The majority of students believe it should be mandatory to pass a sexual consent assessment prior to entering higher education, according to a survey.
According to a survey by the think tank of the Higher Education Policy Institute (Hepi), only 30% of students said they were very confident about controlling consent after drinking alcohol.
The results came after nearly 100 UK universities were named on a website where students anonymously shared experiences of sexual harassment, abuse, assault and misogyny.
A number of the UK’s leading institutions have been featured more than 50 times on Everyone’s Invited website. This has highlighted allegations of a “rape culture” in educational institutions.
Only around a quarter (27%) believe the education they received before college prepared them for the reality of sex and relationships in higher education, according to the Hepi survey of 1,004 students.
More than half (58%) think that all students need to take an assessment before starting their studies to demonstrate that they fully understand sexual consent, while 51% think relationships and sex education are mandatory during the welcome phase should be.
More than one in ten students said they were not sure how to clearly communicate their consent (11%), which constitutes sexual assault and violence and sexual harassment (13%).
Hepi and YouthSight’s August 2020 survey shows that more than two in five (43%) students arrive on campus as virgins.
More than one in three students (35%) said they “learned more about sex through pornography than through formal education”.
Earlier this month, the UK Higher Education Authority urged universities and colleges to take urgent action and do more to address sexual misconduct and harassment of students.
The Office for Students (OfS) has published its “Statement of Expectations,” which states that training should be made available to all staff and students that may relate to audience initiatives, consent and disclosure management to raise awareness of Sharpen harassment and sexual misconduct.
The survey shows that only 14% of students agree that their university taught them how to have safe intimate and sexual relationships online.
It found that two in five students have done sexting, and a large proportion of it appears to have consisted of sending nude or semi-nude pictures to others, as 37% of students say they did.
Nick Hillman, Hepi’s director and author of the report, said, “It is important to have a better understanding of how students live today, including during the Covid disorder, if they are to receive the right support.
“Our robust survey provides the most comprehensive, accurate and useful summary of student sex life and relationships in the UK that has been published for many years.
“By telling students about their peers’ experiences, we hope the results will help them make informed decisions about their own lives.”
The survey also found that two in five female students said their periods might have hindered them from doing their jobs, and 35% said they missed an academic appointment because of their period.
Mr. Hillman added, “Generally speaking, the results show that students come to the university with different levels of experience and that the differences persist throughout their college years.
“Much of our surveys paint a positive picture, but some elements of the results suggest that if the resources are available, schools, universities and policymakers could do more to help students make an important transition point in their lives Find.”
Helen Marshall, executive director of Brook, a charity that works with young people to advance their sexual health, said, “While some of the results are encouraging, there is much more that needs to be done to support students at the university, one of those many will be away from home for the first time.
“Young people unfortunately enter higher education feeling unprepared for the reality of sex and relationships, and there is a clear demand from students themselves for more education related to consent.”
She added, “Brook already offers consent training at several universities. We want to encourage more institutions to improve their support services and enable students to safely manage their own sexual health, relationships and wellbeing. “
Soma Sara, founder of the Everyone Is Invited website, said: “Everyone is invited, welcomes the attention this survey gives to the rape culture in universities, and we are encouraged to explore concrete actions for change.”