A NEW campaign to tackle ‘lad culture’ in higher education is in the works in Oxford.

Say It Loud – a sexual violence support group started by students at Oxford Brookes University last year – has launched a petition calling on all universities to make it compulsory for male students to take part in workshops that would educate them about ‘positive masculinity’.

It comes month after the university’s Rugby Union Club team members were accused of collecting naked photos of female students as part of an online social dare.

Read also: Man's body found near nature reserve

Say It Loud highlighted that lad culture, which it says is most prevalent in universities, can be ‘incredibly damaging’ for both men and women, and that it often results in ‘men not reaching out for support for their mental health, blaming sexual violence victims, toxic masculinity, and men committing sexual crimes’.

Some examples that the group gave included ‘slut dropping' (offering to take women home then leaving them miles away from their address), 'hazing' (initiation into a group or sport socials at universities, commonly done by pouring food over people and forcing them to do humiliating things), and ‘going on the pull’.

However, the petition to the Department for Education that was set up last week has gathered only a little more than 50 signatures and not a lot of feedback from students in Oxfordshire.

Read also: Debenhams Oxford could be turned into ANOTHER city centre hotel

So the support group is now back to the drawing board and thinking of different ways to approach the problem, rather than through petitioning.

Initially, Say It Loud was created to help higher education students suffering from PTSD, anxiety and distress as consequences of sexual violence and trauma.

By December, more than 160 young people, most of whom study at Oxford Brookes, had already contacted the group for advice.

Oxford Brookes, stock image

Oxford Brookes, stock image

File photo of Oxford Brookes' Headington campus.

In a statement, Say It Loud explained why it it felt it was so important to tackle ‘lad culture’.

The group said: “It is not only damaging to women, but the men themselves.

“With suicide rates of men rising each year due to not feeling like they can be themselves or speak up when things are feeling tough, it is more important than ever to put a stop to lad culture.”

Read also: Man sentenced for carrying imitation gun at nightclub

Say It Loud also called on universities themselves to ‘do more’, saying that ‘not enough' is being done to hold perpetrators accountable for sexual violence and to offer emotional support for victims of sexual violence.

Higher education institutions were also urged to provide safe space for men to come forward and speak openly and honestly about their own mental health, sexuality and difficulties.