When you think back to the pigtail-pulling and stink bombs, did most of the madness in your grammar-school years come from boys? Sure, there's a special kind of torture that goes on between roving packs of girls. But when it comes to book learnin', a new study says that while boys benefit from being in a classroom with girls, girls do not benefit from being in a classroom with boys. Tim Harford writes in Slate:
Boys pollute the educational system, it seems, for a number of unmysterious reasons: They wear down teachers, disrupt classes, and ruin the atmosphere for everyone. And more boys are worse than fewer boys, not because they egg each other on but simply because more of them can cause more trouble in total.
But it's not just that boys make for a bad learning environment. Girls make school better! According to the study, "Results suggest that an increase in the proportion of girls leads to a significant improvement in students' cognitive outcomes."
Our sister went to an all-girls school for 10 years and she says she was "more focused." But we went to school with lots and lots of boys, and learned the art of flirting via written notes, which we like to think lead to writing in general and eventually, Jezebel. Of course, our sister plans on saving the world through veterinary wildlife medicine and we plan on writing about ugly shoes during fashion week, but whatever.
Snips, Snails, and Puppy Dog Tails [Slate]
(Dynamic Einstein image via Hetemeel)