chapter  4
Shaming the feminine
Pages 11

Research undertaken in 2012 by the National Union of Students (NUS) identified prevailing sexism, 'laddism' and a culture of harassment at British universities. The study connects 'lad culture' with a more general 'oversexualised culture' in which pornography and other erotic industries have become mainstream, and with a defensive response to women's achievements. Gender role socialisation largely occurs beneath the radar, starting in early childhood and continuing, in subtle ways, throughout the lifespan, posing limitations for both women and men. The correlation of gender role conflict (GRC) with shame and shame's propensity to go unacknowledged and unexpressed suggests that cultivating more flexible attitudes to gender roles for women and men would ultimately serve to reduce shame and the violence that accompanies it. Individuals are highly socialised to conform to gender stereotypes and it appears that in America, a country with vast global influence, conformity to male gender norms entails dominance over women and tolerates or even expects violence.