All-girls schools for 4th 5th and 6th graders have positive education benefits, but also tend to reinforce gender stereotypes, according to new research.
The absence of boys in the classroom actually causes girls to reinforce gender stereotypes on themselves and each other, says William Bukowski, one of the researchers in the girls-school study and psychology professor at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada.
More from the Time report:
"It's called the social-dosage hypothesis," Bukowski says. "When girls are together without the presence of boys, they're going to get an extra-strong dose of what it is to be female." Hence, girls at the same-sex school feel more pressure to be "girly." Why those same girls might value their social competence over their academic competence Bukowski couldn't explain.
"I was quite surprised by the results," he says. "But do I think that these result would generalize to schools in North America? I do."
Rosalind Wiseman, author of "Queen Bees and Wannabes," said the results would be different if the study was done in the United States instead of Colombia.
"In cultures where gender and gender expectations are very stratified, expectations are also stratified and rigid," Wiseman told Time. "All-girls schools in the United States have done a lot to combat these expectations and stereotypes. They've undergone a tremendous transformation in the last 20 years in order to stay relevant and survive. They stopped being finishing schools and became this place of opportunity for female empowerment."
On The Daily Circuit, we look at the benefits and drawbacks of single-sex schools. Do the schools create an environment that prepares students for the real world?