London, Nov 11 : Worried about your boy's poor academic performance? It is time to get him enrolled in schools where the majority of pupils are girls. A new study reveals that boys are likely to perform better in schools where the opposite sex outnumber them.
School learning environment affects the academic performances of both girls and boys, therefore, boys are more likely to benefit from having higher number of girls in their school.
Researchers noted that characteristics more commonly associated with girls' academic behaviour such as higher levels of concentration and motivation to perform well further puts a positive influence on the boys' academic performances.
"Boys' poorer reading performance really is a widespread, but unfortunately also under studied problem. Our study shows that the issue is reinforced when boys attend schools with a predominantly male student population," said Margriet van Hek, researcher at the Utrecht University in Netherlands.
"Yet schools can help improve this situation by ensuring a balanced gender distribution in their student population," Hek added.
Researchers studied over 200,000 pupils, aged around 15 years, and discovered that boys' performance was significantly better in schools where more than 60 per cent of the pupils were girls.
The study, published in the School Effectiveness and School Improvement, showed that higher the number of girls in schools, the more productive the learning environment would be.
It also suggested that single-sex schools and vocational education, where subjects are often heavily weighted towards a particular gender may not be beneficial to boys' learning at the same time.