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Single-sex and co-educational schooling: What are the social and family outcomes, in the short and longer term?

By Alice Sullivan, Heather Joshi and Diana Leonard


This paper considers the question of whether attending a single-sex or co-educational secondary school made any difference to a range of social outcomes for girls and boys at school, and for men and women as they progressed through the life course. We examine these questions using data from a large and nationally representative sample of British respondents born in 1958. The outcomes examined include whether or not the participants liked school; their histories of partnership formation and dissolution; childbearing; attitudes to gender roles; and well-being. Among the minority of outcomes showing a significant link to attending a single sex school were lower truancy, and for males, dislike of school, divorce, and malaise at 42 (if they had been to private or grammar schools)

Year: 2012
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