The evidence, according to this team of researchers, is that co-education is superior to single-sex education.
What are your thoughts?
Feminists tend to be of two minds about single-sex schooling. One group thinks single-sex classes are wonderful (for girls) because they provide a protected environment in which girls can learn without playing dumb to attract boys, focusing on their appearance, being distracted by (hetero)sexual attraction to classmates, dealing with male classmates’ sexist behavior, or competing with males for leadership opportunities. (This camp tends to be more ambivalent about single-sex schooling for boys, given that elite all-male academies were formerly bastions of privilege.) Such advocates rattle off an impressive list of female leaders, including Hillary Clinton and Condoleezza Rice, who attended all-female high schools or colleges.
Another group of feminists views single-sex environments as harmful because they provide an artificial world in which gender differences are reified as legitimate bases for disparate treatment, and males and females are both left unprepared to negotiate egalitarian relationships. This group points to the impressive educational gains made by women since the 1972 passage of Title IX, which outlawed sex discrimination in federally funded schools. As proof of coeducational schooling’s merits, they note that women have since advanced to the point where they now make up 57 percent of college students, 44 percent of college math majors, and 47 percent of medical students, among many other accomplishments….
First, decades of research on academic outcomes from around the world has failed to demonstrate an advantage to single-sex schooling, in spite of popular belief to the contrary. Of course, there are some terrific single-sex schools out there….
The second line of evidence stems from neuroscience. It has become common lore among parents and teachers that gender differences in brain function mean “boys and girls learn differently.” However, the bulk of scientific evidence demonstrates nothing of the sort. …
Which brings us to the third line of evidence supporting coeducation: research suggesting that single-sex schooling facilitates social stereotypes and prejudice in children.