On 9 July 2015, SVDV hosted a research seminar on “Lad Culture” and Sexual Violence in Higher Education, presented by Dr Alison Phipps University of Sussex. The seminar workshop explored sexism, sexual harassment and violence at UK universities and the phenomenon of ‘lad culture’, which has been exposed by the NUS ‘That’s What She Said’ report and other research. ‘Lad culture’ is defined as a set of behaviours characterised by sexist banter and competitive sexual activity drawing upon normative gender roles and expectations. It may be engaged in by a minority of young men (and some women), but it has broad social and cultural reach via social media and the commodification of student cultures and nightlife. It can also be associated with the backlash against feminism and increased gender equality, and the competitive, individualistic cultures of higher education marketization. Issues around ‘lad culture’, its links to sexual violence and how to tackle were explored via a short presentation and interactive discussion, with a particular focus on actions which could be taken by managers, staff and students in future.
Dr Alison Phipps is co-author of the 2013 NUS report on lad culture entitled ‘That’s What She Said’, and is Director of Gender Studies at the University of Sussex. Her work focuses on the politics of gender and the body, in particular debates in the areas of violence, ‘deviance’, education, and health. https://genderate.wordpress.com/ladculture