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British universities failing to tackle homophobic ‘lad culture’

Joe Williams July 27, 2015

Homophobic and sexist behaviour is thriving at universities across the country, because staff and student unions are unwilling to take action, a report has claimed.

“Lad culture” – that can often result in homophobic abuse and sexual harassment – is going unchallenged at many British universities due to a lack of action by institutions, the National Union of Students (NUS) has warned.

Policies to tackle the issue are lacking in almost half of UK universities, with a shocking 49 per cent having no formal policy on discrimination due to sexuality or sexual harassment, reports The Independent.

Furthermore, just one in 10 had a policy that covered the “display of discriminatory material on campus”.

Homophobic and misogynistic jokes, so-called “rape banter” and pressures to engage in sexual behaviour are an increasingly common problem affecting students, with many gay students reporting homophobic bullying and abuse on campus.

NUS Women’s Officer Susuana Amoah claimed violence and discrimination were making the education system “inaccessible for many students, not just women”.

In addition, the higher education ombudsman, Rob Behrens, argued that institutions should take a “much-more proactive approach” in dealing with laddish behaviour on campus.

Last month, The University of Northampton announced they had opened gender-neutral toilets by popular demand of their students.

The new toilets are entirely gender neutral and are installed for the use of anyone not feeling comfortable with using male or female toilets.

More: harrasment, Homophobia, National Union of Students, nus, UK, University of Northampton

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