Sexual harassment rife at UK universities, says NUS

Sep 15, 2014 by

Survey finds ‘laddism’ rife on campuses, as 37% of women and 12% of men say they have faced unwelcome sexual advances

Sexual harassment and “lad culture” are rife on university campuses, with more than a third of women reporting that they have suffered unwelcome advances in the form of inappropriate groping and touching, research shows.

In a survey of 2,156 men and women by the National Union of Students (NUS) published on Monday, 37% of women and 12% of men who responded said they had faced unwelcome sexual advances. Under UK law “inappropriate touching and groping” constitutes sexual assault, though the survey does not use the term.

Launching the study, the NUS president, Toni Pearce, called on university authorities to stop “passing the buck” and acknowledge the problem on British campuses.

The online survey paints a woeful portrait of “laddism” at UK universities. The NUS defines lad culture as a set of “behaviours and attitudes that … belittle, dismiss, joke about or even seem to condone rape and sexual assault”.

As many teenagers begin their university careers at freshers’ week, the findings suggest some could experience face sexism, sexual harassment and assault within the university environment.

More than a third of women (36%) who took part in the survey said they had experienced unwanted sexual comments about their body compared with 16% of men. Two-thirds said they had seen students tolerate unwanted sexual comments, and just under a third reported gender-based verbal harassment.

via Sexual harassment rife at UK universities, says NUS | Education | theguardian.com.

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