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Why are boys making sexual moaning noises at girls? And how can we make them stop?

Why are boys making sexual moaning noises at girls? And how can we make them stop?

Have boys always made stupid sexual moaning noises at girls and I just never realised? Or is this a whole new thing for our girls to have to deal with? Either way, just stop it!

Sexual moaning has been on the rise for at least a few years. It involves a group of boys making sexual moaning noises at girls, including low pitch moaning, grunting or groaning. They do it in the playground, the halls and even in the classroom, where a growing number of female teachers are being subjected to it.

Maybe they think it’s funny… maybe they don’t and they do it anyway.

“It’s horrifying to listen to”

I asked a teacher friend (who I won’t name for anonymity) if the boys in her high school classes were moaning and she almost gagged.

“I hate it so much, it’s horrifying to listen to a group of boys acting like they’re having an orgasm in the middle of my maths class,” she said. “Can you imagine?”

My friend feels there’s not a lot she can do to stop the boys, but she wants to act to protect the girls in her class from this kind of sexual harassment.

Because that’s exactly what it is: sexual harassment.

Researchers Daryl Higgins, from the Institute of Child Protection Studies, Australian Catholic University and Gabrielle Hunt from the Australian Catholic University point out in a recent article in The Conversation that “normal sexual behaviour in children and adolescents only includes behaviours that involve shared decision making and are consensual, mutual, reciprocal and enjoyable.”

A group of adolescent boys making sexual moaning noises at school is none of those things.

Groups of boys making sexual moaning noises at girls is on the increase

Why do boys engage in sexual moaning?

Boys making inappropriate sexual noises is happening all over the world, not just in Australia. It’s therefore likely it began as a TikTok thing, which started off the back of pornography being readily available and acceptable to teens.

Like all viral TikTok trends, kids are doing it because other kids are doing it. It gets a reaction, their friends think it’s funny… even if that means they’re being an asshole. Because, hopefully, 100 per cent of the boys who are moaning know it’s the wrong thing to do.

The need to fit in when you’re a kid often overrides both common sense and being a decent human. This is not new news.

We need to talk to boys about misogyny

“In a small percentage of boys, making inappropriate sexual noises is probably an actual turn on,” notes my teacher friend. “That’s the ickiest part of all.”

These will be the same boys who get off on the fact that making sexual noises intimidates girls… so, your basic adolescent criminal going about his day.

For the record, I will never condone the ‘boys will be boys’ mentality that some people use to excuse this kind of behaviour. As far as I’m concerned, people will be assholes if we let them get away with it.

Boys will be boys

What can girls do when boys moan at them?

Girls should not have to put up with boys moaning at them all over school. It’s the usual frustration: why should girls have to seek a solution to a boy issue. But, sadly, that’s the case with all ‘boys will be boys’ behaviour.

“It’s the same for female teachers,” says my friend. “Many of the male staff have their head in the sand about how horrific this behaviour is. The boys aren’t making sexual moaning noises at them, so they don’t necessarily get the full picture.”

The sexual moaning should be reported, of course, but sadly many girls won’t feel confident enough to ‘dob on’ the boys. Try having a chat to your daughter about the difference between dobbing on someone and seeking help. It’s a good time to go over the sexual consent chat too, so she’s aware that what the boys are doing is inappropriate, if not illegal.

Hopefully the school already has in place a process to deal with sexual harassment. With a bit of luck, the moaning boys will already be on their radar, but often their only recourse is to tell girls to “ignore it.”

“It’s simply not good enough,” fumes my friend. “Do we tell kids to just ‘ignore’ a bully? No we don’t. Why isn’t this issue being taken just as seriously?”

My friend suggests that a trusted female teacher should be approached. She will be able to support your daughter on an individual level while (hopefully) the school deals with it overall. If your daughter is particularly distressed by the behaviour, it’s worth seeking the support of a psychologist or counsellor.

Feature image by cottonbro studio; upset girl by Keira Burton