Surprise: Dress Codes Don’t Distract Men (They Only Hurt Women)

2015 was a very influential year in terms of tackling the social barriers and stereotypes that women face in everyday life. Media outlets have called 2015 everything from the year of the feminist to the year when women fought back against the sexual objectification of their breasts (okay, maybe that’s a little lengthy, but you get the point). To add to that list of social limitations that were challenged last year, 2015 was the year of the dress code.

Social media was flooded with news stories regarding young women who had been sent home for breaking the extremely strict and often-sexist school dress codes. Most schools justified their dress codes by stating that the exposure of most parts of the female body was too distracting for young boys.

Liz Plank, host of Flip the Script, set out to investigate what really happens to young men when they are in the presence of young women who are allowed to dress however they choose. Plank first discusses the effects of dress codes with a group of girls who took a stand in their own school. She later hosted her own small social experiment by testing whether two teen boys could concentrate on completing math problems without her wearing a blazer. Her findings are highly unsurprising: Exposed collarbones do not keep boys from acing a math test.