Research perspectives

Research shows significant levels of sexual violence by male University students

A survey by researchers at the University of Kent examining sexual violence by male UK students has shone a light on misogyny at universities, with a significant number of respondents admitting to rape, sexual assault and other forcible acts.

The research comprised two online surveys, one of 295 students from 100 UK universities and another of 259 students at a university in south-east England. Of the 554 male students surveyed, 63 reported that they had committed 251 sexual assaults, rapes and other coercive and unwanted incidents in the past two years, according to

The study, Understanding Sexual Aggression in UK Male University Students, examined both the psychological profiles of sexually violent male students and their self-reported rates of offending. It identified a strong association between toxic masculinity and sexual violence, with those who reported committing offences also admitting to misogynistic views – views that were not held by respondents who did not report sexual misconduct and violence. The researchers also noted that perpetrators were significantly more likely to endorse offence-excusing myths associated with rape, for example that victims are to blame.