Science Fights to Keep Education Coed, Dating a Possibility

September 23, 2011

It's a dearly held adage among some people: students in single sex schools do better academically than coed students. Apparently, the opposite sex is a complete and total distraction and taking them away increases grades. Although we've got to wonder if this isn't just teachers doing a little buck-passing instead of telling parents their kids are thick.

Anyway, it turns out this idea has never actually had the old scientific rigor taken to it, so science stepped in and did just that. And it is...drumroll please...pretty much total B.S.!

It turns out that all the studies saying this was the case failed to take into account a few minor details when researching these schools. Like, for example, that a lot of the schools studied had higher grades in general...but that was more easily explained by the fact that they were academically more rigorous, required students who were already doing pretty well grade wise in the first place, and that any screwups were rapidly packed off to another school. In short, they realized what anybody who got decent grades in a public high school could have told them: yeah, hot women are distracting but they're not THAT distracting.

The study also found that all those statements about “gender-specific learning styles” are basically just people thinking along sexist lines. There's zero actual scientific proof it's true. In other words, we put the smart kids together with good teachers and expect more of them, they do pretty well. Shocking, we know.

Photo: CComstock/Comstock Images/Getty Images