Society: Separated by gender: There are still girls' schools

There were only six schools in Hesse where girls were left alone last school year.

Society: Separated by gender: There are still girls' schools

There were only six schools in Hesse where girls were left alone last school year. In the classroom, in the playground, in the hallways - with a few exceptions, no boys appear anywhere. Students are not welcome at girls' schools.

In the last school year, a total of around 4,000 students attended a girls' school in Hesse. These so-called monoeducational schools existed in Bensheim, Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, Fulda, Hanau-Großauheim, Königstein im Taunus and Offenbach, as the Hessian Ministry of Culture informed the German Press Agency. There was also a single boys' school in Sinntal in East Hesse.

The Marienschule for girls in Fulda explains: "From the perspective of developmental psychology, girls in the lower and middle school window are one to two years ahead of boys of the same age." Girls' classes therefore enable "more targeted teaching and easier access for the students to the learning content".

According to scientific studies, female students benefit from girls' classes, especially in the so-called MINT subjects of mathematics, computer science, natural sciences and technology. “Discussing scientific and technical topics that is not laden with gender-typical prejudices makes it easier for girls to become enthusiastic about physics, chemistry or computer science,” explains the Marienschule. It is no coincidence "that even today a far disproportionate share of university graduates in the natural sciences come from girls' schools."

The Koblenz education professor Wiebke Waburg also explains: "It turns out that girls in monoeducational contexts don't hold back as much when it comes to physics." The choice of course in particular falls into a phase “in which girls and boys continue to develop their gender identities”. The question of who someone wants to be attractive to still plays a big role in our society at this age. Some of the girls withdraw from joint physics lessons because it is a “male-connoted subject”.

But doesn't separation emphasize gender roles and reproduce supposed differences? “You have the paradox: First of all, gender is the basis for admission, but then the diversity can become more apparent,” says Waburg. "Because you don't think, 'I have to act like a typical girl.'"

However, the Fuldaer Marienschule has now made a U-turn for its upper school, 290 years after it was founded: for a few months now, it has also been accepting boys here in general and not just in individual cross-school courses. “After middle school, the developmental psychological differences between girls and boys have largely leveled out,” explains the school. And the number of students in the upper school is declining. The male onslaught is still manageable. At St. Mary's School they say: "So far we have two or three boys in the upper school." The new offer still needs to get around more.

Marienschule in Fulda to promote girls