12

'Me,' said Ron, who was still rather dishevelled. 'I didn't realise that would happen. It's not fair!' he added to Harry, as the girls headed off for the portrait hole, still giggling madly. 'Hermione's allowed in our dormitory, how come we're not allowed -?'

'Well, it's an old-fashioned rule,' said Hermione, who had just slid neatly on to a rug in front of them and was now getting to her feet, 'but it says in Hogwarts: A History, that the founders thought boys were less trustworthy than girls.

-Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix chapter 17

Also,

  • Was the dormitory spell cast by Gryffindor only or was it present in all dormitories of all houses?
  • Are male house-elves like Dobby allowed into girl's dormitories? If not, then who cleaned their dormitories during Hermione's sock revolt?
9
  • 15
    Why? Sexism of course.
    – Broklynite
    Mar 10 '16 at 9:38
  • 3
    Hogwarts was founded significantly earlier than any of the sources mentioned in that answer. Also, the house elf thing seems like a non-issue, since the reason boys weren't allowed in the girls dormitory is rather obvious. And looked at from that perspective, I find it hard to disagree with the founders.
    – DavidS
    Mar 10 '16 at 10:09
  • 1
    If you don't have anything else to do today, this TV Tropes link may be relevant: All Women Are Prudes. Mar 13 '16 at 22:16
  • 7
    Because boys are less trustworthy.
    – Möoz
    Jan 8 '17 at 7:03
  • 1
    @axelonet: Just because the sexist tradition of banning boys from the girls' dormitories (but not vice versa) still exists, doesn't necessarily mean that people are still sexist. Some things are simply never re-evaluated because they simply don't encounter any issue which causes them to re-evaluate the instituted rule. E.g. if there is a law passed in 1901 about two-headed humans not being allowed to do something, that law might never get reevaluated until we encounter a two-headed human who complains about that law.
    – Flater
    Sep 20 '17 at 14:52
14

I assume it's the (slightly sexist) idea that a young boy might sneak into the girls dormitory for nefarious purposes, whereas a girl sneaking into the boys room does so for good reason.

Although there is no sexism in the rest of the HP books, this reads as a holdover to 'boys are sexual, girls are not' or the implication that boys sneaking into the girls room would do so to take advantage of the girls, but if a girl sneaks into the boys room she (the girl sneaking in) is consenting.

5
  • 1
    Like I said: sexism.
    – Broklynite
    Mar 10 '16 at 11:44
  • 5
    "...sneaking into the girls room would do so to take advantage of the girls, but if a girl sneaks into the boys room she is consenting." I'm like, ...wow.
    – apollo
    Mar 10 '16 at 11:57
  • 1
    Well, this image is an adult example of this trope
    – Yasskier
    Aug 15 '16 at 4:27
  • Sorry about the extended edit suggestion, but short ones aren't allowed.
    – Weckar E.
    Mar 22 '17 at 12:48
  • 2
    And yet, sexual assault on college campuses is more likely to take place in men's housing than in women's housing. Oops, founders. Oops. Mar 29 '17 at 21:32
-4

In a word hormones. I mean this literally testosterone increases libido and teenagers have immature minds, rationale and thinking. Boys have more testosterone so they biologically are more likely to act upon attractions and ignore a gender rule in order to see their crush.

Clarifying

I'm not saying they're programmed all teen boys are pervs and sex offenders, they will biologically have the larger libidos and prefrontal cortex that are not fully developed and so would be the more likely to try to sneak between dorms. Teenage boys/ young men are also more likely to be in car crashes, they are factually at the age where their own risk assessment is low. I'm viewing the act of going into the other dorms as mischief and pranks, not rape or abuse. This is a children's series and we know their intent was good. Romilda Vane roofieing Ron is far more serious akin to perv/abuse.

Hermione sites the founders as thinking boys are less trustworthy as the reason for the rule, not that a student had been attacked before. The sexual abuse in the books is actual carried out by my a woman when Voldemort's Mum rapes Tom Riddle. Yes it is rape he couldn't consent in the true sense of the word whilst under a love spell. Rowling has stated Voldemort conception under a love spell lead in part to his evil and lack of understanding/underestimating love and Lily's protection. Rowling confirmed a woman as a rapist and not all Gryffindor boys when situation arose.

4
  • 1
    Do you have anything from the books, Pottermore, etc. to back up that this was the specific reason? Jan 8 '17 at 3:41
  • Whilst I understand where you're coming from, this skates dangerously close to an assumption that teenage boys are genetically programmed to be pervs (at best) or sexual predators (or worst). This is not the case. They may have testosterone but that doesn't mean that they all want to break into the girls dorms at the first opportunity. Although JKR (via the founders) implies that they might. Jan 8 '17 at 14:51
  • I'm not saying they're programmed all teen boys are pervs and sex offenders, they will biologically have the larger libidos and prefrontal cortex that are not fully developed and so would be the more likely to try to sneak between dorms. Teenage boys/ young men are also more likely to be in car crashes, they are factually at the age where their own risk assessment is low. I'm viewing the act of going into the other dorms as mischief and pranks, not rape or abuse. This is a children's series and we know their intent was good. Romilda Vane roofieing Ron is far more serious akin to perv/abuse.
    – user76639
    Jan 9 '17 at 4:50
  • 3
    Hermione sites the founders as thinking boys are less trustworthy as the reason for the rule, not that a student had been attacked before. The sexual abuse in the books is actual carried out by my a woman when Voldemort's Mum rapes Tom Riddle. Yes it is rape he couldn't consent in the true sense of the word whilst under a love spell. Rowling has stated Voldemort conception under a love spell lead in part to his evil and lack of understanding/underestimating love and Lily's protection. Rowling confirmed a woman as a rapist and not all Gryffindor boys when situation arose.
    – user76639
    Jan 9 '17 at 4:57

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