Single-Sex Schools Have Negative Impact on Kids, Says Study

Monday, September 26, 2011

Boys and girls may be opposites, but new research shows that in the classroom, separating the two sexes may not be the best way for either gender to learn and grow.

A new report, published in the journal Science, states that students who attend single-sex schools are no better educated than those who attend co-ed schools. Plus, children are more likely to accept gender stereotypes when they go to an all-boys or all-girls school.

"There's really no good evidence that single-sex schools are in any way academically superior, but there is evidence of a negative impact," said Lynn Liben, professor of psychology and education at Penn State and co-author of the study. "Kids' own occupational aspirations are going to be limited, and there could be long-term consequences where, for example, girls are used to being in roles only among other girls, then they have to face the real world where that's not the case."

Supporters of single-sex schools argue that boys' and girls' brains are wired differently, and therefore require different teaching styles to maximize education, but study authors note that neuroscientists have not found hard evidence that show differences in girls' and boys' different learning styles.

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