I've been saying this for years.
And now this Penn State scandal is just one more incident that I refer to in underscoring why people need to have their own shower. Really, isn't this just a guideline for basic decency?
When bringing up this issue before I've been told by many adults that I highly respect that kids taking group showers after school gym classes is simply a rite of passage as well as sports teams or soldiers in the military, etc.. I don't care when or where it is -- it's inappropriate.
Not only are group showers a perfect opportunity for sexual abuse by predators like Jerry Sandusky, they also create an atmosphere that hinders the building of self worth.
Group showers are a vivid memory from middle school. Not skinny but not really overweight either. Not over or under developed. Just average. Still, there were two days of the week I absolutely dreaded -- the days I had to strip down to nothing and stand in a shower with anywhere from 20-30 of my female classmates. All of us were totally nude with nothing but a small white hand towel that covered absolutely nothing to speak of. You couldn't cover both private areas at once, so you took your pick of what to cover. Then you raced through the shower, speed dried and dressed which ironically resulted in feeling sweatier than when you started out. The whole thing was really counterproductive.
There was a rule, if you were menstruating, you could ask the gym teacher for a private shower. There were only 3 or 4 of those and a lot of times girls would just lie and say they had their period to get the private shower. I never lied about it...because as much as I hated the group shower I just didn't think it was right. But I went on hating those two days of the week. It didn't matter what we were doing in gym class, I never looked forward to it because I knew what followed it.
I didn't hate my body. I just didn't want to get naked in front of a bunch of people.
I don't have the perfect body today, but I'm really comfortable in my own skin. For the purpose of making my point in this post I'll tell you that if nobody's home or it's just Larry, I have no problem being naked. Sometimes my husband tells me, "Um, Deanna, before you go out to the kitchen and get your coffee with no clothes on, please let me close the blinds so our neighbors don't see you! (smile) But if I were asked at this point in my life to strip down and take a shower with a group of my best female friends, I'd take a pass.
For some people, group showers torpedo their self worth.
For others who have healthy self worth it can simply be an experience that chips away at their dignity.
Still others such as Sandusky's victims experience a shower that shatters their innocence forever.
When, oh when is our society going to ban this ridiculous practice of taking showers with a bunch of people? Whether you're 14 or 40, it's just not a wise thing.