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Boys in ladies changing rooms at the gym.

(62 Posts)
Sago Mon 06-Sep-21 20:25:47

My gym visit was ill timed today, as I was changing the mums came in with their boys and girls.
I was most surprised to see the ages of the boys who were in the changing rooms, I would guess the eldest was 9/10.
Is it just me or are they old enough to go into the male changing rooms?

theworriedwell Wed 08-Sep-21 09:21:41


Sago, I did post earlier about this but the leisure centres themselves have rules about children being accompanied under a certain age and it is a direct result of safeguarding. It isn't (or wasn't) unusual for youngsters to be sexually assaulted in swimming pools. Ask anyone who has ever worked in a leisure centre, they know who these men are.

As for dressing/undressing, I do think that is a bit odd. You used to be asked to get them used to putting their PE kit on and off before they started school. Mine had no problem though as they used to and still do change their clothes several times a day hmm

I learned to swim, many years ago, at an old Victorian swimming pool. The cubicles were round the pool on three walls. No issues with boys or girls being with a parent of the opposite sex as anyone could use a cubicle. They weren't the flimsy metal type, the were proper little rooms, brick walls, heavy wooden door.

The life guards were round the pool so you never felt isolated like the modern changing rooms with no supervision.

The Victorians got some stuff right in my opinion.

EMMF1948 Thu 16-Sep-21 10:57:07


I think a 9 year old boy is too young to use the male changing rooms without an accompanying adult.

Would you want the father of a 9 year old girl take her into the men's changing room? If No, then it's No for boys in the women's changing room at 9.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 16-Sep-21 12:09:18

This seems to me to be a matter for your MP.

Surely, it is not just up to the gym or swimming baths to decide at what age children should not use the changing rooms of the opposite sex?

These days, with all the focus on child abuse of the sexual kind, I think any parent or grandparent might hestitate to let children go into changing rooms on their own!

There should be sufficient attendants in the changing rooms who can help a child on his or her own.

If this is not so, check whether the conditions are in contravention of the Public Decency Act or whatever it is called in the U:K.

In Denmark, children under 7 are allowed into the changing rooms of the opposite sex if accompamied by the parent of that sex. A girl of seven, going into the baths with her father would be directed to the women's area, where either a female attendant will help her, or any of the mothers and grandmothers changing in there would.

I doubt any of us would feel it appropriate to be seen naked by a nine or ten year old of the opposite sex that we were not related to.

Sago Thu 16-Sep-21 12:13:46

grandetanteJE63 Attendants to help lone children?
Every paedo in the country would be applying for that job!

love0c Thu 16-Sep-21 12:38:47

A bit of a tricky situation. The David Lloyd I belong to allows boys in the ladies changing rooms. Some I guess 9 or 10? I tend to go at quieter times and undress/dress away from them if I see them. Just hope their mother's have told them not to stare!

Wheniwasyourage Fri 17-Sep-21 12:03:11

I already posted about our swimming pool's village changing area, where everyone goes and swimwear must be worn in the showers and everywhere except the cubicles. This makes family changing easy and solves the issue of where trans people should change.

It occurs to me that Center Parcs, a commercial organisation which cannot afford any suspicion of child endangerment, uses the same sort of system.

I still don't understand; if it works, and it does, why is it not more common?

Ethelwashere1 Sun 19-Sep-21 08:37:25

Our pool has unisex changing, i can shower next to an old man, a child or a female. Changing rooms are cubicles for either sex with larger group changing rooms for families.

Boogaloo Tue 21-Sep-21 16:33:11


Our pool has unisex changing, i can shower next to an old man, a child or a female. Changing rooms are cubicles for either sex with larger group changing rooms for families.

I bet the nasty men who, back in the olden days, flashed themselves to girls and women while standing in the shrubbery, just love that set-up!

NotSpaghetti Tue 21-Sep-21 16:45:27

Public mixed showers are generally in a public area boogaloo I think. The mixed shower areas expect people to shower in their swimwear.

In the ladies changing rooms of gyms, sports clubs etc I think you'll often find women naked as they take off the costume to shower and then get dry and dressed in an open female-only area.

Wheniwasyourage Tue 21-Sep-21 18:06:32

Exactly, NotSpaghetti. Public mixed showers mean an expectation that swimwear will be worn for showering. It means that children of either sex can shower and have their hair washed etc by either parent, and "nasty men", Boogaloo, would be put out straight away if they dared to try anything.

Witzend Thu 23-Sep-21 11:57:40

I would never use communal changing rooms anyway, whether in shops, at the pool, or anywhere else. I don’t want to display my flab, nor do I want to see anyone else’s, thank you.

If we take Gdcs swimming, we use the larger, family cubicles. Those should always be an option IMO.