Why Parents Enroll Their Daughters in All-Girl Schools

About two thirds of all students in same-sex schools nationwide are girls. Researchers at the University of Kansas and Arizona State University have completed a study on why parents choose to place their children in all-girl schools.

Meagan Patterson, assistant professor of psychology and research in education at the University of Kansas and coauthor of the study, stated, “These schools are increasing in popularity, but we don’t know why administrators are establishing them, or why parents and students are choosing them.” Dr. Patterson is a graduate of  the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She holds a master’s degree and a Ph.D. in developmental psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

For the study, the researchers interviewed nearly 600 middle school students, more than 300 parents and more than 100 teachers. The results found that a perceived gender difference in how children learn was the leading reason that parents choose all-girl schools. The girls’ preference for attending all-girl schools also ranked high in the reasons for enrolling in same-sex schools.

The results showed that parents, students, and teachers did not espouse the belief that boys get preferential treatment in coeducational schools or that girls were academically superior to boys.

The study will be presented at the annual convention of the American Educational Research Association in Vancouver later this month.

Filed Under: Research/Study


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