Body hair teaching exercise

That’s the question confronting students in classes taught by Breanne Fahs, associate professor of women and gender studies in ASU’s New College of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences. Since 2010 Fahs has offered students the chance to participate in an extra-credit exercise related to body hair.

Female student participants stop shaving their legs and underarms for ten weeks during the semester while keeping a journal to document their experiences. For male students, the assignment is to shave all body hair from the neck down.

“There’s no better way to learn about societal norms than to violate them and see how people react,” said Fahs. “There’s really no reason why the choice to shave, or not, should be a big deal. But it is, as the students tend to find out quickly.”

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One thought on “Body hair teaching exercise

  1. Reading the snippet gives one the impression that the teaching exercise presents a false equivalence between female and male body norms. But after reading the full article, it’s clear that the class addressed this and spent quite a bit of time discussing it. It sounds like it was a great project!

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