Single-Sex Schooling: Friendships, Dating, and Sexual Orientation
Single-sex schooling has been controversial for decades. The current study investigated the differences in friendships, dating, and past, present, and ideal sexual orientation, between 207 college students who attended single-sex secondary schools and 249 college students who attended coeducational secondary schools in Hong Kong, controlling for personal characteristics such as socioeconomic status. We found that, compared to graduates of coeducational schools, graduates of single-sex schools reported a different gender composition in intimate friendships favoring the same sex, less romantic involvement with other-sex close friends, older age at first date, fewer boyfriends or girlfriends, and more past same-sex sexuality. In contrast, we found no significant differences in the interactions with same-sex versus other-sex friends, most aspects of past or present dating engagement, or self-reported present or ideal sexual orientation. These findings give insight into the interpersonal outcomes of single-sex schooling and fill a gap in previous research which has focused on academic achievement and gender role stereotypes.
KeywordsSingle-sex school Sexual orientation Friendship Dating Romantic love
The authors contributed equally to this study.
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