CulturePop QuizSecondary Education

Pop Quiz: Doodling Dongs

Throughout my training to become a teacher there was one area that was woefully neglected.  It is something that I have to deal with on a weekly basis in one form or another.  I am talking about the epidemic of drawing penises all over my classroom. Go ahead laugh, it is ridiculous that this is a thing, but when I was a new teacher I was never warned about the number of penis drawings I would have to remove from things in my room.  They get drawn on my classroom tables.  They get draw on my bulletin board, on the background paper and on my posters.  There are students who come to me asking for another copy of a paper because someone drew a penis on it.

There is all kinds of graffiti that happen in a classroom.  The tables in my room are dark and so the graffiti is usually only viewable by the students that are near it.  Some of it is quite beautiful.  I’ve seen intricate drawings and read original poems.  Some of it is ugly, mean spirited taunts and racial slurs.  Luckily there is more of the former and less of latter, but the most common has to be the doodles.  Geometric patterns, little figures, squiggly lines and penises.

Maybe it says something about me that I don’t understand the allure of drawing a penis on a desk, wall or poster, but there has to be one.  Maybe it is a quick and easy shape to doodle, one oval and two circles seems to be the most prevalent.

After spending some time after school with a bottle of rubbing alcohol, which nicely removes ink from laminated posters, this is my ridiculous question for you.  Why?  Why draw penises on things?  Am I the only one out here that has to deal with this?


Feature image: Doodling by Andy

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Jennifer teaches science in a public school in Pennsylvania. She lives there with her husband and two dogs.


  1. April 9, 2014 at 4:25 pm —

    At the women’s college I work at, I can happily say that I don’t have to deal with penis drawings everywhere! There may be a relationship in there somewhere…

    Back when I was in school (in the Dark Ages), my friends would draw boobs all over the place, though.

  2. April 9, 2014 at 4:35 pm —

    While, I never got into drawing penises personally, going to both a Catholic grade school and public high school, penis drawings were everywhere. Even now, as a graduate student at a state university, penis drawings show up in the bathroom stalls regularly. I imagine that they keep showing up for the same reason that there will be people who always laugh at a fart joke (tbh, I can’t honestly say I still wouldn’t laugh at a really good fart joke). Penises are taboo, they’re easy to draw, and they are, let’s face it, pretty absurd in and of themselves.

  3. April 9, 2014 at 4:47 pm —

    My mother, who is now eighty, taught in a junior high school from the 1950s through the 1980s, and she always was very angry about the boys (it was only the boys who did it) drawing penises on every surface that could possibly be drawn on. So this is nothing new!

  4. April 10, 2014 at 3:33 pm —

    You’re dealing with pubescent boys. That’s a LOT of what we think about, and it is taboo, so the prurient thrill is even greater.

  5. April 13, 2014 at 6:08 pm —

    Humans have been leaving doodles of penis since our earliest days. The kids are just following tradition.

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