A new report commissioned by The Last Taboo found that 75% of women said that they have been sexually harassed, nearly double the proportion of men surveyed said that they have been sexually harassed.
The report asked both men and women about their experiences with sexual violence, as part of a major project that aims to understand how different groups have been affected by the issue.
71% of women and 80% of men did not know how to report sexual assault or harassment to the University.
The report also looked at the impact “lad culture” had on students’ university experience.
67% of men surveyed claim lad culture to be present at university, whilst only 22% of men claim to be affected by it.
91% of women felt that lad culture was present at the University, and 78% had been directly affected by it. Lad culture was observed as most present in sports and on nights out.
The authors of the report, founders Imogen Horrocks and Kelly Balmer, said that results for men may be skewed, as studying a topic of such sensitivity may lead to dishonesty as a result of trauma or embarrassment from the participant.
One student told The Last Taboo: “It is a lot more difficult for men to talk about their experiences as society puts pressure on them to avoid emotion”.
When asked to provide any additional comment, many students felt that the University was not doing enough to prevent sexual assault and harassment.
One anonymous respondee said: “I think that within the University of York, there is a strong sense of not supporting female victims. We aren’t believed if we do report assault, or we’re told we should have come forward sooner.”
Beth and Issy, Co-Presidents of the University’s Feminist Society told Vision that it was “frustrating that it has been down to students to do this and not the institution itself”.
Speaking about male sexual assault, one male student told The Last Taboo: “Whenever I have brought up being sexually assaulted the response from both the boys and the girls tends to be mocking in nature”.
“The only time I’ve had a serious reply is when another one of my mates experienced it also”.
Another said: “I do still feel sexual assault from both sides of the table needs to be discussed more openly and more action needs to be taken against the perpetrators.”
In response to this report, a spokesman from the University of York has told York Vision:
“We welcome the report, which is being presented to our Student Life Committee next week for consideration.
“The University takes the issue of sexual violence and harassment extremely seriously, but it would be inappropriate to comment in detail until colleagues have had an opportunity to read the report in full and consider its findings.
“We have a number of measures in place already to support students, including our Sexual Violence Liaison Offers, who offer one-to-one practical and emotional support, and advice about internal and external support services.”