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In the Name of God بسم الله

Segregated schools better for Muslims?


Sumerian

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43 minutes ago, Sumerian said:

A little less than 2 years ago I finished High School and sometimes I look back and wish I went to a segregated only boys school. What do you people think? Are segrated schools better for Muslims?

Yes. Interaction with Na mahram is one of the reasons that a youth fall into sin. 

Less interaction will result in less gunah and (comparatively) less fohosh in society. 

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No, you risk more cases of homosexuality when you segregate. Moreover, it doesn't work I think, people will find a way around it. Universities are not segregated, so why would you segregate early on and then have boys being clueless on how to interact with girls and see them merely as potential sexual partners who must be avoided? We interact with women at work, in universities all the time, so why segregate early on and complicate matters later on? The key is better education, teach your children how futile casual relationships are in teenage years, don't rely on a school to do the work for you by segregating them.

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56 minutes ago, Mohamed1993 said:

No, you risk more cases of homosexuality when you segregate. Moreover, it doesn't work I think, people will find a way around it. Universities are not segregated, so why would you segregate early on and then have boys being clueless on how to interact with girls and see them merely as potential sexual partners who must be avoided? We interact with women at work, in universities all the time, so why segregate early on and complicate matters later on? The key is better education, teach your children how futile casual relationships are in teenage years, don't rely on a school to do the work for you by segregating them.

It works in the Middle East.

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5 hours ago, Mohamed1993 said:

No, you risk more cases of homosexuality when you segregate

If you believe the homosexuals, segregation should have no impact on homosexuality since you are supposedly 'born with it'.

If you believe the Muslims, segregation should actually help same-sex people cultivate deep non-sexual friendships.

Either way segregation should have no impact.

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I went to a segregated school, and the girls there also did their fair share of silly and haram things. It doesn't matter where you put someone, if they have weak iman and they want to do haram, they'll do it anywhere. Not only did some girls at my school do alot of haram, but I also felt like I was in a bubble. I wasn't prepared for the inevitable interactions I'd have with boys. I would read into everything etc, I was just alot more socially awkward on a whole. Being born and raised in the west, I think it's very important to know how to deal with the opposite gender. 

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12 minutes ago, 2Timeless said:

I went to a segregated school, and the girls there also did their fair share of silly and haram things. It doesn't matter where you put someone, if they have weak iman and they want to do haram, they'll do it anywhere. Not only did some girls at my school do alot of haram, but I also felt like I was in a bubble. I wasn't prepared for the inevitable interactions I'd have with boys. I would read into everything etc, I was just alot more socially awkward on a whole. Being born and raised in the west, I think it's very important to know how to deal with the opposite gender. 

Of course there are gonna be bad apples no matter where you put them, but the problem is that they can do even more haram when boys are readily available all day everyday. 

I went to nonsegregated schools in the west and I'm still awkward with men. I think it depends on your family's religious upbringing. My parents told me that I could not be friends with boys when I was in middle school. Before that  as a little child I played with both boys and girls with no awkwardness.

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3 hours ago, Carlzone said:

I went to nonsegregated schools in the west and I'm still awkward with men. I think it depends on your family's religious upbringing. My parents told me that I could not be friends with boys when I was in middle school. Before that  as a little child I played with both boys and girls with no awkwardness.

Yes, I was brought up like that too. Coupled with having next to no interaction with non-mahram men, I almost developed an anxiety towards men. You can't avoid all men and men can't avoid all women. Its unhealthy to have such little knowledge about the opposite gender. How are you supposed to work and study with them? How are you supposed to marry a man, when you have no idea how men operate?

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4 hours ago, Haji 2003 said:

If you believe the Muslims, segregation should actually help same-sex people cultivate deep non-sexual friendships.

No, if you believe muslims who state homosexuality isn't something you're born with, rather a product of surroundings, then it will have an impact. 

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11 minutes ago, 2Timeless said:

Yes, I was brought up like that too. Coupled with having next to no interaction with non-mahram men, I almost developed an anxiety towards men. You can't avoid all men and men can't avoid all women. Its unhealthy to have such little knowledge about the opposite gender. How are you supposed to work and study with them? How are you supposed to marry a man, when you have no idea how men operate?

Well of course it can create some difficulties but I think the benefits are more than the downsides. For instance even if you want to do haram this will make it more difficult for you as you're  not used to interacting much with men. 

Personally I'm completely cold towards them. Stoneface. This way they don't get any ideas. 

If you want to understand men better there is an enormous amount of literature out there. I think I have read more than 10 books on gender differences. 

A question to you: is it also easier for you to interact with western guys in school than Muslim guys? 

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6 minutes ago, Carlzone said:

Well of course it can create some difficulties but I think the benefits are more than the downsides. For instance even if you want to do haram this will make it more difficult for you as you're  not used to interacting much with men. 

Personally I'm completely cold towards them. Stoneface. This way they don't get any ideas. 

If you want to understand men better there is an enormous amount of literature out there. I think I have read more than 10 books on gender differences. 

A question to you: is it also easier for you to interact with western guys in school than Muslim guys? 

You're right, but at the end of the day, we always want what we can't have, and girls and boys in segregated schools chat and fantasize over the opposite sex all the time. 

Hm, that's interesting. It depends on the Muslim guys. In general, I think I found it equally as hard, but slightly easier to talk to western boys because they were used to interacting with girls, and I could just get it over with. I did find it very awkward interacting with Muslim guys, especially if they were of the same ethnicity, I just felt that they were a little more judgemental? I'm not sure, I just found it alot more awkward and hard to communicate with them. But then again, it was easier to communicate with less religious Muslim guys because I knew they wouldn't read into such a small interaction? Lol that's just me and how I found it at school.

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39 minutes ago, Mohamed1993 said:

No, if you believe muslims who state homosexuality isn't something you're born with, rather a product of surroundings, then it will have an impact. 

Beyond school in Muslim culture, nearly all socialising, outside the family, is same sex.

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8 minutes ago, 2Timeless said:

You're right, but at the end of the day, we always want what we can't have, and girls and boys in segregated schools chat and fantasize over the opposite sex all the time. 

Hm, that's interesting. It depends on the Muslim guys. In general, I think I found it equally as hard, but slightly easier to talk to western boys because they were used to interacting with girls, and I could just get it over with. I did find it very awkward interacting with Muslim guys, especially if they were of the same ethnicity, I just felt that they were a little more judgemental? I'm not sure, I just found it alot more awkward and hard to communicate with them. But then again, it was easier to communicate with less religious Muslim guys because I knew they wouldn't read into such a small interaction? Lol that's just me and how I found it at school.

Well I have similar experiences. My theory is that Muslim guys sexualise every little piece of interaction while westerners don't look at Muslim women that way. Muslim women are more like..."off the market" for them so the interaction is much more casual. That's my theory anyway.

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3 minutes ago, Carlzone said:

Well I have similar experiences. My theory is that Muslim guys sexualise every little piece of interaction while westerners don't look at Muslim women that way. Muslim women are more like..."off the market" for them so the interaction is much more casual. That's my theory anyway.

Yeah I agree.

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I went to a segregated school and I am very awkward around men. When you are talking to a man, most men are flirting with their eyes or their body language. I have observed that western women are very good at dealing with this. They keep talking with expressionless face and serious voice, while I get uncomfortable, I avoid eye contact and I even get a shy smile. I think people have higher expectations from women than Islam. Islam never said that while a man is flirting with you, you have to keep a straight face and the longer you can do that determines the strength of your character. I deal with this problem not only at work but even among Muslims when I go to family gatherings. My own cousins and uncles all complain about my awkwardness. 

I recently had an interview with 3 men and one of them was so respectful. It was just so easy to talk to him and make eye contact with him, I just kept looking at him through most of the interview. I guess among both men and women, some people fail to hide their creepiness and some people are good at hiding it. We should give benefit of doubt and not judge people's character based on their face expressions while talking with opposite gender. But there's a difference between not being able to hide your creepiness and being creepy intentionally. Many men are intentionally creepy and they don't make any effort to hide their creepiness. 

Edited by rkazmi33
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1 minute ago, Mohamed1993 said:

Yeh and we don't really have any statistics on how much illicit homosexual activity takes place. 

When I studied homosexuality at the university I read nothing about same gender schools increasing the risk of homosexuality. That is something that needs to be studied if that has not yet been studied. 

There seems to be genes contributing to an increased risk of becoming a homosexual, as identical twins are more often simultaneously homosexual than regular siblings, but at the same time both identical twins are not always homosexuals at the same time, so you can't say that the genes cause homosexuality,  only that they can increase the risk of becoming one.

There is one interesting thing that has been found regarding homosexuality. It is called the fraternal birth order effect. It has been shown that the more older brothers a boy has, the more likely it is that he will become a homosexual. 

I have a little theory myself regarding why this is. I think many manly men in a family can dominate the manly energy which might increase the risk of the other family members to show the opposite quality (femininity).

My theoretic ground for this is systemic theory. In systemic theory a family is seen as a unit with fractions that balance eachother out. For instance a girly girl oftentimes marries a manly man, while feminine men oftentimes marry manly women. (Check couples you know). 

So if there is much manly energy in a family, maybe that makes a developing child take more of a feminine role to balance out that dominating manly energy in the family? Who knows. I'm making some wild assumptions here.

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13 minutes ago, rkazmi33 said:

I guess among both men and women, some people fail to hide their creepiness and some people are good at hiding it. We should give benefit of doubt and not judge people's character based on their face expressions while talking with opposite gender. But there's a difference between not being able to hide your creepiness and being creepy intentionally. Many men are intentionally creepy and they don't make any effort to hide their creepiness. 

Sister, there are also people who actually are not creepy at all, but very respectful. 

I met an old male, (30 years older than me) a European person on a high position in health care while I was doing an internship in a hospital. He was sooo respectful it was almost like out of this world!!! That to me is true Islamic akhlaaq even though he unfortunately was not a Muslim. He was also defending Muslim patients and he told me about that behind the scenes. MashaAllah what a goodhearted man! He treated me like a daughter.

In the same hospital was a male French health care professional who my female supervisor was in love with and whom she sent me to work for. This man was a real creep. A pervert. One day during lunch he complimented my looks in front of her and she became furious and shamed him in front of the whole lunch room. That was so incredibly awkward you cannot imagine. At the end of the term both of these males were changing positions and had dinners. I went to the first males dinner with the rest of the crew and the French professional was there as well. I could only choose to sit next to the first or the French male as all other seats were taken. I sat next to the respectful man which annoyed the French professional. And aftereards I didn't attend the French man's dinner at all. He was so angry with me that he didn't even say hello at work. 

I hate being dragged into other people's dramas when I have nothing to do with them. 

No wonder islam doesn't require women to work. We shouldn't have to put up with these things.

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Most of my life I have been in co-ed school but I have a few years experience with segregated school. I noticed the students are a lot more focused in segregated. That nagging part of your brain that is worried about if you appear cute or cool to the guys is alleviated. You just focus on the work. There were lesbians but no more than in my co-ed schools...

So segregated until college years is a good model I think. 

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@Carlzone I agree, I hate getting dragged into other people's dramas. A lot of my female managers became angry with me because of this kind of drama and the fact is I couldn't focus on my work because I was always so worried about how to deal with creepy men. MashahAllah you handled your situation really well. Situations like these are the real tests for hijabi women. May Allah give you reward for your struggles. But women cannot escape this drama if they stop working. All of my friends' husbands have tried to use me to make their wives jealous, and my ex-husband used all my friends and cousins to make me jealous. .I think that women cannot remain friends after marriage because all husbands try to use their wives' friends to make their wives jealous. And I am sorry to say that most women are flattered by this attention. Like I mentioned in my previous post, most men in my own family complain about my awkwardness. 

When women stay at home, the men in their homes act exactly like the men in workplace. It may be your uncles or even father in law who require you to smile at their creepiness and if you don't do that, they will make your life difficult. It may be your husband who wants you to be okay with him flirting with other women, he may even require you to help him and bring women to your home. You cannot escape drama in this world. 

Edited by rkazmi33
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26 minutes ago, rkazmi33 said:

@Carlzone I agree, I hate getting dragged into other people's dramas. A lot of my female managers became angry with me because of this kind of drama and the fact is I couldn't focus on my work because I was always so worried about how to deal with creepy men. MashahAllah you handled your situation really well. Situations like these are the real tests for hijabi women. May Allah give you reward for your struggles. But women cannot escape this drama if they stop working. All of my friends' husbands have tried to use me to make their wives jealous, and my ex-husband used all my friends and cousins to make me jealous. .I think that women cannot remain friends after marriage because all husbands try to use their wives' friends to make their wives jealous. And I am sorry to say that most women are flattered by this attention. Like I mentioned in my previous post, most men in my own family complain about my awkwardness. 

When women stay at home, the men in their homes act exactly like the men in workplace. It may be your uncles or even father in law who require you to smile at their creepiness and if you don't do that, they will make your life difficult. It may be your husband who wants you to be okay with him flirting with other women, he may even require you to help him and bring women to your home. You cannot escape drama in this world. 

Sister, I'm so sorry to hear that you even have this struggle with your family. I think you have had very bad luck in this regard, or rather that Allah SWT has tested you this way. Alhamdulillah weshokorr, I don't have this struggle with my family. No one tries to bring women home or flirt with others in front of their spouse. But on the other hand I'm sure that I struggle with other things that you're not struggling with. We are all tested in different ways.

This reminds me of the beginning of 2010. I was hanging out with a bunch of girls. One day we were all telling eachother what difficulties we had and were currently going through. I'm telling you,  every time I heard a girl's story I was horrified thinking that I would have never been able to cope with what she had gone through and felt that I much rather preferred my own tests than theirs. And the other girls reacted the same way about my struggles. So I guess God knows which abd is suitable for which test. We all suffer, but in different ways. 

May Allah SWT help us all pass our tests InshaAllah! 

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6 hours ago, Mohamed1993 said:

No, you risk more cases of homosexuality when you segregate.

That sounded very categorical, but the follow-up comment suggests that you don't really know.

3 hours ago, Mohamed1993 said:

Yeh and we don't really have any statistics on how much illicit homosexual activity takes place. 

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18 minutes ago, Haji 2003 said:

That sounded very categorical, but the follow-up comment suggests that you don't really know.

I can say that for my home country. Go poll people in the Middle East and find out, I'm sure the results will surprise you. 

Edited by Mohamed1993
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I've taught in Islamic schools (elementary and high), public high schools, Catholic high schools - so I've taught in environments that were completely segregated, half segregated (boys and girls sitting on different sides of the class), and fully integrated.

In my experience, the best model is the "half segregated" model, where boys and girls sit on different tables in different sides of the class, but they still see each other, and on occasion, deal with one another. The teacher will still need to enforce or encourage limited contact with the opposite sex.

When the class is totally mixed, the boys and girls get too comfortable with one another, to a point where the line between friendship and flirtation is difficult to draw. Muslim teachers must imply that men and women are fundamentally different, with a different set of rules.

On the other hand, complete segregation (ie different schools or different classrooms for each sex) is impractical for a number of reasons.

1. First, as an Islamic school, you must double your staff, your classrooms, or your schools. Most private schools simply do not have the funds for that, and they'd need to raise tuition for students significantly to afford it, which means fewer families will bother with sending their kids to Muslim schools.

2. Secondly - and this is a problem in both the east and the west - boys often act like morons when no girls are around. This is something I've consistently observed, there is significantly less discipline and less consideration for their behaviour when they are in a boys-only group. It almost always results in more vulgar talk, more practical jokes, more fights, and more stupid behaviour overall. The judgment of women is a highly effective regulating force that keeps men more normal.

3. Thirdly, complete segregation does not cultivate proper gender relations. As soon as the child leaves that school environment, they have no clue how to deal with the opposite sex, what is considered appropriate behaviour with the opposite sex, what is offensive to the opposite sex, how to distinguish between someone who likes you and someone who doesn't, and it can even create problems with marriage in the future. It's not enough to just orally teach your kids how to behave with the opposite sex, they need practical examples and they need to practice regularly. If you've been locked away for all of your life from the opposite sex, it can make you very naive, which could lead you to being taken advantage of or "led on" without recognizing the signs. At the very least, it can make someone very awkward, and feel very overwhelmed once they enter a mixed environment. And yes, it can even result in homosexuality (which is rampant in Saudi Arabia). And, I've seen it result in man-hating and woman-hating, because they spend their most important years not knowing what the opposite sex likes in a man/woman, and can't properly adjust once they grow up.

4. Yes, fiqh encourages segregation, but the level of isolation that is possible in postmodern western urban life is not healthy. Most pre-modern Muslim communities were fairly small, where everyone knew everyone, and the people were all loosely related, so the kids were raised by the community. There is very little privacy in these places. Gender relations were professional but they were still frequent. Nowadays it is possible to go months or years without needing to form a professional relationship with a member of the opposite sex, so it can widen the problems mentioned in #3.

5. Lastly, I grew up in a very segregated Muslim community in the West, and it created a situation where Muslims know plenty of non-Muslims who are members of the opposite sex, but almost no Muslims of the opposite sex. They observe a totally different set of rules for Muslims and non-Muslims. So if a guy knows hundreds of non-Muslim girls and only 5 or 6 Muslim girls, who do you think he'll marry? Now there is even a significant number of Muslim girls with non-Muslim boyfriends and husbands, or someone who will ceremonially "convert" just to make the family happy. There has to be some level of networking; we can't just ignore the existence of the opposite sex, it prevents people from marrying within the community.

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I don't think segregation is a good idea from what I have heard regarding public schools in the middle east from the few years I spent there.

While both have their advantages and disadvantages, the problem is that considering modern society I think a segregated school would do more harm than good compared to non-segregated schools.

As Mohamed1993 is saying, you would be shocked at the environment of public schools in the middle east (private schools are not segregated whereas public schools are). The amount of child-child rape and teacher-child rape is astonishing from what you hear. Even females that appear relatively religious will tell you of lesbian experiences during their school years, and what's more shocking is that a lot of those females end up tomboys and clearly have girlfriends in the presence of their seemingly religious parents; they just accept the excess boyish tendencies of their daughters for whatever reason. The guys are just ridiculously disgusting and it would be very easy for a boy to get abused by multiple guys in school. Then there is a story one of my friends told me when he was in grade 7, walked into the class during recess or something and found a classmate with his teacher =/

This alone for me outweighs the disadvantage of mixed schools.

Then there is the lack of ability to properly interact with the fairer sex as the person ages, which again in modern society is unavoidable and so for me children should be taught the etiquette and given the experience to mold them accordingly as they age. 

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5 minutes ago, dragonxx said:

Even females that appear relatively religious will tell you of lesbian experiences during their school years, and what's more shocking is that a lot of those females end up tomboys and clearly have girlfriends in the presence of their seemingly religious parents; they just accept the excess boyish tendencies of their daughters for whatever reason.

To give a practical example of this, my male cousin lives in one of these hyper-segregated countries, and he got married a few years back to a seemingly-religious Muslim woman. She had impeccable hijab, and would prefer being in a different room than any males. She wouldn't respond to the salaams of men, and my cousin's siblings could not even meet the girl. During the engagement, she had a very distant attitude with my cousin - often ignoring texts, cancelling plans, making him wait, etc. Since my male cousin had no experience with the opposite sex, he was naive and thought everything was going A-OK, and that any hiccups in the engagement were normal, and that he just needed to exercise patience.

After getting married and spending nearly $100,000 on a dowry, wedding, honeymoon, gifts, and house, they didn't consummate the marriage. First she'd say she was on her period, then she'd get into constant arguments with him. Finally, it turned out that she was a lesbian, and was in a lesbian relationship with one of her school friends. My cousin walked away from that marriage with the "divorced" label.

I know from experience that in places like Riyadh, men are pretty regularly "approached" by other men, sometimes in a vulgar way. There may not be much statistical evidence for this, but ask anyone who lived there, it is a rampant problem.

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@qaim @dragonxx

Oh my God, you guys! :shock:

I feel like I have been living on a protected island as I have never been exposed to these kinds of things. And I grew up in a godless western society and western schools.

Ok, one time a teacher was disgusting. But as my parents had taught me to stay away from men/boys he couldn't fool me into seeing him.

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I went to an all boys school in Pakistan.  We were separated from the girls in grade 5.  I personally enjoyed being in an all male environment, it was a lot more comfortable and fun.  There is evidence to suggest that men go crazy and become more violent in all male environments for extended periods.  The biggest issue is that men/women do not develop the social skills to approach and talk to opposite genders.  I still have friends that to this day freak out with women around them, they don't have a hope in hell of finding a spouse unless their mother picks one out for them.  It is the same issue with a lot of extremely sheltered and isolated women.  Also, collaborating in work situations becomes a pain.  

I don't know what the strict islamic rulings are with regards to segregation, but if it is anything that strictly requires segregation to the level I saw in Pakistan then that is far too shortsighted and frankly stupid.

Edited by King
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14 minutes ago, Qa'im said:

 I know from experience that in places like Riyadh, men are pretty regularly "approached" by other men, sometimes in a vulgar way. There may not be much statistical evidence for this, but ask anyone who lived there, it is a rampant problem.

Just wanted to add that there will never be statistical evidence unfortunately, which some posters above were asking for.

The places that practice segregation are those who preach religion. Does anyone think these dictator-run middle eastern countries in particular, will investigate and admit the colossal problem they have regarding non-consensual homosexuality and even pedophilia, not just in school but outside of school? They'll never admit it, esp considering their leaders are often offenders themselves.

Edited by dragonxx
typo
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3 hours ago, 2Timeless said:

I went to a segregated school, and the girls there also did their fair share of silly and haram things. It doesn't matter where you put someone, if they have weak iman and they want to do haram, they'll do it anywhere. Not only did some girls at my school do alot of haram, but I also felt like I was in a bubble.

I fully agree with the bolded part.

...buuuuuut I still think segregration is preferable because on the flip side there will be honest, pious young adults who may otherwise slip up in that unsegregated environment, and then trying to avoid sin after that is like climbing a soapy water slide that gets steeper with each sin. Yes, some sin regardless of segregation, but the segregation acts as a barrier of protection for those who are well intentioned

3 hours ago, 2Timeless said:

I wasn't prepared for the inevitable interactions I'd have with boys. I would read into everything etc, I was just alot more socially awkward on a whole. Being born and raised in the west, I think it's very important to know how to deal with the opposite gender. 

perhaps this is a blessing, being comfortable around the opposite sex sounds cool but in reality it leads to much fasad in general, 

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The thing is we can't say that it is the segregated schools themselves that are causing the increased numbers of homosexual acts there unless we have studies that support that notion. 

Personally I blame people's lack of true faith as the leading cause for the increase of homosexuality. I also blame the satanistic rulers in this world that are spreading pro homo propaganda. 

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