Monday, Oct 24 2022

Single-Sex schooling doesn’t provide academic benefits compared with coeducational schooling, except when there is a strong preference for single-sex schools

Original posted by Gontzal Uriarte

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Scientific Articles

  • Pahlke, E., Hyde, J. S., & Allison, C. M. (2014). The effects of single-sex compared with coeducational schooling on students’ performance and attitudes: a meta-analysis. Psychological bulletin140(4), 1042–1072.
  • Pahlke, E. and Hyde, J.S. (2016), The Debate Over Single-Sex Schooling. Child Dev Perspect, 10, 81-86.
  • Hayes, A.R., Pahlke, E.E. & Bigler, R.S. The Efficacy of Single-Sex Education: Testing for Selection and Peer Quality Effects. Sex Roles 65, 693–703 (2011).
  • Jackson, C. K. (2012). Single-sex schools, student achievement, and course selection: Evidence from rule-based student assignments in Trinidad and Tobago. Journal of public economics96(1-2), 173-187.

Explanation of the Post

Proponents of single-sex education believe that separating boys and girls, by classrooms or schools, increases students’ achievement and academic interest. Is this true?


  1. “In this article, we use meta-analysis to analyze studies that have tested the effects on students of SS compared with coeducational (CE) schooling. We meta-analyzed data from 184 studies, representing the testing of 1.6 million students in Grades K–12 from 21 nations, for multiple outcomes (e.g., mathematics performance, mathematics attitudes, science performance, educational aspirations, self-concept, gender stereotyping). […] Results from the highest quality studies, then, do not support the view that Single-Sex schooling provides benefits compared with Coeducational schooling.”
  2. “Overall, findings suggest that single-sex schooling is not more effective than coeducational schooling at improving students’ academic achievement or attitudes”
  3. “After controlling for selection and peer quality effects, there was no significant effect of the gender composition of schools on achievement.”

However, there are studies that qualify the results.

  1. “Single-sex schools have no effect on over 85% of students, but Single-sex schools have large positive effects only on students with strong preferences for single-sex schools.” (Jackson, 2012)

Other sources

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1 Comment

  1. In this study: “the difference was statistically significant only for science” for girls attending Catholic single-sex schools in adolescence.

    Maciej Koniewski & Anna Hawrot (2022) Are single-sex schools more effective than the coed ones? The effect of single-sex schooling on achievement among female adolescents in Catholic schools, Research Papers in Education, 37:6, 907-928, DOI: 10.1080/02671522.2021.1886318

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