A phenomenological enquiry into the micro behaviours of female undergraduate students faced with sexual harassment in public spaces.
(2016) A phenomenological enquiry into the micro behaviours of female undergraduate students faced with sexual harassment in public spaces., no. 48.
This research aimed to explore the micro behaviours of female undergraduate students faced with sexual harassment in public spaces associated with university life and the everyday experiences of female students within these contexts. The research investigated if gender based harassment has become normalised amongst university students and how external factors have contributed to this normalisation, more specifically the emergence of 'lad culture' and the impact it has had on female students within Scottish universities. This was achieved using a framework of feminist theory and feminist phenomenology to conduct semi-structured interviews which provided in-depth accounts of the experiences of female undergraduate students during their time at university. Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis showed three key themes which emerged from the data collected: Lad Culture, Pressure to Conform and Self-Blame. The findings from the study support previous research from the National Union of Student (2015) suggesting that lad culture affects every aspect of student life which has a wide range of implications for female students. The findings from this study develop upon the work of Ferraro (1995) to conclude that the pressures to engage in this 'lad culture' leave female students vulnerable to sexual harassment and in more extreme cases rape.