If you think that sending your baby girl to an all-girls school rather than a co-education institution would be a good idea, you're mistaken, for according to a new study keeping boys and girls together is actually beneficial for their academic progress.
The study, conducted by Tel Aviv University researchers, found that girls improve boys' grades markedly at school.
"Being with more girls is good for everybody," said Prof. Analia Schlosser, an economist from the Eitan Berglas School of Economics at Tel Aviv University.
"We find that both boys and girls do better when there are more girls in the class," she added.
In the study, the research team investigated girls and boys in mixed classrooms in the elementary, middle, and high-school grades of the Israeli school system.
In an unpublished paper, Prof. Schlosser concluded that classes with more than 55 percent of girls resulted in better exam results and less violent outbursts overall.
"It appears that this effect is due to the positive influence the girls are adding to the classroom environment," said Schlosser.
The study found that boys with more female peers in their classes showed higher enrollment rates in both advanced math and science classes, but overall benefits were found in all grades for both sexes.
Schlosser found that primary-school classrooms with a female majority showed increased academic success for both boys and girls, along with a notable improvement in subjects like science and math.
In the middle schools, girls were found to have better academic achievement in English, languages and math. And in high school, the classrooms which had the best academic achievements overall were consistently those that had a higher proportion of girls enrolled.
Schlosser concluded that educators should reconsider the effects of the new trend of same-sex segregation on different sectors of society. Gains for girls from classroom gender segregation could be offset by the loss of boys.