all about what the teacher in front of the class is talking about as well.

Single-sex colleges exist as well. Colleges for (usually) women only called Normal Schools go back to the 1600s,from the original École Normale founded by Saint Jean-Baptiste de La Salle in 1685, usually for the purpose of instructing graduates of the mainline (up through High School by current standards) in order to become teachers. These schools still exist, however they are generally gender integrated now and were more commonly called Teacher's Colleges by the mid-20th century (most have now expanded their undergraduate degree offerings to become community colleges if not full-fledged universities or campuses of a larger university). Male-only also used to be the default for universities, and will still crop up in most period pieces. They don't really exist anymore (leaving aside R.C. seminaries, Rabbinical colleges, etc. there are six men's colleges in the US), and women's colleges are a dying breed as well (about 60 in the U.S.), so it's usually not Truth in Television past high school.

Viewers can expect lots of Ho Yay or Les Yay, respectively, due to Situational Sexuality unless it's explicitly a Boys Love or Girls Love series (all-girls schools are particularly a staple in yuri). Another common plot is a Wholesome Crossdresser or a Sweet Polly Oliver infiltrating such school. Hilarity usually ensues.

Since this school more often than not is a private school, expect this trope to overlap with Elaborate University High and Elevator School.

See also One-Gender Race, whose schools are this by definition.

Examples of One-Gender School include:

Anime and Manga

Comic Books

  • Subverted in the first volume of Finder: It looks like an all-girls school, but that's just because all members of house Llaverac look like females.
    • The Medawar clan plays this trope straight, though. Although not stated explicitly, this is probably because Medawar girls are expected to go into medicine and Medawar boys into law enforcement or the military. This is a very big deal for the clan- Medawars have to go into these professions if they want to even have a chance at full clan status- and it is established that the girls at least start medical training quite young, so the boys' and girls' schools probably have different curricula with this in mind.
  • Greytowers in Winker Watson as well as their rival school, St. Cuthbert's, are both all-boys. Greytowers' sister school, Oak Ridge School for Girls, also appears on occasion.



  • The Macdonald Hall books by Gordon Korman are set in an all-boys school very close to an all-girls school.
  • In the Swedish novel and movie Ondskan (Evil), Erik attends a very strict all-boys Boarding School.
  • There are a couple in Stephen King's The Talisman: a Corrupt Church one run by Sunlight Gardner, and the one from which they help Richard escape.
  • The setting of A Little Princess is an all-female Boarding School.
  • Several are mentioned across the Discworld series. Mostly all male though Susan attended the Quirm College for Young Ladies in her first appearance.
    • As well as "conventional" boarding schools, the Fools' Guild School is all male, and the Assassins' Guild School was until recently (although interestingly, unlike the Fools, the Guild itself wasn't). And then there's Unseen University.
  • The Gemma Doyle series is set in an all-girls' school.
  • The Chocolate War takes place in a Catholic all-boys' school.
  • Lowood Academy in Jane Eyre is an all-girl boarding school, and Aunt Reed chooses it for Jane based on how strict the curriculum is - and she did not choose amiss. Fortunately it's headed at least by a Reasonable Authority Figure.
  • Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women
  • The boys from Lord of the Flies come from one, although obviously the book doesn't take place there. This was because the author believed that having girls on the island would facilitate civilisation, something that would be adverse to the story's symbolic meaning.
  • Rugby in Tom Brown's Schooldays and Flashman counts as a real life all-male school.

Live Action TV

  • Eastland in The Facts of Life was an all-girls school, and occasionally had mixers with a nearby all-boys school. In the Grand Finale, Blair purchases Eastland and plans to make it co-ed.
  • The WB Presents a Coca-Cola Summer Premiere: Young Americans took place in an all-boys school.
  • On Friends the fact that Chandler went to an all-boys high school is brought up a few times.
  • The original plot in the short-lived FOX dramedy Opposite Sex is the fact that three boys are somehow enrolled into an otherwise all-girls' private school.
    • The "somehow" being that it was a formerly all-girls school whose board decided to go co-ed, but only those three boys' parents signed them up.
  • Honey and later Miki and Yuki attend on in Cutey Honey the Live
  • Pacific Coast Academy in Zoey 101 was all boys until the start of the show; the basis of many of the first season episodes was the clash of boys versus girls.
  • Dalton Academy, home school of the Warblers, a rival of Glee's New Directions to where Kurt later transfers.
    • Jane Adams Academy and Dalton's sister school Crawford Country Day are both girls-only.
  • On Gossip Girl the girls went to all girls school Constance Billard and the boys went to all boys school St. Jude's. Though since the two schools shared a courtyard you never really noticed that it was two different schools.
  • On The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Bel-Air Prep, where Will and Carlton went was an all boys school until about season 3 when it went co-ed.

Video Games

  • Fighting game example: the Rival Schools games have Gedo High (all boys) and Seijyun High (all girls). Gedo is a reformatory school for Delinquent rejects of other schools, while Seijyun is a high-class private academy teaching traditional Japanese feminine values.
  • The school in Skool Daze on the ZX Spectrum is boys-only. The sequel introduces an adjacent girls' school.

Visual Novels

Western Animation

  • As Told by Ginger has an all-female summer camp.
  • Scooby Doo and the Ghoul School took place at an all-female school (except for Shaggy, Scooby and Scrappy, who were the athletic directors), with an all-male military academy nearby.
  • There is a school in one of the episodes of Codename: Kids Next Door which is this, or at least it first appears to be. Until it was revealed that the reason for this was forced Gender Bender via transformation ray, and the person running said school was after world domination.
  • The Simpsons had Bart forced to go to an all male Military School, and Lisa electing to go as the first female student. She faces quite a bit of bullying for the the boys for upsetting the school dynamic. Especially from the boys who were ousted from the dorm bunker that became the girls dorm.
    • In Lisa's defense, the school should have been officially ready for this decades ago. They simply didn't expect it would ever happen.
    • One episode featured a girl named Samantha, whose father sent her to an all-girls school after he found out how close she was to Milhouse.
  • The Real Ghostbusters once infiltrated an all-girls school.
  1. It's a nickname, not a pronoun