Single-Sex School Can Help Students Be More Well-Rounded

Ashley Thorne

NAS Board of Advisors member Christina Hoff Sommers weighs in on a question posed by Room for Debate at the New York Times : "Is single-sex education in general -- public or private, from elementary school through college -- helpful or harmful?" Sommers' argument - that this is a necessary option - includes something I hadn't thought of before:

Single-sex schooling is not for everyone. But it can help some students to become more focused and well-rounded. Girls cannot leave it to boys to dissect the frog, and boys cannot leave it to girls to edit the school newspaper. When a 2007 British study compared life outcomes for thousands of middle-aged graduates of single-sex and coed schools, it found that “gender stereotypes” were “exacerbated” in coed schools and “moderated” in single-sex schools. In single-sex schools, males were more likely to focus on language and literature, and females on math and science. And for girls, "single-sex schooling was linked to higher wages.”

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