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to thibk this is sexist.

(48 Posts)
Starbrite00 Thu 18-Jun-15 20:56:27

My girls school have started swimming lessons, they requested parent helpers to supervise each week to get to pool and organise children in changing rooms.
The pool has a boys changing facility and a boys with individual cubicles.
My husband is training to be a teacher so volunteered has helper because I'm unable with due to me having a 6 month old baby.
My husband doesn't attend every week but is the only male volunteer or teacher.
I asked how its set up when he isn't able to supervise the boys, I was told a female teacher supervises the boys when a male teacher isn't available.
Thing is a male teacher isn't allowed to be in the girls changing rooms.
Is this not utterly sexist and the wring thing to do? Are they saying only males can be paedophiles and females cant?
Why is it ok for female staff to supervise 9 year old boys but no males in 9 year old girls?

Starbrite00 Thu 18-Jun-15 20:58:38

So many typos sorry

AgentProvocateur Thu 18-Jun-15 21:08:13

Would you rather they stopped swimming classes due to a lack of male volunteers? hmm

cariadlet Thu 18-Jun-15 21:23:50

I'm torn. In a way it is sexist, because it suggests that males are more likely to abuse girls than females are likely to abuse boys. That's clearly nonsense and offensive.

On the other hand, 9 year old boys and girls are starting to get self-conscious and would probably be uncomfortable changing in front of an adult of the opposite sex.

Just reread the post. The boys are in cubicles, but it doesn't say about girls. If the children change in cubicles it shouldn't matter whether the adult supervising them is of the same sex or the opposite sex.

totallybewildered Thu 18-Jun-15 21:27:50

When I was a teacher, female teachers could supervise in male changing rooms, but only if they were married.

kslatts Thu 18-Jun-15 21:31:52

Do the girls have cubicles?

SunsetsAndStarlings Thu 18-Jun-15 21:32:32

I'm torn. In a way it is sexist, because it suggests that males are more likely to abuse girls than females are likely to abuse boys. That's clearly nonsense and offensive.

Something like 98% of child sex offenders are male. That is a HUGE number, so let us not pretend women are as likely to abuse children as men. Men are FAR more likely.

IUseAnyName Thu 18-Jun-15 21:36:03

I work for a residential centre where primary school visit for up to a week.
Most primary schools seem to think its okay to have all female staff, one of which then has to sleep on the boys floor (in their own room). If there's a male member of staff then he will naturally sleep on the boys floor instead. Never, in the 12 years of working at the centres have I encountered a male member of staff sleeping on the girls floor.
It's wrong.

Starbrite00 Thu 18-Jun-15 21:36:41

Sorry, I was typing fast. The girls changing rooms and boys changing rooms all have individual cubicals. The volunteers and teachers are there to make sure kids are safe and not messing about.
They shower in costumes.
I wouldn't feel comfortable with male teachers in girls changing rooms o suppose but then surely the same applies for boys. Boys wont want girls in their changing rooms either.
I just think its giving the wrong message.
Just because your male doesn't mean your more likely to be a danger to children, sadly that is not gender pacific.

Starbrite00 Thu 18-Jun-15 21:38:31

Wow because being married means what. They had some strange views.

noddingoff Thu 18-Jun-15 21:39:21

Just another thought:
Which is more common, men abusing boys or women abusing boys?

totallybewildered Thu 18-Jun-15 21:39:37

For all I know, the rule still stands, Starbrite! This was only about 10 years ago!

Starbrite00 Thu 18-Jun-15 21:40:00

Sunset... Where are those figures from because my back ground says that's nonsense figures.

thebackofmyhands Thu 18-Jun-15 21:41:24

sunsets is right - from my professional experience, I would agree that male pedophiles/hebephiles etc are typically male. 98% was also the percentage I had in mind, albeit a conservative estimate.

As for the changing room situation... I don't see it as necessarily sexist. It is based on practicalities of staffing. There may also be an element of kids being fine changing in front of a pseudo mum, but not a pseudo dad.

BackforGood Thu 18-Jun-15 21:41:28

It isn't about if the volunteer (or the teacher) is going to abuse the dc though, so much as giving the dc a little bit of dignity / respect at an age when a few of them may be moving towards puberty.
Children often go through a stage of being embarrassed about their bodies (usually a bit older than this but...), so where possible they prefer to have adults of the same sex, but, generally, there are FAR fewer males available and willing to volunteer for something like this than there are females, so they have to do the best they can in the circumstances.

So yes, YABU to cry 'sexist'

thebackofmyhands Thu 18-Jun-15 21:45:28

noddingoff - from the child sexual abuse content (photos and videos) I encountered in my career, typically men abuse boys more than women abuse boys. The percentage of women in the content is very low.

WorktoLive Thu 18-Jun-15 21:52:54

Looking at it objectively, different rules for males and females could be seen as sexist, but there are exceptions to equality legislation, usually related to 'dignity'.

I suppose it is similar to pat down security searching at airports etc.

Women officers can search either gender but male officers can only search men. I don't know what rules there are about searching children, ie whether men can search boys for example. They probably can't assume that children never carry contraband or this would be a major gap in security.

Do boys object to being supervised by a woman they do not know? I can imagine most girls would not want to be supervised by a man. Do men prefer to be patted down by men or women at the airport if they have to have that done?

PHANTOMnamechanger Thu 18-Jun-15 21:54:36

But, IUse, the vast majority of primary teachers are female, so what is a school to do if they have no male staff - I assume there is a reason why at your centre an adult needs to be in the kids rooms? because I have never known a member of staff of either gender sleep in the same room as the kids on a trip, never.

Justanotherlurker Thu 18-Jun-15 21:56:09

I think a conservative estimate is ~90-95% male but there is limited figures available.

I'm not saying it's 50/50 but saying 98% is conservative is disingenuous at least.

TheXxed Thu 18-Jun-15 22:02:35

OP you are making false equivalencies crime is not evenly spread out amongst men and women. Men commit the overwhelmeming majority of crime sorry you find this fact sexist.

Birdsgottafly Thu 18-Jun-15 22:03:30

This originally stemmed from the idea that women provide the Childcare, changing nappies, in fact personal care for adults via Nursing, so it is a Cultural Norm that Females can look after both Boys and Girls.

It's still unusual for a man to be a Primary Carer and all things considered, this rule does make sense.

ToadsJustFellFromTheSky Thu 18-Jun-15 22:11:02

Not really, no.

Starbrite00 Thu 18-Jun-15 22:20:40

I work when not on maternity in child protection. 98% is not correct. It changes hugely on area, wether the child has reported the abuse.. Which a huge amount do not, if any charges have been raised. A lot of female to male abuse is unreported and sadly a large amount is because of stereotypical views. A truer figure would be 3 out of ten abuse is women not 2 %

Starbrite00 Thu 18-Jun-15 22:26:55

What i feel is that if the girls have female supervision for the reason of sensitivity then surely the same should apply to boys?
If the intention is to protect from potential abuse then that is also saying that they don't believe females can be a danger.
Maybe that's not what they think but it is a strange set up.

WhirlpoolGalaxyM51 Thu 18-Jun-15 22:32:07

I would think it stems from what birds said rather than concerns about abuse.

And I suppose a new Cultural Norm (liking the caps) might be that far more children have a female parent at home than a male one, so again the gist might be that both boys and girls are pretty used to getting changed around women but less so around men, but that men still can supervise boys, being the same sex.

Not saying right / wrong and not sure what to make of the arrangements the OP describes, but I really think that is likely to be the reason.

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