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'Lad culture' in higher education: Agency in the sexualization debates

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Alison PhippsORCiD


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© The Author(s) 2015. This article reports on research funded by the National Union of Students, which explored women students’ experiences of ‘lad culture’ through focus groups and interviews. We found that although laddism is only one of various potential masculinities, for our participants it dominated the social and sexual spheres of university life in problematic ways. However, their objections to laddish behaviours did not support contemporary models of ‘sexual panic’, even while oppugning the more simplistic celebrations of young women’s empowerment which have been observed in debates about sexualization. We argue that in their ability to reject ‘lad culture’, our respondents expressed a form of agency which is often invisibilized in sexualization discussions and which could be harnessed to tackle some of the issues we uncovered.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Phipps A, Young I

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Sexualities

Year: 2015

Volume: 18

Issue: 4

Pages: 459-479

Print publication date: 01/06/2015

Online publication date: 27/05/2015

Acceptance date: 01/01/1900

ISSN (print): 1363-4607

ISSN (electronic): 1461-7382

Publisher: SAGE Publications Ltd


DOI: 10.1177/1363460714550909


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