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Depantsing or 'debagging' (the term used in Britain, especially historically at Oxford and Cambridge Universities in England, and derived from "Oxford bags", a loose-fitting baggy form of trousers), also known as kecking, sacking, dacking, downtrouting, downtrailing, dudding, jocking, trunking, shucking or, in North America, pantsing, depantsing or shanking, is the pulling down of a person's trousers and/or underwear against their wishes, typically as a practical joke, but in other instances as a sexual fetish. The most common method is to sneak up behind the intended victim, grab the trousers at the waist, and apply a quick downward tug before the victim is aware of the assailant's presence.
The corresponding term in Australia is dakking or dacking, which originated from DAKS Simpson, a clothing brand that became a generic term for pants and underwear. In Scotland the process is often known as breeking from the word "breeks" meaning trousers. In New Zealand the act is known as giving someone a down trou; in Ireland jocking; in the north of England kegging. The act of pulling down a person's underwear, is called double-dacking.
Pantsing is a common prank in school gym classes as a form of bullying. Its most extreme form includes running the trousers up the school flagpole. Some U.S. colleges before World War II were the scenes of large-scale "depantsing" scraps between freshman and sophomore males. It is also an initiation rite in fraternities and seminaries. It was cited in 1971 by Gail Sheehy as a form of sexual assault against grade school girls, which did not commonly get reported, although it might include improper touching and indecent exposure by the perpetrators. The United States legal system has prosecuted it as a form of sexual harassment of children.
Types of pantsing
Pantsing can be used as a form of bullying and is technically the crime of simple assault. The practice has been viewed as a form of ritual emasculation. In 2007, British Secretary of State for Education and Skills Alan Johnson, in a speech to the National Association of Schoolmasters Union of Women Teachers, criticized such bullying and criticized YouTube for hosting a movie (since removed) of a teacher being pantsed, saying that such bullying "is causing some [teachers] to consider leaving the profession because of the defamation and humiliation they are forced to suffer" and that "Without the online approval which appeals to the innate insecurities of the bully, such sinister activities would have much less attraction."
Juanita Ross Epp is highly critical of teachers who regard pupils pantsing one another as normal behavior, saying that debagging makes pupils feel intimidated and uncomfortable and that "normal is not the same as right".
Pantsing occurs most often in school. Girls will collude with dominant boys in targeting weaker boys, and may also single out certain boys that do not share attributes with the dominant male group without the help of or the instigation of boys, according to an article from 1999.
In popular culture
In September 2013, Aston Villa striker Nicklas Helenius was a victim of a debagging from Tottenham Hotspur defender Jan Vertonghen. Vertonghen reached for Helenius's shorts as he was taking a shot on goal.
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