'Rape Culture' and 'Lad Culture' on campus : the Scottish experience

McCarry, Melanie (2017) 'Rape Culture' and 'Lad Culture' on campus : the Scottish experience. In: Men and Masculinities: Politics, Policy and Praxis, 2017-06-14 - 2017-06-16, Orebro University.

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Abstract

Those who study and work in our universities are no more immune to domestic abuse, rape, sexual violence and harassment than those in the general population. Statistics show that stalking, harassment, sexual assault and domestic abuse are significant issues facing Scottish women today and university age women are no exception, with 1 in 4 reporting unwanted sexual behaviour during their studies and one in five experiencing sexual harassment during their first week of term (National Union of Students (NUS) 2013). The NUS (2012) survey explicitly connects a university ‘lad culture’ with the normalisation of “language and attitudes that are supportive of sexual harassment and violence”. This paper presents data from a research project that is implementing the Scottish Government violence against women and girls policy ‘Equally Safe’ in a higher education setting. A multi-methodology approach is employed including a whole university student and staff survey to capture prevalence and incidence data, and interviews and focus groups to capture experiential and attitudinal data. This paper will present the findings from focus groups with male university students on lad culture, rape culture and masculinity in the context of campus sexual violence. Comparisons will be drawn between the different groups of male students including those affiliated with more ‘masculine’ identified male communities in order to explore Kelly’s thesis of the ‘conducive context’ (Kelly, 2016) for sexual violence.