A study by Oxford University’s Institute for Gender and Society has found that people are less likely to agree that trousers should be worn at all if it “might lead to greater embarrassment or humiliation”.
The survey found that 56 per cent of respondents agreed that “the wearing of trousers might lead to embarrassment or the appearance of greater humiliation”, while 27 per cent agreed that trousers were acceptable “when they can be done in a comfortable and appropriate way”.
However, a significant minority disagreed.
Just under half of respondents (51 per cent) disagreed that trousers might “lead to humiliation or the presence of greater embarrassment” when they were done “in a comfortable, appropriate and appropriate manner”.
A further 32 per cent disagreed that “panties are a sign of inferiority”.
There were some differences between the sexes.
Women were more likely than men to disagree with the statement that “there are certain things that are socially acceptable in trousers”.
However men were also more likely to disagree that “some things are socially unacceptable in trousers”, while women were more apt to agree with the claim that “it is socially acceptable to wear shorts and T-shirts at work”.
The research was commissioned by the Equality Commission, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, and the Campaign for Women and Girls.
The Equality Commission has also commissioned a study of the attitudes of young people who wear jeans.
It is hoped the findings of the Oxford study will help inform the wider debate around the issue of gender segregation in the workplace.