The Sexualizing Nature of Dress Codes



Many young women constantly ponder why they get called out for their clothing. Why they need to receive permission from a staff member to continue their day. Such people feel violated and controlled in this manner. Phrases such as, “Are your shoulders are showing”, contribute to such emotions. Dress codes sexualize young women because they are more biased towards girls, lenient towards boys, and affect young women’s perception of their life.

Dress codes sexualize young women by affecting their perception of life. Girls are constantly told by their peers that there is a dress code for their safety. Such ideas and beliefs are implanted into young girls minds, and alter the truth behind them. An article by Time magazine communicates the view point on the matter, with the aricle “How School Dress Codes Shame Girls and Perpetuate Rape Culture,” written by Laura Bate. A quote from the article says, “In the past month alone a Canadian team said a student was given detention for wearing a full length maxi dress because it violated her school dress code by showing her shoulders and back.”(Bate) This shows how personal beliefs can alter a student's own. With the detention it will make the student realise that showing some skin is a bad thing to do. Such false beliefs are harmful to the minds of young girls who are susceptible to personal views.

Dress Codes sexuaize young women by being biased towards them. In the article by Nea.org, by Kira Barrett, it gives reasoning to the idea. “At East Longmeadow High School, Massachusetts, six out of the nine dress code regulations targeted female students”( Barrett 2018). This shows how school teachers and administrators are more solely biased towards young women than men. With this behavior it shows the sexualzing nature that has become in a sense of normalcy for the world. With this problem still continuing the sexualizing nature of young women will continue.

Dress codes sexualize young women by being lenient towards boys. In an article by Nea.org, written by Kira Barret, it explains this reasoning. “It’s saying the male response is your fault. Your body is causing negativity,” explains Pomerantz. Sexist rules also set a precedent for men, she adds. “It is offensive to men. It suggests they don’t have the ability to talk to a female student without going wild”(Barrett 1). What this quote means is young men aren’t taught to respect young women regardless of their looks. The leniency is well apparent when young men wear shorts all the time, without interference from staff. The difference between the reaction is it’s not a woman’s body. It is the sad truth that a woman’s body is so much more sexualized than a mans, yet the leniency of teachers supports the issue.

The sad truth of the matter is dress codes sexualize young women because they are more biased towards girls, lenient towards boys, and affect young women’s perception of their life. On a final note now that the issue has been taken into account, is it really possible to argue that women get the smaller tip of the bone? The world as a society needs to ask themselves if they are a part of the problem, and if so how to fix it.