Unlikely as it might seem, I read a piece in the Daily Mail this morning which contained the phrase "powerful gender stereotypes". In context, and with no trace of sarcasm. Honestly, you go on holiday for one short week and everything\x92s all odd when you come back\x85
The article discusses the findings of a London Institute of Education study which followed a group of 13,000 Britons born in 1958 to determine the effect of single sex schooling upon their subsequent lives.
The study has reported that women who attended single sex schools earn more than their co-educated counterparts \x96 by up to 10%. Researchers found no corresponding effect on male wage rates. The research concludes that this is because girls in single sex schools are more likely to study traditionally male subjects, which helps them to break into male-dominated professions and occupations, and because they are given greater confidence in negotiations around salary and promotion.
One of the researchers, a Dr Alice Sullivan, is quoted as saying that "Co-educational schools need to examine the ways in which they, rather than single-sex schools, have – probably unwittingly – enforced powerful gender stereotypes on both girls and boys".
Not quoted in The Mail, but published in the IoE\x92s press release, Dr Sullivan goes on to say "our research emphatically does not support the suggestion that achievement is higher in single sex schools".
Fortunately the world has not yet quite turned on its head. Towards the end of the article The Mail reassures us that these high-achieving single-sex-educated women are in fact not more likely to separate from their partners, or be feminists. Phew!