Dress boys as butterflies to tackle domestic abuse

Boys aged as young as three should dress as butterflies so that they won’t grow up to hit women, a taxpayer-funded guide tells childcare workers.

It’s part of a guide produced by the Zero Tolerance scheme, funded by the Scottish Government, which aims to end men’s violence against women.

The guide warns against telling a girl that her hair looks nice, and says boys should be encouraged to dress as a nurse or play with dolls.


The group believes that gender stereotyping, such as distinguishing between boys’ toys and girls’ toys, may contribute to domestic violence later in life.

But education spokeswoman for the Scottish Tories, Elizabeth Smith, said: “Surely a bit of common sense should be applied.

“Boys will be boys and girls will be girls – and you shouldn’t try to force children to behave in a way that’s not natural to them.”


The Scottish Government gave the Zero Tolerance group £260,325 of taxpayers money in 2012.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said the group was “an expert in preventing violence against women, which is both caused by, and causes, gender inequality.”

Co-ordinator of Zero Tolerance, Jenny Kemp, said the guide was not a “finger wagging” exercise but rather meant to warn against gender assumptions.

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