Over the past 13 years there has been a 40 percent rise in the number of elementary-school students in Israel’s state religious system whose classes are segregated by gender.
The claim is made in a recent study by Ariel Finkelshtain, a researcher for Ne’emanei Torah Va’Avodah, an organization that describes itself as a religious-Zionist movement that seeks to promote the values of tolerance, equality and justice within Jewish religious society.
The study found a positive association between greater degrees of gender separation in these schools and higher socioeconomic levels among the students’ families.
In elementary schools in the state religious system in which no classes are separated by gender, 34.5 percent of the students on average come from lower-income families, compared to 25 percent in schools with some gender-segregated classes and just 9 percent in schools where all the classes were sex-segregated.
The study, which was based on data from an Education Ministry website, also found a greater ratio of boys to girls in schools with a policy of gender integration in its classes, and a corresponding smaller ratio in schools with more gender segregation.
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