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World-renowned scholars have recommended the following books and research articles for in-depth information about gender differences, gender and academic performance, and boys’ and girls’ interactional styles. Resources like these can aid parents and educators to make an informed decision about the benefits of coeducational schooling.
|Pink Brain, Blue Brain: How Small Differences Grow into Troublesome Gaps|
by Lise Eliot, Ph.D.
|Sex Differences in Cognitive Abilities|
by Diane F. Halpern, Ph.D.
by Judith E. Owen Blakemore, Ph.D., Sheri A. Berenbaum, Ph.D., and Lynn S. Liben, Ph.D.
|Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture|
by Peggy Orenstein
by Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman
|Delusions of Gender: How our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference|
by Cordelia Fine, Ph.D.
|The Trouble with Boys: A Surprising Report Card on Our Sons, Their Problems at School, and What Parents and Educators Must Do|
by Peg Tyre
|The Problem with Boys’ Education: Beyond the Backlash|
Edited by Wayne Martino, Ph.D., Michael Kehler, Ph.D., and Marcus B. Weaver-Hightower, Ph.D.
|Learning Together: A History of Coeducation in American Schools|
by David Tyack and Elisabeth Hansot
|Handbook for Achieving Gender Equity through Education (2nd edition)|
Edited by Susan S. Klein, Barbara Richardson, Dolores A. Grayson, Lynn H. Fox, Cheris Kramarae, Dianne S. Pollard, and Carol Anne Dwyer
|Benign Bigotry: The Psychology of Subtle Prejudice|
by Kristin J. Anderson, Ph.D.
|Deep Secrets: Boys’ Friendships and the Crisis of Connection|
by Niobe Way, Ph.D.
|Engaging Education: Developing Emotional Literacy, Equity, and Co-education |
by Brian Matthews
Arthur, A. E., Bigler, R. S., Liben, L. S., Gelman, S. A., & Ruble, D. N. (2008). Gender stereotyping and prejudice in young children: A developmental intergroup perspective. In S. R. Levy & M. Killen (Eds.), Intergroup attitudes and relations in childhood through adulthood (pp. 66-86). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
From a remarkably early age, young children exhibit stereotyping and prejudice on the basis of gender. This paper describes the mechanisms that are hypothesized to drive the formation of gender biases among children. Specifically, the role of environmental (e.g., adults’ use of gender labels) and child variables (e.g., self-esteem, classification skill) in shaping children’s tendency to categorize and stereotype others on the basis of gender are discussed. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Rebecca Bigler (email@example.com).
Bigler, R. S. (1995). The role of classification skill in moderating environmental influences on children's gender stereotyping: A study of the functional use of gender in the classroom. Child Development, 66, 1072-1087.
Elementary school teachers often use gender to label (“Good morning, boys and girls”) and organize (having children sit boy, girl, boy, girl) students in their classroom. The causal effects of such practices on children’s gender attitudes were examined. Results indicated that teacher’s labeling and use of gender increases their student’s levels of gender stereotyping. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Rebecca Bigler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Brandt, M. J. (in press). Sexism and gender inequality across 57 societies. Psychological Science.
Past research has indicated a correlation between societal sexism and gender inequality; however, researchers are still unsure whether there is a causal relationship between these two variables. Interview data from almost 83,000 participants across 57 countries were collected at two time points. At the first time point, the gender inequality, sexism, health, wealth, and education level of each country were assessed. Three years later, gender-inequality information was again collected. Higher levels of sexism at Time 1 predicted lower levels of gender equality at Time 2. This study is the first to provide evidence that sexism temporally precedes gender inequality, which indicates a causal relationship between these two variables. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Richard Fabes (email@example.com).
Datnow, A., Hubbard, L., & Woody, E. (2001). Is single gender schooling viable in the public sector? Lessons from California’s pilot program. Final report.
In 1997, the state of California issued $500,000 grants to six school districts to test out single-sex education. As this report details, the experiment was a failure. After just three years, five of the six districts had shut their programs. Of the many challenges, researchers singled out the tendency of teachers to reinforce traditional gender role stereotypes as a particular problem triggered by the segregated learning environment. This report can be accessed at http://eric.ed.gov/PDFS/ED471051.pdf.
Eliot, L. (2011). Single-sex education and the brain. Sex Roles. Advance online publication: DOI 10.1007/s11199-011-0037-y
Of the various rationales for sex-segregated education, the claim that boys and girls should be taught in separate classrooms because their brains differ is arguably the weakest. This article evaluates claims about sex differences in children's brain maturation, hearing, vision, stress response, learning styles, and gonadal hormone (estrogen and testosterone) effects that are often used to justify single-sex education and demonstrates the weakness of the evidence behind them. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Lise Eliot (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Eliot, L. (2011). The myth of pink and blue brains. Best of Educational Leadership, 68, 32-36.
This article, geared toward teachers, challenges the claim of “hardwired” learning differences between boys and girls. Most behavioral sex differences are smaller than popularly perceived and shaped by experience, practice, and social expectations more than genes or hormones. After laying out the evidence for this position, the article highlights ways teachers can exploit neuroplasticity to better close academic gaps between boys and girls. Access the article.
Halpern, D. F., Benbow, C. P., Geary, D. C., Gur, R. C., Hyde, J. S., & Gernsbacher, M. A. (2007). The science of sex differences in science and mathematics. Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 8, 1-51.
In this “juried peer review” article, researchers from diverse backgrounds review sex differences in science and mathematics. They discuss various findings and the theories and research designed to explain sex differences. The authors conclude that although there is evidence for both sex differences and similarities, there is no rationale for sex-segregated education. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Diane Halpern (email@example.com).
Hayes, A. R., Pahlke, E. E., & Bigler, R. S. (in press). The efficacy of single-sex education: Testing for selection and peer quality effects. Sex Roles: A Journal of Research.
Single-sex school may improve academic achievement because those students who attend such school are more academically gifted prior to enrollment than those students who coeducational schools. This paper tests the notion that peers’ academic skills--rather than their gender- predicts individuals’ academic performance. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Rebecca Bigler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hilliard, L. J., & Liben, L. S. (2010). Differing levels of gender salience in preschool classrooms: Effects on children's gender attitudes and intergroup bias. Child Development, 81, 1787-1798.
In this study, gender was made more salient in some preschool classrooms by actions such as asking boys and girls to post their work on separate bulletin boards and to line up separately to go to lunch. After just two weeks, children in those classrooms became more gender-stereotyped and spent less time playing with children of the other sex during free play time. The findings imply that educational settings that separate boys and girls – as in single-sex classrooms within a school – are likely to increase gender stereotyping and decrease opportunities for boys and girls to learn from and with one another. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Lynn Liben (email@example.com).
Hyde, J. S. (2005). The gender similarities hypothesis. American Psychologist, 60, 581-592.
The differences model, which argues that males and females are vastly different psychologically, dominates the popular media and is an assumption behind single-sex schooling. In this article, the author advances a very different view, the gender similarities hypothesis, which holds that males and females are similar on most, but not all, psychological variables. Results from a review of 46 meta-analyses support the gender similarities hypothesis. Overinflated claims of gender differences carry substantial costs in areas such as the workplace, education, and relationships. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Janet Hyde (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Hyde, J. S., Lindberg, S. M., Linn, M. C., Ellis, A., & Williams, C. (2008). Gender similarities characterize math performance. Science, 321, 494-495.
Stereotypes that girls and women lack mathematical ability persist and are widely held by parents and teachers. In this study, data were analyzed from more than 7 million children from 10 states, based on standardized testing mandated by No Child Left Behind legislation. The results indicate that girls have reached parity with boys in mathematics performance, at all ages ranging from grade 2 to grade 11. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Janet Hyde (email@example.com).
Jackson, C. K. (2011). Single-sex schools, student achievement, and course selection: Evidence from rule-based student assignments in Trinidad and Tobago. National Bureau of Economics Research Working Paper 16817: http://www.nber.org/papers/w16817
The author, C. Kirabo Jackson, points out the difficulties in eliminating selection effects in studies of single-sex education. He found that single sex schools and classes reinforce sex stereotypes. For example, C. Kirabo Jackson found that females took fewer science courses in single-sex schools. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Diane Halpern (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Jackson, J. (2010). ‘Dangerous presumptions’: How single‐sex schooling reifies false notions of sex, gender, and sexuality. Gender and Education, 22, 227-238.
This article examines how proponents of single-sex schooling discount the complexity of sex, gender, and sexuality by ignoring the ways in which gender is negotiated, constructed, and performed; the variability of anatomical sex; and the existence of sexualities other than that of heterosexual. Instead, current arguments for single-sex schooling reify the false binaries of sex and gender, rely on assumptions of heteronormativity and, in turn, negate the existence of multiple sexes, genders, and sexual orientations. This article can be accessed at http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/09540250903359452.
Kane, J. M., & Mertz, J. E. (2012). Debunking myths about gender and mathematics performance. Notices of the American Mathematical Society, 59, 10-21. Mertz and Kane analyzed standardized math test scores from 86 countries to weigh several competing hypotheses regarding the gender gap in math performance. The cross-cultural data do not indicate that single-sex schooling reduces the math gender gap. In addition, the dominant religious practice of a country is not a factor in the math gender gap. Instead, math achievement for both girls and boys is higher in countries with greater gender equality, and particularly, women’s greater participation in the paid labor force. This article can be accessed at http://www.ams.org/staff/jackson/fea-mertz.pdf.
Klein, Susan S. (in press). The risks of sex segregated public education for girls, boys, and everyone. In J. Martin (Ed.), Women as leaders in education: Succeeding despite inequity, discrimination, and other challenges. Santa Barbara, CA: ABC-CLIO, Inc.
This chapter shows how research and public policy reinforce each other to explain why the 2006 U.S. Department of Education weakened Title IX Regulation to allow increased sex segregated public education should be rescinded and why single-sex public education should only be allowed under the 1975 Title IX regulations if it is more effective in achieving gender equity outcomes than comparable (less risky) coeducation. Rigorous legal, research, and practical standards are provided to determine if any sex segregation should be allowed even if its advocates claim that it will increase gender equality. To obtain a copy of this chapter, contact Dr. Sue Klein (email@example.com). .
Lamb, L., Bigler, R. S., Liben, L. S., & Green, V. A. (2009). Teaching children to confront peers’ sexist remarks: Implications for theories of gender development and educational practice. Sex Roles, 61, 361-382.
Elementary school-age children frequently are exposed to sexist comments made by their peers. This study documents the efficacy of a program designed to teach boys and girls to recognize and confront forms of sexism (e.g., excluding and stereotyping others on the basis of gender). To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Rebecca Bigler (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Martin, C. L., Kornienko, O., Schaefer, D., Hanish, L., Fabes, R. A., & Goble, P. (2011). The role of peers and gender-typed activities in young children’s peer affiliative networks: A longitudinal analysis of selection and influence. Manuscript submitted for publication.
The results of longitudinal social network analyses showed that children’s choices of play partners is influenced by the sex of playmates and some of the appeal of same-sex children is because of sharing interest in gender-typed activities. Over time, peers socialize children to share more interests in common. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Carol Martin (email@example.com).
Moller, A. C., Forbes-Jones, E., Hightower, A. D., & Friedman, R. (2008). The developmental influence of sex composition in preschool classrooms: Boys fare worse in preschool classrooms with more boys. Early Childhood Research Quarterly, 23, 409-418.
Mollen and his colleagues analyzed data from 70 preschool classrooms (806 children), exploring cognitive outcomes as a function of the percentage of boys and girls in each classroom. They found that girls’ cognitive performance did not vary with the gender composition of the classroom, but boys did better in classrooms with a higher percentage of girls. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Diane Halpern (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Martin, C. L., & Fabes, R. A. (2001). The stability and consequences of same-sex peer interactions. Developmental Psychology, 37, 431-446.
In a longitudinal study of preschool-age children, the results showed that the “social dosage” of same-sex peers that children interacted with in the fall predicted changes in their behavior several months later. As social dosage of same-sex peers increased, both sexes became more gender-typed in their interests and in their behavior, with boys becoming more aggressive and rough and tumble in their play, and girls engaged in more play near adults. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Carol Martin (email@example.com).
Sadker, D., & Zittleman, K. (2004). Single-sex schools: A good idea gone wrong? The Christian Science Monitor, April 8, 2004, 9. To obtain a copy of this article, contact Dr. Diane Halpern (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Sinno, S. M., & Killen, M. (2011). Social reasoning about ‘second-shift’ parenting. British Journal of Developmental Psychology, 29, 313-329. Findings from this study indicate that children view “second-shift” parenting (i.e., fulfilling both career and domestic duties) as unfair for fathers but normative and conventional for mothers. The authors interpret their finding to have consequences for girls’ perceptions of their own expectations regarding aspirations for high-powered jobs, which often require shared parenting duties and fathers sharing domestic roles and rearing of children.
Sinno, S. M., & Killen, M. (2009). Moms at work and dads at home: Children’s evaluations of parental roles. Applied Developmental Psychology, 13, 16-29. This study demonstrates that boys and girls view mothers’ working as a matter of autonomy, but view fathers’ decisions to stay home as caretakers as “wrong”. The authors interpret their findings to have implications for girls’ academic expectations; girls may be less likely to pursue ambitious careers if they do not view caretaking as a shared activity.