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Dress Code is Sexist

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 9/14/2016 Category: Education
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 348 times Debate No: 95397
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
Votes (0)




School's dress code in the U.S is utterly ridiculous. The schools would argue that the dress code is meant to bring professionalism, but it is indeed sexist. These rules specifically target girls and women. People are taken out of multiple class periods just because their shorts or skirts were too short, or their shirt was "too low cut", or they have a rip in their jeans above the knee. School dress codes are not teaching kids and teens about professionalism; they're teaching kids to be ashamed of their natural body. These codes are teaching kids to change themselves for societies views.


The dress code measures that you oppose with regards to covering up girls exist to reduce the impact of sexual attraction on education and relationships. I say relationships, as encouraging girls to attract boys by wearing short skirts will simply lead to unhappy relationships. A healthy relationship is founded on shared interests and humour. Of course attraction plays a role, however short skirts make physical attraction the main way to seduce boys, which with the unhealthy relationships that follow, will simply lead to misery.

However a bigger point is its impact on education. It is an undeniable biological fact that teenage boys have enormous sexual drives. This is due to the hormone imbalances that occur during puberty. Now however disturbing this fact may be, schools must try to minimise how this sexual drive affects the concentration and so grades of half their students. Now schools could give boys a hormonal therapy to reduce their sex drive, however I would argue this is an unforgivable attack on the very nature of being male, and consequently sexist.

Or they could reduce the distractions that boys face in the classroom, by banning sex at school, removing short skirts, etc. This may seem like a sexist thing to do, but given that boys are doing far worse than girls at school, I would argue it is something of a necessity.

Now boys may be failing at school for other reasons: maybe the school system is architected against them? Maybe the hormone imbalances of puberty that encourage aggression and sexual attraction lead to distraction and so less listening in class? Maybe boys are simply less clever than girls?

Whatever the reason, any measures that are put in place to improve the grades of boys (who are currently failing), I would welcome.
Debate Round No. 1


The sexual drive of the boys should be controlled by them. It's not like they can't control their own emotions and desires. Plus the girls shouldn't have to pay the price because males can't control their sexual desires. I am bisexual (I like girls as well as boys) and I don't get distracted by girls changing around me or simply showing a little shoulder.

Yes you said that boys biologically have larger sex drives due to their raging hormones. I understand that, but despite that fact, a person is in control of their desires. If boys don't focus on their education, we can't just come to the conclusion that it's because of a woman's body. I get distracted by boys faces at school, yet I still manage to do my work fully.

Also, it's been scientifically proven that girls are more intelligent than boys because girls mature at a faster rate. Boys then get more intelligent than girls after puberty. And boys just so happen to go through puberty after a girl does. ( )

Furthermore, taking girls out of class to dress code them and tell them to change affects their overall education as well. I was once pulled out of class for half the day because there was a 2 inch hole in my jeans. I understand if the girl is wearing booty shorts and her butt is hanging out, but a tiny hole in jeans shouldn't be a big deal. It's stuff like that that is perpetrating rape culture.


Indeed in an ideal world, boys would switch off their libido when at school. Unfortunately such an idea is incredibly naive, given that it simply doesn't work. Males can indeed control their sexual desires, hence they don't rape any girl they take a fancy to. However it may still impact on their concentration. You say you 'understand if the girl is wearing booty shorts and her butt is hanging out', however I ask why that is unacceptable to you, but wearing a short skirt is a right of girls the world over.

Indeed you may not get distracted, but that may be because female libido is far, far less than male. Consequently you wont be as affected. I think it is naive for you to say that boys aren't distracted by sexual attraction. Sexual attraction plays an enormous role in the life of a teenage boy, ask any boy you know, or simply look at the science which shows enormously increased libido during puberty.

You say that girls do better because they mature at a faster rate. Indeed this is true! However I ask how you define mature. After all, maturity is a very wishy washy word, which no dictionary has any real definition of beyond 'fully developed'. I would argue emotional maturity, that girls indeed are more developed in, lead to more focus on work. However I ask what would cause an immature person to lose focus? I think 'girls' would spring to the mind of most teenage boys, which then proceeds to sexual attraction.

I don't think taking girls out of class to put on a longer skirt will seriously have a significant impact on their studies. If it does, then these girls seriously need to get their priorities sorted out.

As for rape culture, what a nonsense phrase. Rapists are criminals, who get punished if proof is sufficient. There were 170,000 rapes in 2015 in the US, yet 1,117,852 drunk driving arrests in 2014. You wouldn't say society encourages drunk driving, yet drunk driving arrests are 6 x more frequent than rapes. Moreover to pretend forcing girls to wear longer skirts encourages rape is simply a ridiculous, untrue statement.
Debate Round No. 2


Jean Kilbourne exclaims, "They (dress codes) send the message that there's a problem with girls. It's basically telling girls that they are sluts and it is telling that they can't control themselves." Ruthann Robson agreed with Jean Kilbourne's statement and also commented on the issue, "It"s telling women and girls that it"s your responsibility to control boys and men and their presumed aggressiveness, and it"s presuming that one, all boys are heterosexual, and two, all boys are aggressive and it"s kind of giving them permission to be aggressive." (

You argued, "I don't think taking girls out of class to put on a longer skirt will seriously have a significant impact on their studies. If it does, then these girls seriously need to get their priorities sorted out." Some girls are lucky enough to just be pulled out of class for a few minutes, but in some cases if the student refuses to change, him/her will be sent home for the day or will have to wait for a parent to bring them a change of clothes. Although, your statement can be turned around in my favor, "I don't think boys sex drives and hormones will have a significant impact on their studies. If it does, then these boys seriously need to get their priorities sorted out." Just changed a few words and it supports my argument.

As for the booty shorts comment, that was a mere example of something that would be a good reason to dress code girls. Skirts/dresses that are too short and show their butt is also unacceptable in an educational environment.

Furthermore, you brought up drunk driving and compared that to rape. Although that had nothing to do with my previous statement about rape culture, it brings up a good point. There are more drunk driving arrests than rape arrests because of, again, sexism. While this is unrelated to the topic, I will comment on it. Most don't believe rape victims, or people blame the victim rather than the rapist due to clothing or the situation in which the incident occurred. Because of that, victims are afraid to speak up about their case because of shame and disbelief from others. Also, male victims of rape aren't often believed because it is presumed that all males want sex, which is not true.

To conclude, dress codes in schools are more so targeted at girls, rather than boys. This is a result of sexism. While our views may be different, the statistics speak for themselves. I appreciate you accepting this debate and using fairly accurate arguments.


Two women talking on 'womensnews' are not a reliable source of information. Dress codes have nothing to do with girls controlling male aggression, I don't even know where this idea sprung from.

If a student refuses to conform to the school rules, then indeed their grades may suffer. Indeed if they shout and cause a nuisance they might be sent out too. Their grades will only suffer if they value their ability to show their thighs over their school grades, hence my comment about priorities. Moreover hormones have nothing to do with priorities. As I said, boys are unable to control their sex drives or hormone balances unless they take hormone therapy (strictly unethical). Consequently claiming that girls choosing to wear short skirts is the same as boys genetically having hormone imbalances is completely wrong.

Pro has written: 'As for the booty shorts comment, that was a mere example of something that would be a good reason to dress code girls. Skirts/dresses that are too short and show their butt is also unacceptable in an educational environment.'

And therein my point was proven. Pro has just admitted that it is unacceptable to wear short skirts, short dresses, or show their 'butts' in an educational environment. Thus I win the debate, as Pro has conceded their position.

As for rape arrests, we live in a glorious age when the justice system runs on innocent before proven guilty. Given that often there is no physical evidence of rape, it is one person's word against another. Thus innocence is assumed, unless evidence comes to light. If you think this is sexist, I would absolutely loath to live in the totalitarian society you claim is an equal one. God forbid a women can ever shout rape and a man be assumed guilty.

In conclusion, dress codes have absolutely nothing to do with the oppression of females. Consequently it is not sexist. Indeed as was mentioned in the comments, a boy can't wear a short skirt or a jockstrap to school, and so these rules are not reserved only for girls. Ultimately this boils down to a debate about modesty. Should girls be expected, or even forced to cover themselves up to some degree? I believe that in order to reduce the distraction and harm that comes from sexually provocative clothing at school, one must simply limit how much both girls AND boys can show each other.

This standpoint was quite astonishingly backed up by Pro who claimed herself that 'Skirts/dresses that are too short and show their butt is also unacceptable in an educational environment.' Given that Pro's initial point was that 'People are taken out of multiple class periods just because their shorts or skirts were too short', they have completely conceded their argument. Consequently you should vote Con. Thank you for the debate, was an interesting one!
Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by BackCommander 1 month ago
"Plus the girls shouldn't have to pay the price because males can't control their sexual desires." Pay what price? Being told to dress in a way society deems appropriate? You, of course, realize that dress codes apply to males as well as females. A male student cannot wear a short skirt either, nor pants with a hole above the knee. It would be sexist if only female students had a dress code and male students could come to school in just a loincloth, if that's not the case then it can't be discriminatory towards females.
Posted by Samcoder1 1 month ago
Who said that dress code exists to encourage professionalism?

The definition of professionalism is: 'the skill, good judgment, and polite behavior that is expected from a person who is trained to do a job well'

There is no reason to assume that a dress code results in or is intended to improve skill, good judgement, or polite behaviour. The closest it gets is encouraging modesty, which indeed some may be resistant to, however how would letting girls wear short skirts encourage modesty?

Indeed school is about more than just the subjects you learn, however sexual attraction is not one of them. No school recognises sex as an appropriate thing to happen at school. Social interaction is not hindered by placing a very liberal limit on how much of a girls body boys at school are allowed to see.

To say that stopping girls from wearing short skirts or high tops is 'hindering (them) from reaching the heights of their potential' is an insult to all girls who aspire beyond strip clubs and prostitution.
Posted by mschechtel17 1 month ago
Hands down pro wins for 3 reasons.
1) Professionalism can't be forced to learn, as forcing a dress code tries to do. Like everything professionalism must be willingly learned and the idea first accepted. When you try to force the idea instant resistance to the idea takes place as a defense mechanism. The person doesn't understand the idea therefore won't feel completely safe participating in it. This resistance may be surpressed, but won't be forever and the rebellion against the idea will come out later in life possibly in a more damaging way and hurting the progress of that individual.

2)The Con said, they are meant to help boys control their sexual urges. The same argument for professionalism applies to this idea. You can't be forced to learn control but must be willing to accept it and learn it on your own and with help.

3)Education in school is about much more than teaching specific subjects like literature, math, and science. For people in school, it's their first experience with social interaction on a large scale as a community. It resembles the world we live in. Learning how to socially interact with peers is just as important as learning specific knowledge about a subject. The Con is afraid of these young kids making mistakes taking away from their specific education on subjects. The truth is the people that are going to make these mistakes will make even bigger ones while in school or later in life if they face to much resistance and feel all control is taken from them. The Con thinks it is beneficial to have a dress code, but in reality they would be making the progress of individuals harder to achieve hindering that individual from reaching the heights of their potential.
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