Professor Says Separating Kids By Gender Doesn’t Prepare Them For Adult Life

The Girl Scouts’ recent pushback against the Boy Scouts’ discussions about going co-ed may be shortsighted when it comes to preparing young girls for adulthood.

By Michael MarksAugust 25, 2017 1:06 pm

The  Girl Scouts have a message for the Boy Scouts: Stay off our turf!

Earlier this week, Girl Scouts President Kathy Hannan sent a strongly-worded letter to her counterpart at the Boy Scouts, Randall Stephenson. The Boy Scouts have begun looking into opening their program to girls in response to flagging membership. In its defense, the Boy Scouts said in a statement that it’s evaluating the possibility of serving the whole family.

Dr. Margaret Signorella, a professor of psychology and Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University says the research shows it doesn’t really matter whether kids are separated by gender because the outcomes are the same.

“The results are pretty clear that there’s no consistent difference in outcomes if you look at cognitive performance, if you look at attitudes. There’s really no consistent advantage for one particular organizational scheme versus the other,” she says.

She says that leaves many people to wonder why schools and other institutions separate kids by gender, especially when scouting, for example is co-ed in other countries. Plus, she says the separation doesn’t prepare kids for the reality of modern adult life.


Written by Caroline Covington.