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Same-sex school does not equate same-sex love

on . Posted in Youth.

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Everyone knows about the reputation of various girls’ schools in Singapore. RGS turns out unmarriageable feminists. SCGS creates tai-tais. Nanyang girls are eccentric, and would probably become First Ladies. These accusations are mostly asinine, and rational people would know that.

But the biggest false accusation leveled at all these schools is the supposed belief that girls’ schools ‘creates’ lesbians. Is there any truth to this? Does coming from a girls’ schools ‘make’ you lesbian? Many of you would remember the CNA show ‘Get Rea!’, by Diana Ser, one of whose episodes focused on this very matter, and concluded that girls schools do make our girls ‘lesbian’.

Before refuting this theory outright, I’d like explore the environment in girls’ schools, and see what factors might have contributed to this misconception.


For me, being in a girls’ school was a liberating experience, after having to put up with dirty, rowdy [and very smelly] boys in primary school. Civilisation, at last! At least people here knew about deodorant, and didn’t think shouting profanities about each others’ private parts was funny.

Then I got to learn the L word. Not the show, but the premise it was based upon: Lesbian. At first, it was just an abstraction. Lesbians were from another universe, strange creatures who didn’t like boys. I was pretty sure I wasn’t one of them.

Then, as is the custom in girls’ schools, half the cohort got a crush on the head prefect. [I didn’t, by the way] That was a laughing matter, something to joke about. The word lesbian did not even enter our vocabulary when gossiping about this.

At this time, I, like everyone around me, was acclimatised to the fact that some girls had crushes on other girls. It was so common, no one even thought it was unusual. Even the arch-conservative homophobes didn’t see anything wrong with it [indeed, some of the homophobes were the ones getting crushes, but they didn’t see it as lesbianism]

Humourous memories of this time entails a friend of mine joining a CCA because she liked the senior. We teased her about it, but didn’t call her a lesbian. Then there was the case where my classmate had a crush on another girl in our class, who looked just a little boyish [but not butchy]. We encouraged her to ‘chase’ the other girl, even, jokingly.

Girls also have a propensity to show their affection towards other girls openly, as demonstrated by the extensive hugging and hand-holding that went on in the school corridors, and even outside the school. It wouldn’t be uncommon for a girl to lay her head on another’s shoulder or cuddle upto her in class. Lesbians? Hardly.


Now, some of you might be wondering: what is going on? Girls are having crushes on girls, girls are showing extreme PDA to other girls, and no one even thinks that they are lesbian? Are we blind?

The fact is, that such behaviour does not constitute lesbianism in any way. We know almost everyone of those girls are straight, and are just being girly. Even when they progress into JC, a mixed environment, their behaviour does not really change. The hand-holding and hugging continues.

However, I never really participated in the abovementioned activities. I didn’t have a crush on some authority figure. I didn’t go around hugging girls. I didn’t write those sappy notes to other girls [mentioned in the CNA program]. It was JC 1 before I publicly held my best friend’s hand[not even my girlfriend!] But, in the end, I am the one who has identified herself as bisexual. Did the environment in a girls’ school shape me? Hardly. I was the way I was when I was born.

So, the argument that girls’ schools turn out lesbians have effectively been defeated. It is clear most of those crushes are part and parcel of growing up ‘ the girls who experience them are effectively straight, and they know so. The absence of boys do not make them lesbian. Rather, this behaviour is essentially feminine in nature. Even grown straight women have crushes on other women. This stands testament more to the fluid nature of female sexuality than anything else.

So, next time someone tells you that being in a girls’ school is what has turned you lesbian, tell him he doesn’t understand the fluid nature of female sexuality. If nothing else, the jargon you use should shut him up. *winks*

[It has to be noted that being in mixed school has no effect on your sexuality either. It probably just makes you dislike boys even more if you are really gay.]



# ssky 2010-02-02 21:48

sky said,

January 30, 2006 at 12:17 am

yeah. my sentiments exactly. im gay and im from a co ed sch since young. i just love girls! ;)
# jjade 2010-02-02 21:48

jade said,

January 31, 2006 at 11:52 pm

i believe everyone is born inherently bisexual, just that some lean more to the left or to the right than others. and i also believe there’s no smoke without fire. being in a girl’s school exposes you to lesbianism or same-sex love, as gender and sexuality development take place during those growing years. whether one chooses to continue the lifestyle as one grows older really depends on what the person’s heart tells her.
# Mier 2010-02-02 21:48

Mier said,

February 1, 2006 at 10:03 pm

Hello jade. I don’t know if people are born inherently bisexual… “Nice” psychoanalytic theory… and i dislike Freud’s theory. He’s not scientific- rather arbitrary.

But recent research indicates that Sexuality CAN be fluid. More for women… less for men (rigid).

Yes… just as some lesbian women force themselves to marry men (and many seek dalliances with women there after!!)… sexual partners can be chosen against your grain, so to speak.

The term lifestyle is kind of vague. Do you know what lifestyle mean???

Don’t use lifestyle liberally without knowing its meaning…

As i mentioned in the forum, lifestyle is a way of life.

And as far as i know, i attend school, take exams, study my readings, blog sometimes, hang out with friends from school, CCAs and outside. I also go to the movies with my partner, fine-dine from time to time, experience similar relationship problems that heterosexuals face, bond with my family at dinners etc.

So, that is my lifestyle.
Is yours significantly different enough from mine to consider my life ALTERNATIVE? =)
Tell me why you think the minute difference is significant/meaningful enough to call it alternative. And back it up with examples, facts/figures wherever you deem fit.

Think hard, please. Because i am all ready to debunk every assumption you ever made without a solid foundation. =) Good for fruitful discussion. We all learn, yes?

If this tread becomes long enough, we will push it to the forum. ;>

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