School dress codes as a whole are biased against females


Lillian Hoover, J1 Reporter

Throughout the United States, school dress codes have been a debated topic among students and parents alike ever since they were created. The big question is whether these dress codes are biased against females or not.


It is my opinion that these dress codes most definitely discriminate against females. Many school dress codes limit what females can wear which can be degrading, annoying, and sexualizes women.


Using the National Center for Education Statistics, 77% of school policies prohibit the visibility of certain body parts such as the midriff, chest area, back and buttocks. This can give students the impression that these parts are bad and it is important they should be hidden for others sake. 


This data has also shown that when things are important to students, like a dress code, they perform much worse on certain cognitive tasks and in this case a task like school. So by creating a dress code that is aimed towards females, it can lead to things such as low-self esteem and depression.


Along with this, many schools in America ban clothing items such as spaghetti straps, undergarment straps, cropped tops and short shorts/skirts which are specifically made for the majority of females. With this, it is hard to find clothes that meet these standards because most clothing stores geared towards women don’t sell as many items that meet the required standard.  The National Center for Education Statistics have also shown that girl’s clothes are more regulated on the basis of “sexiness” because boys have fewer clothing options, making it easier for boys to find dress codes approved clothes and harder for girls.


Boys are almost never told to cover up their bodies because too much of their back or shoulders are showing, while girls are told these kinds of things as the time. When I was in 7th grade, girls tried to make a statement and wear shorts to school; they were all dress coded while the boys were untouched. It’s not okay that girls lose out on these things while boys can get away just fine because they have different bodies.


The usual argument many people like to make is that females distract their male classmates when they wear revealing clothes. These kinds of dress codes relay a message that girls are the ones responsible for the way others perceive them, while boys can’t control their own actions. We should not be learning these kinds of things growing up, thinking that it’s okay for men to judge women and that women are responsible if they do. This goes the same way if you flip the situation and these kinds of actions are inexcusable.


In order to stop these dress codes from being established, schools need to understand that clothing is a form of expression, and by taking that away it can lower many people’s mental health and drive. Schools must get rid of these sexualized dress codes that hold so many females back.


I believe that school dress codes as a whole are biased against females and when it comes to a dress code, school should not sexualize females within the code. These kinds of dress codes must be abolished.