Skip Nav
Food and Activities
30 Ways For Kids to Use Up Energy Without Leaving the House
If You've Ever Tried to Get a Kid to Take a Bath, You've Heard These 27 Excuses
The Parenting Advice You Might Want to Skip These Days

All-Girls School Pros and Cons

Do All-Girls Schools Cause Confidence Issues?

For decades, parents have sent their daughters to all-girls schools to provide an education free from social pressures. New research, however, may have them rethinking that decision. A recent study found that girls who attend same-sex schools felt more pressure to adhere to gender norms than those who attended mix-gender school. Students at same-sex schools were also more likely to weigh their self-worth on social standing rather than academic achievements. William M. Bukowski, one of the researchers and the director for the Center of Research in Human Development at Concordia University, was surprised by the results but believes they could be contributed to the social-dosage hypothesis.

"When girls are together without the presence of boys, they’re going to get an extrastrong dose of what it is to be female," Bukowski tells Time. As a result, they feel more pressure to act like a girl and may be bullied if they don't.

Some feel that the results are an inaccurate depiction of same-sex schools in the US. Barbara Wagner, head of Marlborough School in Los Angeles, says her students joke about the lack of effort they put into prepping before school.

"Girls show up pretty natural and pride themselves on how little time it takes them to get ready before they come to school," she says.

She and others also believe the academic benefits of an all-girls education outweigh the potential social problems. Lisa Damour, director of the Center for Research on Girls at Laurel School in Ohio, notes that same-sex schools "support girls in nontraditional fields" and encourage them to pursue these subjects after graduating.

Image Source: Shutterstock
Join The Conversation
EmiliaKoiler1370721671 EmiliaKoiler1370721671 3 years
The only all girls school in my neighborhood is a Catholic one. The girls feel no social pressure at all! They have a uniform, but sweatpants are accepted, so you see girls with hair in messy buns, sweatpants and a polo. It's hilarious, but they totally feel comfortable looking like they would at home. No makeup either! It's a great environment without all the teenage boy drama. :)
SaskiaStuttaford SaskiaStuttaford 3 years
My daughters are in an all girl high school, they feel they can be themselves. There is no bullying, they are happy and confident. I would choose it over and over again. They have a lot less social pressure than my friends kids in mixed gender schools. I do believe that you need to look at more than the gender issue when you 'study' a school, there are many things that contribute to how children behave towards each other in a group situation. I was in an all girl school as well and loved every second of it!!
Minnesotamom Minnesotamom 3 years
Im a teacher at a preschool have been for 11 years. I do agree same gender schools can be very beneficial. I also have to agree on the negative aspects of female based schools because I see these same things displayed in some 3-5 year olds! You would be utterly shocked at some of the behavior and language of these very young children.
juliadoherty juliadoherty 3 years
First this article and the one it links to are both representative of bad journalism. A study... But you can't get to the info, nor is it provided on the article, about who conducted the study and who financed it. This is important information given that the ACLU is currently embroiled in a legal battle regarding same sex education and many previous studies have shown same sex education to be beneficial to girls in raising confidence and focusing on academics. Secondly, the article is imbalanced because it fails to cite alternate studies that show the benefit of same sex education which there are more of than those that report negative out comes. What this article actually says the study found regardless of the sensationalized headline is that same sex schools reinforce gender stereotypes. Yes this could be challenging if your child is outside of those stereotypes, but for girls who do conform to traditional "girly girl" roles it would not be such an issue. This is a can of worms for another day but there are also some studies that show that individuals who fall too far outside typical gender stereotypes have a more difficult time in a variety of social situations (regardless of whether their school was coed or same sex). The right or wrongness of that is not the issue at hand the reality of it is. To suppose that increased social pressure to conform to gender stereotypes is on the whole bad for all students is predicated on the ideal of equality which while noble is not the reality if the world where are kids will compete for jobs. Finally it fails to acknowledge that the vast majority of same sex schools are in fact private schools where students and /or families self select to attend. It would be quite rare in the US to find students in the public education sector in same sex schools. Therefor students who feel uncomfortable with the gender stereotyping could easily stop paying the tuition and leave the school.
AnnPage212 AnnPage212 3 years
Any singe sex school is a very bad idea, I have four boys and the local authority tried to force us to send them to an all boy school but we just wouldn't stand for it, we insisted that places were found for them in a mixed school, even though it is a bit further away and they gave to use buses to get there and back each day. I really do feel very strongly about this. Single sex schools encourage a very false and artificial idea of the world and can cause a lot of problems. How can they possibly be helping to prepare our kids for the outside world by making them spend so much time in such a ridiculous,false world?!
Muffin Recipes For Kids
Is Running Every Day Bad For My Body?
Joe Biden Cornell University Commencement Speech
Toddlers Make Many Things More Difficult
From Our Partners
Latest Moms
All the Latest From Ryan Reynolds