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to think that the rules around changing for PE are unfair?

(74 Posts)
olgafromthevolga Mon 25-Mar-13 13:46:49

DS2 is in Y6, and when it comes to PE, the rule is that girls get changed in the classroom and the boys get changed in the corridor. No-one is allowed into the classroom until all of the girls are changed and no-one is allowed to look through the window. However, anyone who wants to can walk down the corridor, and the girls are allowed to leave the classroom and go into the corridor as soon as they are changed. Now I have no issue with DS2 being spotted in his undercrackers, but it does seem to me that there is a bit of an indefensible double standard going on here. Is this kind of thing normal procedure?

ColaConkie Mon 25-Mar-13 13:49:43

It was when I was at primary school about 30 years ago. Surprised it still goes on

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 13:50:47


Girls are no more or less in need of being protected from anyone seeing their bodies.

My feeling is that we would have a healthier attitude towards bodies and difference in general if everyone just changed together period.

But I could just about live with both boys and girls being treated equally.

WorraLiberty Mon 25-Mar-13 13:54:57

I disagree that girls are no more or less in need of being protected from anyone seeing their bodies....if they're on a period for example.

Girls of that age are often just trying to get their head around bleeding every months without the boys spotting a sanitary pad/blood on their knickers.

Journey Mon 25-Mar-13 14:03:28

YANBU. I think it a lack of respect letting the girls go out into the corridor when they are ready. Surely the girls should all wait in the classroom until they're all changed. There is hardly any privacy for the boys being in a corridor where anyone from another class could walk by so I think the boys deserve a bit more respect than they're getting.

Such an easy solution as well by just asking the girls to wait.

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:07:04

worra so you think that boys are intrinsically more likely to cause trouble of a period than the other girls in the class? Or maybe if they all changed together boys would ;earn the normality of periods at the same rate as the girls?

Also WTF to girls getting their periods in y6! The average for my year at school was y9. Things have really changed....

ItsAllGoingToBeFine Mon 25-Mar-13 14:07:43


When we used to get changed after water sports with going people girls got the minibus, boys got a bush (if they were lucky)

Guys only have to cover penis/scrotum, and are mire used to be exposed around each other (urinals etc)

Girls have to cover breasts and vulva this is pretty tricky sonetimes

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:07:46

The thing is that you only need privacy while changing if you think bodies are something to be ashamed of.

Why are we teaching our kids that this is true?

WorraLiberty Mon 25-Mar-13 14:09:57

Of course some girls get their periods in year 6 (and lower) and yes maybe attitudes would be healthier if they weren't separated.

But I don't think many young girls in that position would agree with you.

DeafLeopard Mon 25-Mar-13 14:10:03

ICBINEG - I know of a few girls who have started their periods in Y5.

YANBU to be upset at double standards, but I think as girls show signs of starting puberty earlier than boys the school are misguidedly trying to give them some protection without affording the same to the boys.

Emilythornesbff Mon 25-Mar-13 14:10:54

They should really ask the girls to wait too.
But this is not an area where boys and girls are equal.
The female form is objectified extensively and that affects the social protocols around privacy and modesty.

Ideally there would be changing rooms for each. I'm quite surprised things have changed so much since I was at school.

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:14:18

worra oh I don't doubt it's true...I am just amazed by it.

This is the central problem of teach what would be of most benefit to society or to teach in the way that makes the most people happy....

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:16:02

Or in other words a girl in y5 having a period may hate getting changed in front of everyone but the same girl aged 25 not having to shave every area or be embarrassed in changing rooms ever again or be objectified would thank her younger self for taking the trouble....

jamdonut Mon 25-Mar-13 14:16:44

What is really weird,( and I mentioned this to the class teacher only the other day), that girls and boys in our year 3/4 (so ages 7 - 9) class are hiding behind tables and chairs to get changed.
When I was this age, I thought nothing of getting changed with members of the opposite sex, and we used to do p.e. in pants and vests. The children at least have p.e.kits to wear! It wasn't till I was in yr6 that I started to get a bit embarrassed,but that was because I was I was a bit more developed than some of my peers.
We have had a few incidences of periods starting in year 6.

Emilythornesbff Mon 25-Mar-13 14:21:39

Privacy is not synonymous with shame.
Children younger than yr 6 (often around 6 yrs old ish) experience shyness in connection with nudity. It doesn't mean they are ashamed. Forcing them to mix when the would feel uncomfortable with it would be a problem.

I can see that there is a double standard but really it reflects wider issues.
Pubescent children are not the people to force into making changes to our socio - sexual inequalities are they?

TheFallenNinja Mon 25-Mar-13 14:41:01

All rules will seemingly favour one group over another. On this case though, I suspect it's straightforward logistics.

YAB (a bit) U

gymmummy64 Mon 25-Mar-13 14:47:02

In our primary, girls and boys get changed together in the classroom for as long as they want. From year 4/5 onwards if individuals want to go to the loos to change they can, but there are penalties for anyone taking too long wherever they choose to get changed (to avoid slow groups I guess). Seems to work fine. My DD2 has just started taking herself off to the loos.

ICBINEG Mon 25-Mar-13 14:49:14

emily erm yes actually I do think we should be forcing an ethos of equality on our children. Because it is morally not hitting each other etc.

So why are kids shy around nudity? Is it that by the time they hit school they have had 5 years of people told by their parents that they shouldn't take clothes off?

mumsneedwine Mon 25-Mar-13 14:54:28

My year 6 DD is 5 ft 3, has a 28C chest and has periods (as do a third of the year). She is not the tallest in class. She is obviously very self conscious about her body and doesn't really want to change in front of anyone. I think the thought behind the rules is that boys might like to get a sneaky peak at the girls whereas the girls have very little interest in seeing the boys. Before you all shout at me, I have boys too. I agree it should be no one leaves either area until all changed and maybe you could suggest this to the school.

KellyElly Mon 25-Mar-13 15:03:07

But I don't think many young girls in that position would agree with you. Indeed. I remember the trauma of swimming when the majority of the girls were very conscious of their changing bodies and were also subject to nasty comments from the boys about being fat etc at that age and just a bit older. I do remember girls being much shyer with their bodies at that age but I suspect many on here will tell me I'm wrong.

shewhowines Mon 25-Mar-13 15:04:56

Girls need privacy at that age (and younger). Boys less so. In the quest for equality boys should also have the same privacy but in the real world it's not possible for one teacher to supervise two groups of children getting changed in separate places so the corridor and classroom is the only real viable option for health and safety reasons.

children don't get changed for PE at school at that age here. Problem solved.

BiddyPop Mon 25-Mar-13 15:10:01

When I was in the equivalent of y5 (small school so 2 classes together in 1 room) there were already 2 girls from the group of 6 who were having regular periods, 1 of them for over a year.

Whereas I don't think anyone in my group (8 girls) started until secondary. My DSis, 11 mths younger than me, started exactly 1 month after me and 1 week before my 2nd - and said nothing (I was getting grief from DM about not following the "rules" - poor DSis hadn't even known what was happening and was using loo roll and didn't know about the rules, I didn't even know about them til the night it first happened me, there was great information flow and transparency in our house hmm).

Sorry, a bit off topic, but the first part struck me from early posts.

shockers Mon 25-Mar-13 15:10:51

I have a girl and two boys, my daughter developed far earlier than either of my sons.

I also work within primary (year 5). There are girls in my class who have developed breasts and started their periods, they are very aware of their changing bodies. The boys are still very much unaffected by puberty and mostly spend 'getting changed time' dancing around in their shreddies

stressyBessy22 Mon 25-Mar-13 15:15:25

At our primary school they all get changed in the toilets.Although it is a very small class, might not be feasible in larger class.

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