Co-Ed vs. Single Sex Education


The pros and cons of single sex schools are worth considering. You may have noticed the intense debates online regarding this topic with groups speaking passionately on both sides of the conversation. The advantages and disadvantages of single gender schools can be a matter of opinion and at times, of fact. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of single sex schools.


Let’s talk about some of the criticisms of single sex education. While we admit to our bias as an all girl’s therapeutic boarding school, there are some important points that debate against single gender schools for you to consider.

Lack of Socialization with the Opposite Sex

For some parents and educators, there is a concern that by segregating genders, there isn’t enough interaction with the opposite sex. They worry that this may risk the possibility of a lack of development of social skills amongst students. Based on experience and self reported research from Dr. Linda Sax, UCLA, Women Graduates of Single-Sex and Coeducational High Schools: Differences in their Characteristics and the Transition to College, the majority ( 60%) of girls’ school grads report higher self-confidence over their coed peers (54%) which likely contributes to fluid and healthy social skills.

Lack of Mixed Gender Social and Extra-Curricular Activities

While this is a valid point, for students who struggle to relate in age-appropriate ways with the opposite gender, single sex educational settings provide a lack of distraction in the classroom and the opportunity for structured time outside of school to socialize with the opposite sex.

Promotes Gender Stereotypes

This argument against single gender schools voices a concern that there will be limited opportunity for the opposite sex to challenge themselves outside of what is typically expected of their gender (girls not being as competent in math and sciences, maybe boys not learning emotional intelligence skill sets, etc). There is, however, tremendous benefit in constructing a classroom and curriculum to be tailored to girls’ or boys’ learning styles. Additionally, models of leadership can be expanded.


There are benefits of single sex schools that can’t be overlooked. In particular, let’s look at some of the research and outcomes of single gender education. As a therapeutic boarding school for girls, we focus here on all girls’ schools outcomes. Here are a few single gender schools statistics:

Builds Self Confidence

“All-girls settings seem to provide girls a certain comfort level that helps them develop greater self-confidence and broader interests, especially as they approach adolescence.” —Dr. Rosemary C. Salomone, St. John’s University, Same, Difference, Equal: Rethinking Single-Sex Schooling

Increased Ambition & Career Goals

“Students at all-girls schools have higher aspirations and greater motivation than their female peers at coed independent and public schools. 99% of students at all-girls schools expect to earn a four-year degree. More than 2/3 expect to earn a graduate or professional degree.” —Dr. Richard A. Holmgren, Allegheny College, Steeped in Learning: The Student Experience at All-Girls Schools

Past All Girl’s School Graduate Statistics

“An estimated less than 1% of girls in the United States attend girls’ schools, yet an impressive 20% of the women currently serving in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives graduated from an all-girls school. While only 23% of the current U.S. Senators serving are female, 13% of those women graduated from girls’ schools. Even fewer women—only 19%—currently make up the U.S. House of Representatives, yet an overwhelming 22% graduated from girls’ schools.” —NCGS

If you have any questions about the therapeutic and educational benefits of all girls schools, we’re happy to talk with you.

Give us a call today at 1-877-788-8422

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