Staff at six UK universities revealed loutish behaviour was being directed – predominantly by young men from middle and upper-class backgrounds – towards female lecturers, particularly in sports, science, business, management, and other ‘masculine’ subjects.
Additionally, the researchers involved found a contextual element to these behavioural trends – laddish disruption affected teaching and learning in post-92 institutions, whereas pre-92 institutions struggled with such behaviours in social contexts.
Digging up the roots of the problem
The interviews were led by authors and researchers of ‘Lad Culture in Higher Education’, who have explored the pervasiveness of lad culture, laddish behaviour and its associations to alcohol consumption, sexism, and misogyny, shedding light on a deeply rooted issue that may have experienced long-term unrecognition.
A professor of gender and education at Lancaster University believes the issue has roots too deep to be resolved by adopting strategies such as targeting student drinking or reshaping the behaviour of sports clubs. She believes “we need to see this as a gender-based problem, rather than individualised, and to think how we can challenge those gender norms that are underpinning it.”