Girl students from Brisbane Girls Grammar School , In 19th century Western Europe, the most common way for girls to access education was at home, through private tutoring , and not through schools. This was especially the case in the Austro-Hungarian Empire , which strongly resisted women's involvement in schools. By contrast, in the US, early feminists were successful in establishing women's educational institutions.
Although these were different and considered inferior to men's institutions, they created nevertheless some of the first opportunities to formalized higher education for women in the Western World, with the Seven Sisters colleges offering unprecedented emancipation for women. The pioneer Salem College of Winston-Salem, North Carolina was founded in , originally established as a primary school, later becoming an academy high school and finally a college.
The New England Female Medical College and the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania were the first medical institutions in the world established to train women in medicine and offer them the M. As such, mass elementary education was introduced, and more and more coeducational schools were set up. Together with mass education, the practice of coeducation was universalized in many places.
Increased secularization in the 20th century also contributed to the acceptance of mixed sex education. In coeducation was mandated in the Soviet Union. According to Cornelius Riordan, "By the end of the nineteenth century, coeducation was all but universal in American elementary and secondary public schools see Kolesnick, ; Bureau of Education, ; Butler, ; Riordan, And by the end of the 20th century, this was largely true across the world.
In the UK, Australia, and Ireland the tradition of single sex education remained quite strong until the s. The s and s were a period of intense social changes, and during that era many anti-discrimination laws were passed, such as the Title IX. Wiseman shows that by , only a few countries across the globe have greater than one or two percent single sex schools.
But there are exceptions where the percent of single sex schools exceeds 10 percent: Recently, however, there has been a resurgence of interest in single sex schools in modern societies across the globe, both in the public and private sector Riordan, Advocates argue that it aids student outcomes such as test scores, graduation rates, and solutions to behavioral difficulties.
Opponents, however, argue that evidence for such effects is inflated or non-existent, and instead argue that such segregation can increase sexism and impairs the development of interpersonal skills. Advocates of single-sex education believe that there are persistent gender differences in how boys and girls learn and behave in educational settings, and that such differences merit educating them separately. One version of this argument holds that male-female brain differences favor the implementation of gender-specific teaching methods, but such claims have not held up to rigorous scrutiny.
US systematic review and study[ edit ] A systematic review published in covering studies was commissioned by the US Department of Education entitled Single-sex versus coeducational schooling: The review, which had statistical controls for socio-economic status of the students and resources of the schools, etc. There is some support for the premise that single-sex schooling can be helpful, especially for certain outcomes related to academic achievement and more positive academic aspirations.
For many outcomes, there is no evidence of either benefit or harm. There is limited support for the view that single-sex schooling may be harmful or that coeducational schooling is more beneficial for the student.
Perceptions and Characteristics, which listed the benefits of single-sex schools: The study goes on to conclude that "there is no well-designed research showing that single-sex SS education improves students' academic performance, but there is evidence that sex segregation increases gender stereotyping and legitimizes institutional sexism. They also argue that single-sex schooling does not adequately prepare students for adult workplaces and society, where males and females need to respect and communicate effectively with each other.
Coeducational schools offer greater opportunity to break down sexist attitudes through purposeful interaction with the other sex. Coeducational schools are also said to create greater feelings of safety and mutual respect among students across the gender spectrum. The data comes from schools in South Korea , where a law was passed randomly assigning students to schools in their district.
Random Assignment in Seoul High Schools concluded that "Attending all-boys schools or all-girls schools rather than attending coeducational schools is significantly associated with higher average scores. Allison published a meta-analysis comparing achievement and attitudes in single-sex versus coeducational schools that included 1. The study concluded that "there is little evidence of an advantage of SS schooling for girls or boys for any of the outcomes.
Despite the above conclusion, the research found that, in a separate analysis of just the best studies well controlled conducted in America, the effect size in mathematics was 0. The verbal performance was 0. Educational research has shown that a standard effect size of 0.