UK schools are banning skirts in favor of gender neutral options

DCNFGrace Carr, DCNF

A score of elementary schools in the U.K. are banning skirts from the dress code in an effort to make uniforms gender neutral so that transgender students feel included.

At least 40 schools in the U.K. have mandated that girls can no longer wear skirts, The Times reported Sunday. Schools have increasing banned the clothing item from schools as the government reviews and plans to draft a new and clearer version of its 2004 Gender Recognition Act, which provides protections for transgender persons.

Priory School in East Sussex banned skirts in 2017 and Crawshaw Academy is considering joining the long list of elementary schools that now ban girls from wearing skirts to school. Copleston High School in Ipswich has also barred girls from wearing skirts, in addition to its ban on skinny jeans and facial piercings. Woodhey High School even called skirts “undignified and embarrassing” because girls could expose themselves when sitting down cross-legged or walking up stairs. 

“My daughter would not be happy about that – she’s 10 years old and she’s a real girl’s girl,” 34-year-old Alan told HuffPost UK. “I think girls should be allowed to be individuals,” he added.

“I think that trousers-only for everyone is a silly way to go — unless you are going to also offer the option of skirts-only for everyone,” American feminist writer Naomi Wolf also said of the dress code changes, according to The Times.

The U.K.’s Labour Party LGBT+ adviser, transgender model Munroe Bergdorf, said in March that children as young as eight years old should be able to choose their gender and begin transitioning so they can embrace their true selves. “The government needs to be putting more money behind services to benefit transgender kids and gender non-conforming children,” Bergdorf said according to the Daily Mail. “If you are putting barriers in people’s way you are forcing people not to be themselves,” he also told The Times UK.

Medical research shows 80 to 95 percent of children outgrow their gender dysphoria naturally and accept their biological sex post-puberty. Top studies also show no mental improvement after sex reassignment surgery, and there hasn’t been a single long-term randomized study on the effects of hormone-blocking treatments on children.

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