Another day, another independent school gets named and shamed for its male pupils being involved in toxic 'rape' culture.
The latest is Dulwich College. The £22,000 a year school is reeling from accounts of assault and revenge porn , revealed by a former pupil in an open letter. labelling it a "breeding ground for sexual predators".
Last week, it was King's College School in Wimbledon (£20,000 a year) facing allegations of being a “hotbed for sexual violence” in a letter that went public.
The previous Friday, Eton, Latymer Upper and St Paul's (you can imagine the fees) were in the frame – among others – thanks to the emergence of the Everyone's Invited campaign , started by Soma Sara, an ex-Wycombe Abbey girl, who has encouraged young people around the country to start reporting events of sexual, harrassment, abuse and rape anonymously online.
There is a worrying sense of a bandwagon only starting, and heads around the country are setting in motion internal inquiries to establish if they can expect to be named next.
Privilege and entitlement
Why the establishments themselves are being blamed – incidents seem to have occurred overwhelmingly out of school, at weekends and in holiday times, when they are very much not in loco parentis – comes down to some justifiable criticism that they are places of privilege and entitlement. If boys who have every material advantage in life are not taught to understand fully the extent of their privilege – which goes far deeper than being able to afford AirPods – then something is going badly wrong with their education.
However pricey the school one goes to, learning to behave in a moral, considerate and thoughtful way has always been on the curriculum – whether you timetable that as etiquette lessons, religious education or the modern Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE). We can argue about the way we teach children forever, but I've yet to meet anyone who disputes that one of the most important roles of school is that it turns out human beings who can function as part of a healthy society. It's in all our interest.
Which is why we cannot allow the current narrative that this #MeToo movement is a private education issue to go unchallenged.
Indeed, if we put our private v state blinkers on, the reality of what is happening in the rest of the school system will slink past.
That would be nothing short of a disaster. The "rape" culture which is being discussed at Eton is the same one that is being worried over at academies in the Midlands and the Home counties, at secondaries in Exeter and Hartlepool. One of the first anonymous complaints on Everyone's Invited was linked to a famous new Free School.
According to campaigners End Violence Against Women, one third of 16-18 year old girls have experienced unwanted sexual touching at school and between 2012 and 2015, 600 rapes in schools were reported to police – an average of one rape every school day of the year. That's reported rapes – according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS), fewer than one in six of those aged 16-59 (16%) actually reports rape to the police.
According to research reported in SecEd, there were 30,000 reports of sexual assaults committed by children between 2015 and 2019 – 2,625 of which were carried out on school premises.
There are two other salient statistics which cannot be ignored as we try to understand and fix a problem that the chief executive of victim support charity Mosac has described as being on a "seismic" scale.
The first is that 98 per cent of the perpetrators are male. So we need to ask if single sex schools – state or private – do have a particular role to play in educating their charges.
The other figure that matters is that 85 per cent of women who are raped at any point in their life know the assailant. Attacks by strangers are rarer.
Does this mean that men are so accustomed to the toxic climates of behaviour when they are young that informs their expectations and behaviour later? If groping a girl at a party in your teens is just banter, what's the problem in going a bit further as you get older? At what point does persistence and "I really love you" become date rape.
In reverse, do women grow up feeling that they have no choice but to accept sexual harrassment, that boyfriends pushing for sex at 30 is just more of the same they experienced at 16.
School girls are still being told what they wear and how it can affect boys' concentration and responses – as though it is the female behaviour which must be policed and judged, not the male reaction. "Don't wear your skirt above the knee, you know what the boys in Year 11 are like."
One of the most uncomfortable conversations I have been having with friends this past week is over how little has changed since we were at school. We thought the atmosphere around sexual predation and young women had altered significantly in the past few decades. Yet, now we look at our own children in horror.
Will the new PHSE curriculum which is now being rolled out across the country be enough to change attitudes among the young for good? Can Everyone's Invited draw the right attention to the issue? If you chuck on enough workshops about being woke and bullying and Be Kind at the problem will it go away?
Not a chance. I fear, until we have a thorough review of how serious the problem is nationwide – and in every school, paid for or not – we are merely dabbling.
Sexual abuse among school peers is a really difficult, toxic and generational issue. Fixing it needs to be tackled without hiding behind words like entitlement or posh.
Toxic 'rape' culture isn't a class issue, it's a sex issue, first and foremost. Using intersectional theory and hiding behind private schools to pretend otherwise betrays all of us.
- "I'm a sex therapist, I know how to spot toxic relationships"
- The rape issue
- What is toxic masculinity?
- Best Male Enhancement Pills: Top 5 Sex Enhancer Supplements For Men 2021
- Erratic pandemic behaviour in kids: When do schools recommend counselling?
- Sex with escort made me sick but now I want to go back for more
- Managers, Here Are 6 Toxic Behaviors That Are Destroying Your Employee’s Confidence
- Pain during sex: Why is sex painful? The 10 causes of dyspareunia
- NHS allows trans sex offenders in female-only hospital wards - safety fears erupt
- ‘Their pleasure has been systematically underrepresented’: Why 71% of women are stressed about sex
- Elite male athletes play in shorts and tank tops, women basically in bikinis
- Filming people having sex can ruin lives – so why does James Haskell find it funny?
- We can’t keep our hands off each other but I lose my erection during sex
- 'The most archaic laws in the country': Campaign to decriminalise sex work in SA fails
- DU to resume classes, practicals for science students from Aug. 16
- Clare Balding refused to cover men's football because it's 'toxic' for female hosts
- Children suffered sex abuse as ‘toxic’ battle raged between Lambeth Council and Thatcher, inquiry finds
- These Gen Z Women Think Sex Positivity Is Overrated
- Average male ejaculation time unveiled – Yorkshire men are 'below average' in bed
Toxic male behaviour is not a class issue - it's a sex issue have 1231 words, post on www.telegraph.co.uk at March 22, 2021. This is cached page on Europe Breaking News. If you want remove this page, please contact us.